Zoom Quick Guide for Students


This guide is intended to support students using Zoom at Boise State University.


Zoom is Boise State’s video-conferencing solution. It is similar to other platforms like Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, WebEx, and more. We use Zoom for its user-friendly design and range of functionality that helps facilitate teaching and learning in addition to employee business work.

As a student, you may use Zoom for:

  • Synchronous online class sessions

  • Faculty office hours

  • Online study groups or group projects

  • Communicating with advisors

  • and more!

Visit boisestate.zoom.us to be automatically provisioned with a Zoom account.

When you click to join a Zoom meeting (via a Zoom meeting link or via the Blackboard integration), the application will automatically install on your device.

If you want to be prepared in advance, download the computer desktop client here: https://zoom.us/support/download. You can also install the Zoom app on your mobile device.

Log in at boisestate.zoom.us prior to meetings to be signed into your account.

Go to boisestate.zoom.us/profile. You can edit your name there, for example if you want to use a name other than the auto-populated one e.g. Liz instead of Elizabeth. Consider adding a pronoun after the last name e.g. Liz Johnson (she, her, hers).

You can also add a photo here. This photo will be visible to others when your video is turned off during a Zoom meeting.

  • Generally you will want to keep yourself muted unless talking.

  • Your video may be on or off. If you have low bandwidth issues turning your video off may help. If your instructor prefers video on, try to accommodate that if possible.

  • Use the Chat as directed by the instructor; for example, this may be the primary way to ask questions.

Breakout rooms are like a mini Zoom meeting inside of the larger Zoom meeting. Your instructor may use breakout rooms for small group work or discussions. You will be invited to join the breakout room by the instructor. The instructor can move between different breakout rooms; you will know if/when the instructor joins yours.

Breakout rooms are not generally recorded on Zoom recordings; however, this is subject to change and depending on the instructor’s settings whatever breakout room they are in may be recorded.

Depending on the instructor’s settings, yes, Zoom may be used for attendance. If using the Zoom + Blackboard integration, a report is generated that shows when each participant joined and left the meeting. Your instructor may also use the Registration feature or simply require everyone to type their name in Chat for attendance.

This depends on your instructor. Often the Zoom meeting will be recorded for students who were not able to join class synchronously. The recording will likely live in the Zoom Cloud. The format of the recording (screen capture, speaker capture, gallery capture, Chat capture, etc.) depends on the instructor’s settings.

If your instructor is using the Zoom + Blackboard integration, you will be able to access the recording through there.

Note: If the meeting is recorded and includes identifying information like student names and faces, the meeting should only be shared with other students in the class in compliance with FERPA.

If the recording is shared outside the class for any reason, the instructor must obtain signed written permission from students which clearly states the intended uses of the video. Alternatively, the instructor can remove identifying information before sharing.

The instructor will see Chat messages sent to Everyone and sent to the Host. The instructor will not see Chat messages sent privately between participants.

Note: Your instructor may disable the ability to chat with everyone or chat privately

Zoom recordings will likely have captions enabled. If they do not, simply ask your instructor to turn this on in their recording settings at boisestate.zoom.us/profile/setting?tab=recording.

If you need captions during a live meeting, this may be provided by the Educational Access Center for registered accommodations since it currently requires funding. Machine-generated Zoom captions may soon be available for free for live Zoom meetings

First, contact your professor if the issue may be related to the way they have set up their meetings.

Next, contact the Boise State Helpdesk. Include the name of the course, the device you are using, and a description of the issue.