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Zoom Protocols

Students taking a course via Zoom are required to abide by the following protocols. Just as much as a student is required to be physically present in an on-campus classroom, a student taking a course via Zoom must be physically (and audibly) present in the Zoom classroom.

If a student’s situation or environment does not allow them to be video/audio ON and participating for each class session, then that student should take a fully online, asynchronous course instead.

Students who do not have video ON for the class session will be marked absent for that class.

Attendance Requirements

  1. Your video must be ON. To be marked present for class, you must have your camera on. Exceptions may be made in extenuating circumstances from time to time.
  2. Your audio must be ON. To be marked present for class, you must also have your audio on so that you are an active participant in the class. If feedback issues are present, your instructor may ask for you to mute the audio, but in general your audio should be on.
  3. No attendance while operating a motor vehicle. You will not be marked present if driving (or otherwise pre-occupied, such as at work).

General Principles

  1. You are a participant. Interject your voice into the conversation just as if you were in the seated classroom.
  2. Come to class prepared. Complete required reading and any prep assignments that will prepare us all for meaningful conversations.
  3. Be aware and attentive to how you present yourself. Though we are in different places, we are all attending class in a shared virtual classroom. Come to class in attire appropriate for the classroom and be mindful of your screen content and notifications when screensharing.


  1. Make sure you have a reliable Internet connection. Avoid public shared wireless such as coffee shops and restaurants. If you are connecting from work, verify that your network firewall will not block the link to our Zoom sessions.
  2. Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Choose a room with a door that you can close, a space free from ambient sound (people talking, dishwasher running, open windows, etc.). If this is not possible, consider using earbuds or a headset.
  3. Use earbuds or a headset. These are not required but recommended. Earbud and headset microphones localize your audio and reduce interruptions caused by ambient noise.
  4. Use good lighting, framing, and a stable surface for your camera. Be sure we can see your face. Avoid placing a bright light source behind you; this shuts down your camera’s aperture and makes it difficult to see you. Instead, position yourself with soft light source in front of your computer. Place your device on a flat surface, like a desk or table, and avoid sitting on couches or beds where your device will shift and create camera movement.
  5. Use a device that allows you to collaborate. Try to work at a screen that allows you to see everyone well. Mobile devices, like iPads, have some limitations, so your best bet is to use a laptop or desktop. A phone will work as a backup but should not be your primary device.
  6. Test your equipment before the first class session. Go to https://zoom.us/test to confirm that your microphone and camera are working.