Zoom User Guide

This guide contains the tools you need to get started with Zoom. It will help you understand basic user functions, troubleshooting, and where to find pre-course downloads. We highly recommend you review this guide, download, and test Zoom before your scheduled session.

Why are you here?

Your upcoming session will be conducted using Zoom. This guide is intended to get familiar with the features and functionalities of Zoom. You are strongly encouraged to review this document and download any needed software before your session. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or issues.

Note: You are not required to create a Zoom account in order to participate in this session.

It is required that you use a desktop or laptop computer when you attend your Zoom session, and a second monitor is highly recommended.

Pre-Course Tasks

There are several tasks you need to be sure you complete before attending your session. It is advised you complete these tasks 7-10 days prior to attending the session. This will allow sufficient time for resolution in case you encounter any technical difficulties.

  1. Read your communications/emails and complete any necessary pre-work.
  2. Download any necessary files, resources, or software, and store them in a designated folder that is easily accessible.
  3. Test your Zoom functionality HERE.
  4. Contact us prior to your session if you have questions or concerns.


Before you start using Zoom, you need to download the ZOOM desktop client HERE.

If the link above does not automatically begin the download, click Manual Installation to download the desktop client.

If you have certain IT restrictions around downloading the desktop client, explore your other options for joining in the section Joining a Zoom Meeting Using the Desktop Application.

Equipment Needed

  • A broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) internet connection.
  • Speakers and a microphone that is either built-in, USB plug-in, or wireless Bluetooth.
  • A built-in or USB plug-in webcam or HD webcam.
    • Or, an HD cam or HD camcorder with a video capture card.

Technical Specifications

Please visit the Zoom System Requirements page for a full list of supported operating systems and browsers.

Although you may see Android or IOS listed as supported on the Zoom site, we request you use a desktop or laptop!

Enable Pop-ups

Please ensure you allow/enable pop-ups for Zoom before the session begins.

Launching Zoom

There are 2 ways to launch Zoom

  1. The email link
  2. The desktop application

Email Link

You will receive an email with a link to the Zoom meeting. Clicking this link will open your default web browser where you will have two options to join the session (a prompt to open the desktop application or through the web browser).

Note: Please ensure you allow/enable pop-ups in your browser.

Desktop Application

You can also launch Zoom using the icon on your computer. This option will require you to enter a meeting ID or personal link name.

After launching Zoom, click on Join a Meeting to join without signing in.

Joining a Zoom Meeting Using the Desktop Application

Whether you launched the desktop application by clicking the application icon or through the email link, users are authenticated with a unique 9, 10, or 11-digit meeting ID required for joining the session. You will need to manually enter this meeting ID if you launched through the application icon and can find it in your invitation email.

You can also join via telephone. You will need the teleconferencing number provided in your invite.

You are not required to create a zoom account in order to participate in this session. However, sessions are password protected and you will be required to enter the meeting password found in your invitation email in order to gain access.

Joining via Browser Option

If you have IT restrictions that prohibit your ability to download the Zoom Desktop Client, you can also join a meeting through your web browser.

Visit the Zoom Web Client page for more information.

Testing and Joining

When you first join a call you will be prompted to select Join with Computer Audio or Join by Phone Call. You will make this selection by choosing one of the options at the top.


Once you have chosen the option of Join with Computer Audio, you will then have a chance to test your speakers and microphone before connecting to the meeting. This is highly recommended.

  • Test Speakers - First, you will be presented with the testing of your speakers. You may have headphones or use speakers. You can also change the speaker by using the dropdown box. If you are not hearing a ringtone, this may be the reason, try changing speakers. The output level can also be adjusted from here.
  • Test Microphone - Secondly, you will test the microphone. You can also change microphones by selecting a different option in the dropdown box. The input level can also be adjusted from this screen.
  • Join - Once you have completed testing you are ready to join the call.

Change Settings Once on a Call

Once you are in the call your view will change. You can also change the audio settings in this view.

  • Audio Controls - Click the arrow beside the microphone to change microphones, speakers, and other audio settings.
  • Muting and Unmuting - Mute yourself when you are not speaking.
  • Video On/Off - The video should always be on unless there is a break.

Test Your Equipment & Setup

You can join a test Zoom meeting to familiarize yourself with the Zoom and test your microphone/speakers before joining a Zoom meeting.

Location of Zoom menu bar

The Zoom menu bar is located at the bottom of the screen. You can use the ALT key to hide and unhide user controls.

You want to focus on Audio, Video, Share Screen, Participants, and Leave Meeting.

Note: Your view may look different and you may not have all the options shown.

Overview of features

We have already covered the two icons to the left for Audio and Video. The other options you will have are:

  • Participants: Brings up a view of the participants in the session.
  • Share Screen: Share your screen with others.
  • Chat: Brings up a chat menu to the right.
  • Leave Meeting: Exits the meeting.

Share Screen View

When you enter Breakout Rooms you may need to share your screen. You will do this by selecting the Share Screen Icon. If you have multiple monitors it will ask you to select which monitor to share.

Check out the Sharing your screen or Switching your view during screen sharing section on the Zoom site for more information.

Participant/Attendee View

This is the normal view when you enter the meeting. This is the view you will be in the majority of the time.

Check out the Attendee controls section on the Zoom site for more information.

Breakout Rooms

During your session, you may be asked to join a breakout session. You will receive this message when it is time to join the breakout room.

Check out the Getting Started with Breakout Rooms section on the Zoom site for more information.

Annotate and Whiteboards

Once in a breakout room, you will need to use the Annotate and Whiteboard features. Your session moderator will cover this in more depth at the start of the session.

Check out the Using annotation tools on a shared screen or whiteboard section on the Zoom site for more information.

Chat View

From the chat view, you can send messages to people or the group and upload files.

Check out the In-Meeting Chat section on the Zoom site for more information.

Please visit our Contact Us page and contact us if you have any questions.


Zoom has a multitude of video tutorials and guides available on their site. If you have further questions on functions, features, or requirements you can view their YouTube channel or the help center on their website.

You can watch this help video for more information.

What's Next?

  • Please make sure you test your Zoom functionality and become familiar with all the controls and features. You can Join a Test Call to try out your account.
  • Check all your communications and emails to ensure you have completed any pre-work.
  • Download any necessary files, resources, or software, and store them in a designated folder that is easily accessible.
  • Contact us as soon as possible if you have any questions!