Skip to Main Content

Faculty Guide for Online Teaching

Below is a detailed explanation of the tools that are currently available to the SAIC community and the best practices in using them for online instruction. Additionally, the CRIT Team has created a detailed Tool Comparison Chart that includes detailed information on these systems including, communication modes, visibility, collaboration aspects, and moderator features. You can view this chart here.

.Using Zoom in Your Teaching​.

Faculty are encouraged to solicit information on what technology capacity their students currently have as they consider how to deploy teleconferencing so as to benefit the most students without excluding those who are unable to participate. Regardless, faculty should not require or even expect that all students in their course can use Zoom or any other teleconferencing app, and required course assignments or deliverables should not depend on a student’s ability to teleconference. 

That being said, the Dean’s Office encourages you to consider synchronous approaches such as teleconferencing as a supplement to your revised course processes. Zoom is a tool which can be used to build community, connect students and faculty, and further course dialogue for those students who are able to participate. Faculty may want to schedule one-on-one or small group sessions with students, or, depending on the size, try to bring together as many students as possible for optional engagement activities.  

Zoom is also a great resource for faculty who wish to hold optional remote office hours that students may engage with as needed. In this case, you can set up a two-hour Zoom meeting and keep it open for students to enter and engage with you related to the course or their work.

This information courtesy of CRIT's Zoom Account Info for Faculty page.


Zoom is recommended for online sessions or group meetings with your class, as it offers additional features such as recording and closed captioning. Read Zoom Account Info for Faculty for more information about using Zoom.

More Information About Zoom and Creating Your Account
Review the Zoom Account Info for Faculty page for instructions to set up your account.

Best Practices

  • Use a password
    When scheduling web conferences with your students, we strongly recommend that you check the box to require a Meeting Password. This will help protect the privacy of your online interactions. For visual instructions on how to do this, visit the Zoom Account Info for Faculty page.
  • Use the application when hosting
    When hosting a Zoom meeting, you have a few options (using the application, using the website in a browser, or using your personal meeting ID). We recommend using the application for hosting as much as possible.
  • Ask students to Install Zoom in advance 
    Make the recommendation to your students to download the application prior to your first meeting to save time and avoid some technology hiccups. They can download the application through a mobile app store or for a computer here:
  • Tell participants when they are being recorded and/or when the chat will be captured
    If you are recording an online session, it is best practice to tell your students prior to starting the session.

Scheduling a Meeting through the Application

  • Download and install the Zoom client application if you have not already
  • Make sure you are signed in (after you have followed  instructions to set up your account using the Zoom Account Info for Faculty)
  • Click "Schedule" or "Schedule a Meeting" 
  • Fill out the information for your meeting then click "Schedule"
    • Note: Setting a password is recommended (just make sure it is passed to invitees before the meeting)
  • Copy the 'Join URL' link and password, and email that information to participants or post it on Canvas

Scheduling a Meeting through the Zoom Website

  • Navigate to Zoom's homepage
  • Sign in (after you've followed CRIT's instructions to create your account)
  • Click 'Schedule a Meeting' in the top navigation bar
  • Use the form to set up the specifics of your meeting then click 'Save'
    • Note: Setting a password is recommended (just make sure it is passed to invitees before the meeting)
  • Copy the 'Join URL' link and password, and email that information to participants or post it on Canvas
FAQ's + Warning​s
  • Zoom can host only 100 participants due to concerns about bandwidth limitations.
  • Closed captioning allows you or another meeting attendee, assigned by the host, to add closed captioning in a meeting. You can type the closed captions directly via Zoom or you can integrate a third party service, such as 3Play.
  • Learn more about Recording Video Conferences using the step-by-step guide in the Faculty Portal.
    • Note: Cloud recording is available only for Licensed accounts; otherwise Basic accounts have the option to record locally. Check your account type by looking at your Profile under User Type.
  • Check your system requirements and supported browsers.
  • Check screen sharing settings for all of your options.
  • Remember that hosts can download and view all chats that happen during that Zoom meeting (including those that say 'privately' between you and another meeting participant). 

Warning about ‘Zoombombing:  Make sure that you limit screen sharing to only known, trusted individuals; don’t leave it set so that everyone can screen share. Else others might play inappropriate content. 

.Google Hangouts Meet.

Google Hangouts Meet is available to SAIC community members through their institutional Google accounts. It offers less features than Zoom, but can be used as an alternative. Follow these directions to use Google Hangouts Meet:

Best Practices

  • Tell participants when they are being recorded or the chat will be captured
    If you are recording an online session, it is best practice to tell your students prior to starting the session.

Scheduling a Meeting

  • Go to the Google Calendar attached to your SAIC email.
  • Locate the date and time you wish to host your Google Meet meeting in the calendar and create a new calendar appointment
  • Click "More Options" to see all scheduling options for that appointment
  • Click "Add Conferencing"  >  "Hangouts Meet"
  • At this point you can either:
    • Invite everyone you would like to attend the meeting using the calendar's "Add guests" box
    • Click the arrow next to the "Join Hangouts Meet" box to expand the meeting information, then copy-and-paste the link and phone number wherever you would like to share it (i.e. in a Canvas post, email to all students, etc.)
  • Either way, click "Save" before exiting the calendar appointment or you will lose your changes

Additional Training

FAQ's + Warnings

Warning: Firewall issues -- if the student can’t access Google, then they can’t use Hangouts Meet or any other Google service.

.Canvas Conferencing.

Canvas Conferencing is built into Canvas, but may require Canvas events to be created if you wish to schedule more than one in advance. The recommended limit is 100 participants, and you can create multiple meetings, but they will  be listed in chronological order by the date they were created (with the most recent appearing at the top of the list).

Scheduling a Meeting

.Other Tools.

There are other tools that may be helpful for conducting video conferencing, including:

  • Jitsi MeetOpen source option with features like anonymous users (no need for accounts) and customizable meeting links.
  • Google Teach from HomeA temporary hub of information and tools to help teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
  • Handshake: Stay tuned for CAPX planned events via Handshake