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About this article

This article provides an overview of the features and functions of the Zoom web conferencing system. It is intended for all WSU students and employees interested in conducting or attending online meetings using Zoom.

What's Zoom?

Zoom is a full-featured web conferencing tool that can be used on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. It supports video and audio over the Internet, document and screen sharing, and more. Meeting hosts can create meeting sites, provide access to those rooms through a URL, and then use the tools available in the room to facilitate engaging online meetings with anyone in the world via a web browser. WSU employees can create and host Zoom meetings. WSU students can create and host their own Zoom rooms for 1:1 or group meetings. Most faculty and staff use Zoom to support online meetings (e.g., remote classes, virtual office hours, exam review sessions), but it can also be used in a face-to-face meeting or classroom to support communication and collaboration.

What is the difference between a meeting and a webinar?

Online Zoom Meetings

  • Use if each attendee will have their own device
  • You want to collaborate with participants
  • Participant's can screen share, turn on their video and audio and see who else is in attendance
  • You want to use Breakout rooms


  • Use if you plan to mainly present video, audio and content in one direction to a group of remote attendees
  • Designed for host and designated panelists to share their video, audio and screen
  • Attendees have the ability to interact via Q&A, chat and answering polling questions
  • Host can unmute attendees
  • Can enable Registration
  • 500 -1000 attendees

For more details, refer to the Meeting and Webinar Comparison article in the Zoom Support site.

Getting Started

All WSU employees and students should Sign In to Zoom with SSO at least one time to activate their WSU account.

Virtual meeting best practices

It’s important to keep in mind that even though this is a virtual meeting your location and surroundings are important. Here are some basic things to remember to create a professional virtual environment.

  • Background(s)– Check the background and rid the space of any clutter or distractions. You also want to make sure you are not positioned in front of a window as this can cause you to appear like a shadow. Keep your background simple. if you feel that your real background is distracting or inappropriate for your meeting you can look at options to add a virtual background everything from blurring to adding a distinct WSU environment. Virtual background information can be found here.
  • Noise – Is there background noise that could prevent participants from hearing clearly? It is recommended to conduct the webinar in an office or quiet room. Make sure to shut the door and hang a sign stating you are in a virtual meeting asking people not to enter or knock on the door. Also keeping your mic muted when you are not talking can help cut down on excess noise.
  • Lighting – Double check the lighting when you launch the meeting and the video has started. Make sure more light is on your face than coming from behind you. You might also need to adjust where you are sitting so the light is not right above your head and within the camera framing.
  • Framing – As an additional consideration be aware of your distance from the camera (not too close, not too far). You want to try and have the camera at eye level.
  • Document Camera - HoverCam Solo8+


Contact TLT with any questions regarding Zoom. Email TLT at TLT@Winona.edu, please include Zoom in the subject line. Phone support is available by dialing 507-457-5240, option 2 Monday-Thursday 8:00am-4:00pm, Friday 8:00am-4:00pm. You can also join the TLT zoom room for help: https://minnstate.zoom.us/my/wsutlt

If you would like to set up a testing session with a TLT staff member, please send a request to TLT@Winona.edu.

Zoom Help

(Note: External links below go to Zoom.com documentation)

Setup your Zoom Account at WSU

Join a Zoom Meeting

Personal Zoom Meeting

Scheduling a Meeting

Hosting a Meeting

Meeting Options - Running a Meeting


Scheduling Privileges

Virtual Office

Some departments, like TLT, use a virtual office to have students log in to for help. For questions on how these work or to get one of these setup, contact TLT@winona.edu.


Zoom Training

Best Practices


For a complete listing of topics, select the Zoom category from the list below.