If you are an OLLI at SOU member and have questions about Zoom, please check out the FAQ below for more information. If you need assistance using Zoom to particapte in an OLLI class, please click here to request Zoom help.
Please note: We only provide information and assistance to current OLLI at SOU members. Non-members may contact the Zoom Help Center.
Click on the links below for a list of FAQs.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a software platform that allows people to set up “Zoom meetings,” where participants can videoconference or call in on a phone. Most OLLI instructors are using Zoom to conduct their online classes. Zoom is free to use for those who are invited to join a meeting/class (OLLI students).
What do I need to have to use Zoom on my computer?
To use Zoom on your computer, you need an internet connection (high speed connection is strongly recommended) and your computer either needs to have a built-in webcam (camera and microphone) or you need to have a webcam plugged in to the computer. See below for how to join a Zoom class from a smartphone or join by dialing in from a telephone.
Join a Zoom class on a computer by installing Zoom software
This is the method used by most people who use Zoom. You will be able to both see and hear the instructor and any presentations s/he may use (like PowerPoint or web pages) and you will be able to see and hear the other people in the class.
- Close any programs on your computer that use your camera, like Skype or Facetime.
- You will get an email invitation from the OLLI instructor that contains a link to the Zoom address for that class.
- Click the link or copy and paste the URL (web address) into your browser. If you do not already have Zoom installed on your computer, the first time you follow the Invite link, a popup window on the Zoom web page will ask for permission to install Zoom software on your computer. To install Zoom, click the “Save File” button in that popup window and wait for the software to install. (If you already have Zoom software installed before clicking on the link in the meeting Invite, you will go directly to the Meeting Sign In page in your browser.)
- Click “Join with Computer Audio.” For some OLLI classes, you will be placed in a virtual “Waiting Room” until the instructor or class host admits you into the meeting. After you are admitted to the meeting you will be able to see other participants who have joined the class.
Suggestions to improve your Zoom experience
- Join a practice class with your instructor and/or a test meeting on your own BEFORE your OLLI class to make sure you know how to sign in and get your audio and video working properly.
- Sign in to your OLLI Zoom class about 15 minutes before the class is to start so you can make sure your video and audio are working properly.
- Mute yourself when you are not speaking to the class. (Your instructor can also mute participants.)
- Use a headset to minimize feedback. Cellphone earbuds with in-line microphones, as well as over-the-ear headphones, work well.
- Elevate your device (laptop, tablet, or phone) so the camera in your device is level with your eyes. Otherwise, it may seem to other people that they are looking at your chin.
- Light your face from the front. When the light is from behind you, your face appears in a dark shadow. You can check this in the video window before you join a meeting.
Participate in a "practice class" held by your instructor
Some OLLI instructors using Zoom may offer a “practice class” a week or so before the first session of their class. You will receive an email from the instructor with a link to the practice class. Follow “Join a Zoom Class on a Computer” instructions, above.
Join a “test” meeting to try out Zoom on your own
You can practice joining a meeting on your own by using the "test meeting" address offered on the Zoom website.
Click here to go to a web page where you can join a "test" Zoom meeting. Follow the prompts.
Join a Zoom class from a smartphone or tablet
Go the app store on your tablet or smartphone, search for "Zoom," select the "Zoom Cloud Meetings" app, select "Get" on iPhone iPad or "Install" on Android. (Use the App Store on iPhone/iPad, and use Google Play on Android phones or tablets.)
Join a Zoom class by telephone (not a smartphone)
Use this option if you don't have internet access, or you want to use a landline. You will be able to hear and speak, but not see or display video.
To join by telephone, dial the phone number provided in the Zoom email invitation. When prompted, dial the meeting ID number that is also provided. Your phone will be automatically muted once the meeting starts. If you want to speak, press *6 to unmute.