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Zoom for students

Zoom is a programme for holding online courses. It is mainly used at the University of Cologne, so it is important that you master the basic steps for joining a meeting. This guide should help you with this.


You will receive a link to a Zoom meeting from your lecturers by e-mail. Alternatively the Zoom link will be uploaded to ILIAS depending on the lecturer. Click on it and you will be forwarded to the Zoom website.


Depending on your browser you have to save and open the installation file. Thereupon Zoom will install itself.


Once you have taken this step, you will often be asked the next time you open a Zoom link, which app should be used to open it. Here you can select the Zoom programme and save this action for future links. This will automatically take you to Zoom every time you click on a meeting link in the future.


You will then have to choose a name with which you will appear in the meeting. We recommend that you use your real and full name here so that the lecturers can identify you.


If you start Zoom for the first time, you have to accept the terms of use.


Often the lecturers have set up a waiting room for the meeting. Here you just have to wait until the lecturers allow you to enter the meeting.


You must then select that you want to join the meeting via audio. You will need a microphone. We recommend you use a reasonable microphone or headset.


Within the meeting, the lower bar is especially relevant. On the far left you can mute or unmute. We recommend that you are generally muted in meetings, as you never know what sounds might be heard in the background. Often the lecturers have set that you are muted and that only they can un-mute you.

Right next to it you can activate or deactivate your camera, if available. We generally recommend that you are present in the meeting with your camera, but don't forget that it is activated and everyone can see what you are doing.

For presentations you can share your screen to make content from your own PC visible to everyone. More about this on the next picture.

If you want to leave a meeting, you can do so by clicking the red button in the lower right corner.

You have to choose in Zoom which content should be shared and visible for all members. If you only want to share a PowerPoint presentation, you can simply select it from the list and the participants will only see this presentation. If you want to share additional files (ELAN, PDF, etc.), you can also share your whole screen (In this screenshot you have the option to share 2 screens, because I work with 2 screens. If you do so, make sure you choose the right screen).

ATTENTION: If you share your entire screen, all members of the course will be able to see everything you do on that screen. We recommend that you close everything that is not relevant to your lecture. Otherwise, participants will be able to see for example private messages from WhatsAppWeb or Skype from you!

If you sit in front of a white wall (or have a green screen for some reason), you can also add a virtual background.