Zoom Best Practices

Due to recent concerns over security and privacy using Zoom to host synchronous classes, please refer to this guide for best practices. This will ensure that you are doing everything you can to create a safe and effective space for you and your students. This list is intended to strike a balance between privacy, security, and classroom management. When hosting a virtual meeting, it is incumbent upon the organizer to ensure a safe and productive place for those participating.


Moderating the Meeting

  1. Passwords are on by default for all MSU Zoom meetings.
    • Do not post these passwords on public websites or social media. Also note, that if you share your meeting room link with the password embedded on public websites or social media, unwanted individuals could still get in. In this case, enabling the waiting room serves as a second layer of security in that you (or a moderator) can admit only those you wish to allow to participate.
    • Check your participant list during the meeting.
  2. When necessary, talk about confidential data, but do not directly share it. Your connection is only encrypted between you and the service provider.
  3. If security concerns exist, consider:
  4. Enable Virtual Backgrounds
  5. The moderator’s role is to help maintain control of the virtual room by interjecting as needed.
  6. Be patient with individuals serving this role as they may need to adjust talking points during pauses and transitions, guide discussions, remind speakers to repeat questions from attendees before answering them, and/or call on people who are quiet throughout the meeting to be sure everyone has an opportunity to voice their thoughts.
  7. Consider installing the Zoom plugin for Microsoft Outlook. This allows for a more convenient way to schedule Zoom meetings via your email.
  8. Try to keep your meetings under one hour if possible. If your meeting is going to be longer than an hour, please consider taking a short break so that everyone can stretch or take a moment to focus back in on the call.
  9. Consider captioning options, if available. If you have difficulty hearing or members of your group do, consider incorporating closed captioning to enhance the experience and make it easier to keep up with the conversation. In some applications, captioning can also provide a record of the meeting, so it’s easier to pay attention without taking as many notes.
  10. To report poor behavior or abuse during an online meeting, send concerns to the MSU IT Service Desk at ithelp@msu.edu.


Preparing for the Meeting

  1. Make sure you have a strong Internet connection.
  2. Consider the use of a headset for better audio quality.
  3. Make sure you have proper lighting.
  4. Position yourself in the center of the webcam.
  5. Keep your background professional and distraction-free.
  6. Dress appropriately for your meetings. While we may be working in an online environment, it is still important to wear appropriate attire when in a meeting.
  7. Come prepared. A Zoom meeting is like any other meeting. It is still important to prepare as you would in-person.


During the Meeting

  1. Mute your mic as soon as you join a call and whenever you are not speaking.
  2. If your audio is spotty, consider turning your video off if it is enabled.
  3. Use your spacebar to unmute your microphone when you want to talk in Zoom.
    • Click your profile, then click settings
    • Click the audio tab
    • Check the option “Press and hold SPACE key to temporarily unmute yourself.”
  4. Maintain eye contact with the webcam.
  5. Turn your video off if you are doing something that may distract other people on your call.
  6. Keep movement to a minimum.
  7. Avoid eating.
  8. Be courteous and considerate of those attending.
  9. Act and talk as you would at work.
  10. Try not to multi-task.
  11. Take advantage of the chat feature to ask a question when someone else is speaking.
  12. Raise your hand in the camera, use “raise hand” features or send a message using the chat or other messaging tool (Teams, Zoom, etc.) to indicate you would like to speak.


Additional Resources from Zoom

These Zoom links have been curated in the order of most important. Below we provide a walkthrough.

Enable Waiting Rooms

Require Meeting Passwords

Keep Your Personal Meeting ID Private

Allow Authenticated Participants Only

Mute Participants Upon Entry Default

Mute Participants During Meeting

Disable Participant Screen Sharing

Disable Participant-to-Participant Chat (Or Disable the Chat Altogether)

Disable File Transfer

Hide Telephone Numbers

Enable Virtual Backgrounds

Policy on Recording Classes