Zoom Tools for Instructors

Zoom has a number of features you can use to engage your trainees, enouraging participation and helping them sustain concentraion. Some useful features include:


Private chats among trainees are like passing notes in the old days. They are distracting and should be discouraged. Instructors can turn off this feature on their own settings page after logging into Zoom. But the group chat is a useful feature to use. For example, you can encourage participants to write their reactions to process material in the chat while a passage is being read and then read through the comments together. Zoom demonstration video

Raising Hands

Trainees are reluctant to interrupt one another or talk over others in class, which can make them reluctant to speak and reduce participation. You can encourage students to "raide their hands" to speak. They can do this by clicking on the chat button on the bottom of the screen and selecting "raise hand." Or they can just...raise their hand.

Breakout Rooms

If you have a large enough class to break them into two or more smaller groups, breakout rooms can be a great way to faciliate discussion among trainees. Clicking the breakout room button allows you to have trainees automatically sorted in whatever size groups you select. You can join each breakout room to see how conversation is going. Then bring everyone back to report to the group. Remember to give groups a clear direction as to what they are to discuss in the group. You can assign group leaders and a group reporter or have the groups do that themselves. Giving clear directions is very helpful. Zoom demonstration video

Share Screen

The share screen funtion enables you to show videos, put up a passage from process notes to discuss, or show power point slides. When you clikc on Share Screen you'll see a set of options to choose from showing all of hte open apps and files on your destop. Pick the one you want to share and it will appear in the left half of everyone's screen. Zoom demonstration video

White Board

If you like writing on the board in class, you can still do it. Go to the bottom of the screen and click on Share Screen. Click Whilte Board from among the options you're given to share. Your class will see a large white rectangle which you can draw on (with a mouse or stylus or using your track pad) or type on. They can write on it too, so it's a good tool for brainstorming together. Zoom demonstration video


Polling is a nice way to activate your class. You can prepare one or more multiple choice questions before class. At the right moment, you can activate them and your trainees will be able to select an answer. Zoom tabulates the responses and shares them with you. You can then share them with the class. Zoom demonstration video


If you're participants are muted and don't want to risk talking over one another, they can still give a thumbs up or a round of applause by clicking the Reactions link at the bottom of the screen and selecting the sign they want to share.

Columbia Zoom Pro 

if you would like to set up a supervision session or a Center business meeting (such as a committee meeting or interview), you should conduct this by phone or via this HIPAA-compliant platform. You will need to establish your own account to do so. 

Detailed Instructions for HIPAA-Compliant Zoom Pro [Add PDF]