Zoom: a tool for distance education
Zoom is a tool for distance education, replacing Adobe Connect. It is available for downloading, and can be taken into use immediately. Resources are available to provide training in the use of the tool and in teaching methods used in online education.
Zoom provides access to a modern and easy-to-use tool for distance education. All co-workers can download and use Zoom.
Zoom makes it possible to create online meetings that are similar to a conventional teaching situation in a physical location. A flexible teaching environment is created with the aid of screen sharing, virtual whiteboards and the transmission of speech and images to participants. It is possible to divide the meeting into smaller groups for discussion (known as “break out rooms”) and it is possible to interact using a chat function. Video and sound are transmitted in HD quality, the meeting can be recorded, and participants receive an invitation to join the online meeting via a calendar request or link. Zoom is also available as an app for mobile phones.
Employees have a corporate account and students have access to a basic account. An example of a difference using the basic account is if 3 or more participants join, the meeting will time out after 40 minutes. There are no such restrictions for the corporate account.
Download Zoom from MinIT for PC or Jamf Self Service for Mac (Jamf Self Service is a pre-installed program on computers that are members of the AD system at LiU). Using your existing LiU account, you can immediately start to use the tool and explore its functions.
- Download and start Zoom
- Select “Sign in”
- Select the alternative “Log in with SSO” on the right side
- Type in the name of LiU’s domain: liu-se
- You will now be transferred to the secure login page for LiU, where you log in. Thus, it is possible to use your normal LiU login details, and it is not necessary to create a separate account.
- In the dialogue box that appears after logging in, accept that Zoom.us should be opened.
- You are now up and running!
It is also possible to visit https://liu-se.zoom.us/ to schedule meetings, change settings and join meetings.
One-minute video guides from Zoom
More information and further guider are available in the Zoom help centre.
If you want training in how to use the tool contact the IT Division. Scheduled courses are available, and the IT Division can also create tailored courses.
Inspiration and help with teaching methods when using digital tools can be obtained from the ICT studio.
Processing personal data
Personal data are information of any form that can be related directly or indirectly to a living individual, which includes appearance and voice. It is not permitted to process more information than necessary for the purpose (data minimisation).
Think through how you manage and spread your material. There must be a legal basis for the spread of material, and an expressed purpose for the spread. If other people than yourself are in the video, these must have received information about that they will appear in your recording, in what purpose, and why it is neccesary for them to take part to fulfil this purpose. They should also be informed on how long their personal data will be stored and who will have access to it. The recorded material and sharing it is only allowed if information has been collected in a correct way and those registered on the video have been informed correctly.
More information about personal data can be found in the webpages dealing with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Some comments from colleagues who are already using the tool:
Wolfgang Schmidt, deputy head of department and senior lecturer in the Department of Culture and Communication
“I use Zoom for distance lecturing at Linnaeus University in Växjö, where we have an exchange agreement in several courses. I find Zoom much better and easier to use than Adobe Connect. You may need a bit of help with the technology in the beginning, but after three or four sessions you can manage completely by yourself. When lecturing, I can use the Eduroam wireless network, where the quality is extremely good, without any delay. My advice to colleagues for getting started: simply start to use it, and send a meeting link to a colleague to test the tool. Have a go!”
Tobias Trofast, assistant lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology
“I use Zoom as a live-streaming tool for students when we are running computer-based lab sessions. Since all the computers in our lab have large screens, the students can have both their own program and Zoom open next to each other, which means that those who want to can work in parallel as I demonstrate something. Thus, they don’t have to switch between looking at a projected image and their own screen. Further, it’s not so important whether they are close to me or far away – everyone sees equally well. On some occasions I have let them take the room over and show all the others what they have done on their own computer, and this is something I want to develop. I have also considered whether it’s possible for someone who is absent or sick to follow the teaching from another location.
It was quicker to set up a meeting room and get going with Zoom than it was in with Adobe Connect. And Zoom has a more intuitive interface. So far, it appears to be relatively economical with resources, and in a test with 25 simultaneous participants in the room we didn’t experience any delay worthy of mention. Being able to add notes is a useful function, and the way in which you can share just one program, not the complete screen.”
The Swedish University Computer Network, SUNET, which has supplied Adobe Connect, has announced that the recording feature in Adobe Connect will be shut down on 31 January 2019.
Files will be available in Adobe Connect until 31 January 2021, when the service will be discontinued completely. For your materials to be available for sharing after this date, you should download them from Adobe Connect.
Where should I store my materials now?
One recommendation is to use Microsoft Video, a video service that is one of LiU’s contracted services. It is available via Office 365 in Lisam. You access it in Lisam via the menu at the top left. It is located in the drop-down menu with all the apps. Direct link to the tool.
Video has a number of features that you will recognise from other common online video services, but since it is part of LiU’s Office365 services, it is possible to set authorisation, so the material can be seen in our AD groups, e.g. course and staff groups. Limitations include that it is not possible to share information to outside the organisation, and that the Video app is currently not able to handle the FLV file format, which means you have to convert files to MP4, for instance.
Microsoft has announced that it will implement the changes so that FLV files will be supported. If you have a large volume of material to transfer, you can download it from Adobe Connect, but do not upload it until this update is in place. Information regarding this will be sent out when it is operational.
How do I convert files to MP4?
The video files you download from Adobe Connect will be in the FLV format. One recommendation is that you convert them into a more common format, MP4, if you want to upload them direct in Video. To do this you can use the VLC media player, see this guide.
You can get VLC via MinIT (AD-connected PC) or Jamf Self Service (AD-connected Mac).
I have to be able to share my video clips outside the organisation. Can I use a different tool?
Yes, you are allowed to use other services. But keep in mind that, depending on your settings, the material can become public, and that the contents can be shared and viewed in contexts you aren’t in control of.
Last updated: 2019-03-15