Online Lecturing with ZOOM

Student Survey Results

The Center for Digital Education (CEDE) and Teaching Support Center (CAPE) have have conducted a survey asking students about their experience with online learning. Get the analysis of the results and recommendations we derive from 3’021 students’ responses.

Teacher Survey Results

A teacher survey that mirrored the structure of the students survey was conducted in April to identify what works well and what adjustments could be made. We received 258 teachers’ responses which are summarized in this report.

Upcoming Events

Preparing Students for Summer 2020 Exams => a joint EPFL and ETHZ virtual event

Wednesday May 27th 12h15-13h15
No registration, just drop in.

How do we support students to succeed after remote teaching? What strategies or structures can I provide to help my students get organised and engage productively in learning? This event will feature teachers from ETHZ and EPFL sharing their plans.

Leveraging Labs for Learning

Tuesday May 19th 15h-16h30
*** Registration required

This online workshop presents evidence-informed strategies for designing lab experiments that develop autonomy and higher-order thinking, in addition to a deep understanding of the core concepts. While the focus is on hands-on labs, the online format will be exploited to reflect on the possibilities for remote experiments. Please register here


This documentation and a Help Desk are here to support teachers in their online lecturing and teaching. “How to” guides help setting up online tools, “Usecase” are about ways teachers have adapted their teaching to the distance setting.

If you don’t find something in these quickstart guides or in the FAQs below, drop us a note at:

Getting Started FAQ

I am a teacher and need help to test the ZOOM setup before recording.

You can consult the documentation provided on this website, or attend one of the live sessions scheduled next week, and you can also contact the helpdesk setup by CEDE and CAPE by writing an email to [email protected].

Should I use webinars or meetings in ZOOM for my class ?

For large classes (more than 200), we recommend using webinars since in this mode students do not need camera or microphone access. For small classes (less than 200), you may use meetings, since this option allows you to give the floor to the students and facilitate discussions.  For more details, see:

How do I schedule a webinar on ZOOM ?

Watch this tutorial video about scheduling a webinar and have a look at the documentation for recording classes or for holding live classes.

How do I schedule a meeting on ZOOM ?

Watch this tutorial video about scheduling a meeting and have a look at the documentation for recording classes or for holding live classes.

How to get ready on my laptop or desktop before starting the class ?

Watch this video tutorial about the recommended settings and setup for your video, microphone and slide presentation on a laptop or desktop. This walks you through what is described in the documentation for recording classes or for holding live classes.

Teaching FAQ

What features of ZOOM can I use to make my class interactive ?

We recommend that you use the Q&A functionality to allow students to ask questions. Get help from an assistant to handle the questions. The Polling functionality is like classroom clickers and allows you to prepare questions in advance and get feedback about the answers.

How do I or my assistants present exercise solutions in video ?

Check out this video ( from our MOOC on Foundations of Teaching Science and Engineering about how to present exercise solutions.

Can students ask questions in the class ?

Yes, we encourage you to use the Q&A functionality to allow students to ask questions. 

Can students work in groups in ZOOM ?

ZOOM allows to create break-out groups of students. Check the documentation on exercises about how to implement this. 

I have a MOOC or other pre-existing videos. Can I continue using them ?

Yes you can. It is up to the teacher to evaluate what is the appropriate method to teach the students within the existings restrictions. We recommend that you accompany the videos with active learning opportunities (e.g. forum discussions, speakup, live Q&A, exercises with feedback). Please be aware that due to the heavy demand on video sharing platforms, you may have difficulties.

How can I avoid “trolls” and “zoombombing” ?

Some people might want to disturb your lectures with out-of-topic content. Most importantly, only share the links to your ZOOM lectures via Moodle. Here is a more complete list list of measures to avoid and handle trolls including how to kick someone out of your session.

Features FAQ

Can I present slides in ZOOM ?

Yes you can share any application that runs on your laptop, including Powerpoint, Keynote, PDF viewer, etc. Details about how to share your screen are in the supporting documentation for recording classes or for holding live classes.

Can I handwrite on a whiteboard / blackboard in ZOOM ?

Yes. We recommend using an app like Goodnotes on iPads. Other solutions may work, but this is the one we can recommend after testing. Details about how to share your screen are in the supporting documentation for recording classes or for holding live classes.

Can I use my laptop *and* my iPad together and switch from one to the other ?

Yes. Find out several ways to connect the laptop with the iPad to seamlessly switch between presenting slides and writing. We recommend using a cable.

Can I use a “laser” pointer in ZOOM?

We encourage you to “gesture” on your slides while presenting since research indicates it aids student’s learning. Slideshow applications like Powerpoint allow you to turn your mouse into a laser pointer to make the cursor more visible. Other “laser” pointer solutions we have tested have been less successful.

Students FAQ

How do students access the recording ?

At the end of the recording, ZOOM uploads your class to the cloud and generates an URL that links to it. You will post this URL to the Moodle site for your course and students will access the recording by clicking that link. This video tutorial shows you how obtain the link for your video and how to save a copy for backup. You can also lookup the section “Making the class video available to students afterwards” in the documentation for recording classes or for holding live classes.

Do students need any special software to join my ZOOM class ?

No, students simply follow the links that you provide, either to a recording or a live session. You may share this slide to explain how student can setup the ZOOM client.

Technical FAQ

I cannot schedule a webinar in ZOOM because this option is not available for me.

The possibility to create webinars is available for all teachers who have activated their zoom license. Login to , sign in using your GASPAR account. You will be able to schedule meetings immediately and your right to schedule webinars will be activated within a few hours.

Can I make changes to a recording after the class?

No. There is however an option to trim the beginning and the end of the videos in the Recordings menu.

How long are the recordings of my course available ?

Recordings stay available on the ZOOM Cloud infrastructure for 30 days. If you want to keep the videos for longer, you have to download them. Check this video tutorial to find out how to retrieve your recordings.

Why should we use ZOOM and not Skype for example?

ZOOM has a simple interface to schedule webinars and automates the upload of the recordings to the cloud. To be able to support many lecturers, EPFL has opted for a single and simple solution that fits most of the needs.

Is the recording shared immediately with students after class?

It does take some time for ZOOM to store the recording and to generate the link that students can use to access it. You have to manually insert this link into your Moodle course page to share the recording with students. Recording a series of shorter videos (rather than one long one) will allow you to make the material available sooner.