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Getting Started: Virtual Interactions

Zoom Basic Features and Functions

The University of Calgary has provided a detailed guide on the various features and functions available on Zoom. It also provides step-by-step tutorials for logging in, scheduling/joining a meeting, and using its features (ie. screen share, breakout rooms, polls, and chat panel).

To access this resource, please click here: ​

Zoom Meeting Etiquette and Tips

Here is a summary list for five top tips to professionally present yourself during Zoom meetings:

Mute your microphone​: When you are not speaking, it is good practice to mute your microphone to prevent background noises from distracting meeting participants.

Prepare materials in advance:​ If you are planning to screen share or send files/links via the chat function, ensure you have those materials ready to present before the meeting begins.

Background and lighting:​ Set up your laptop in a place where there is ample lighting (natural light is best). Check your background, remove clutter that may detract from your professional image, and position yourself such that the camera frames your face, neck, and shoulders.

Look directly into the camera when speaking​: Make eye contact with your audience by looking directly into the camera (not the screen or other participants). If possible, raise your computer/laptop such that the camera is at eye level.

Do a sound check​: Before your meeting, test your microphone and speaker directly on Zoom to ensure smooth usage. The “Test Audio” option can be found in “Settings” and on the pop-up “Join Audio” request when you first enter the meeting.

For more information on Zoom meeting etiquette and tips, please check out the following links:

Online Group-Work

As many Haskayne courses contain a group-work component, we have compiled a few tips to help you succeed when working with a team virtually. These tips are simply an addition to best practices for group-work under normal circumstances (ie. establish clear communication, outline expectations, maintain accountability, etc.).

Coordinate time early on​: Be mindful of changing schedules and time-zone differences when deciding on a meeting time with your group. At the beginning of the semester or when you first form your group, we recommend setting a recurring meeting time at least once a week where all members are required to attend. This will facilitate prompt communication, commitment, and accountability even when schedules get busier later on in the semester.

Agree on the tool used to collaborate:​ All UCalgary students are provided a free Zoom account to attend online lectures and schedule virtual meetings. Confirm the communication channels your team will use in addition to (or instead of) Zoom—such as Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc. Consider using file sharing software—such as Google drive and Dropbox—to make collaborating easier. ​Ensure you share contact information with each group member on your first meeting.

Know your team and instructor:​ Virtual meetings can often make group-work feel distant and difficult to coordinate. Spend a few minutes to get to know your team and their goals/expectations for the project. Similarly, be proactive and connect with your professors (via email or office hours) if you have any questions.

For more tips on online group-work, please check out the following links:

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