Introducing Zoom for Teaching and Learning

Zoom at Smith College is a web/video conferencing tool that enables you to host one-to-one or group meetings. Starting in October 2018, Smith College faculty, staff, and students now have access to Zoom Pro accounts. The service is free to you, and doesn’t require your attendees to have an account. Zoom works across platforms and operating systems, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Zoom is a great tool for education: faculty or guest speakers can deliver lectures from a distance, students from other institutions can attend classes remotely, and virtual class meetings can include break-out group activities.

How to Get Started with Zoom

To begin using Zoom, log in to with your Smith College username and password. After you schedule a meeting, you can share the meeting information with your attendees, and they can join without needing an account.

Sign Up for a Zoom Introductory Workshop

How can Zoom be used at Smith College?

Zoom allows you to be more flexible with how you teach, easily connect with people around the world, and can even help you create recordings to enhance your lessons. Web/video conferencing increases access and the quality of the learning experience for off-site students,1 and can enable integrated learning experiences and collaboration for students enrolled at different institutions.2 Since any Zoom meeting can be recorded and streamed, reviewing recorded lessons can help students be more successful,3 and increase access and learning success for multilingual students.4 Zoom can help you with:

  • Engagement with Scholars and Mentors – Rather than having to juggle the logistics of bringing a guest speaker to campus, use Zoom to bring scholars and mentors into the classroom with your students. These real-time conversations with experts helps deepen understanding of course content and bridges the gap between experiential learning and real world application.
  • Cross-Institutional Collaboration and Online Course DeliveryZoom provides provides flexible and on-demand remote access. Students studying abroad, or working at different institutions can use web/video conferencing to collaborate, build community, and enhance the learning experience. Enhance student collaboration with breakout rooms for group meetings and shared whiteboards.
  • Remote Instruction – Web/video conferencing can help make teaching easier when you’re busy with travel or off-site research. Deliver a lesson while you’re offsite; pre-record lectures, office hours, or other meetings; build a library of recordings to share with students as a studying resource.

Experiences Using Zoom

“Using Zoom makes teaching more interactive and collaborative for the younger generation who are comfortable with emerging technology. In addition, Zoom encourages us to try new ways of teaching familiar topics.”

Suk Massey, Lecturer East Asian Languages

“Working more one-on-one in the small groups on Zoom was really helpful, and we were able to get more immediate feedback and critiques of our Korean.”

Smith Student

“My experience with Zoom was excellent… I especially liked the recording feature, which I used for our last session. Were I to use Zoom again for such a cross-Atlantic class, I would record every session and use the recordings for pedagogical purposes with the class.”

Janie Vanpée, Professor of French Studies and Comparative Literature

“I connect my students with experts around the world through Zoom. It provides them with a sense of identity and belonging to the field they want to go into.”

Michael Barresi, Professor of Biological Sciences

“Hearing about their struggles that led them to the place they are now really demystified the process of science for me. It showed me that they’re real people, they’ve had to go through struggles just like we do.”

Smith Student

  1. Ellingson, D., & Notbohm, M. (2012). Synchronous Distance Education: Using Web-Conferencing in An MBA Accounting Course. American Journal of Business Education, 5(5), 555-62.
  2. Dolan, E., & Sterne, J. (2017, Oct. 25) 2 Campuses, 2 Countries, 1 Seminar. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  3. Al Nashash, H., & Gunn, C. (2013). Lecture Capture in Engineering Classes: Bridging Gaps and Enhancing Learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(1), 69-78.
  4. Shaw, G., & Molnar, D. (2011). Non-native English Language Speakers Benefit Most From The Use Of Lecture Capture In Medical School. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 39(6), 416-420.

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