Zoom is the easiest tool to use for holding open office hours and handling one-on-one student advising sessions. To do both of those things, instructors need to make a couple of adjustments to their Zoom accounts. (Install Zoom if necessary)
A note about scheduling: in this scenario, it's best to continue scheduling individual appointments using whatever current system you're using (personal emails, online forms, etc.).
Overview of Adjustments
There are two adjustments needed in order to make the most of Zoom for office hours and advising.
- Create a single, reusable Zoom link for your personal Zoom account so that anyone can meet with you without needing to “schedule” anything in Zoom
- Activate the “waiting room” feature to keep students “out in the hall” while you meet with another student for advising or office hours
Create Your Personal, Reusable Zoom Link
- Go to https://csustan.zoom.us and click the yellow “Sign In” button. After signing in, you will arrive at your Zoom account management page.
- Click on “Profile” in the upper left-hand menu
- In the middle of the screen, find the area of Personal Meeting ID and highlight and copy the URL you see there (e.g., http://csustan.zoom.us/j/xxxxxxx)
- Further to the right, click the “Edit” link
- Back in the middle, check the box for “Use Personal Meeting ID for instant meetings” and click “Save Changes”.
Enable the “Waiting Room” Feature
- Click on “Settings” in the left-hand menu
- If visible, click the link for “In Meeting (Advanced)” just to the right of the main menu – the page will scroll down to that section of settings
- This link might not be visible on smaller screens. If absent, simply scroll manually to the bottom 1/4 of the page of settings. It's loooong.
- Scroll down to find the entry for Waiting Room and click the switch to turn it on.
That’s it for the configuration!
Now that you have your personal meeting ID ready to go, and the waiting room is turned on, send your Zoom URL to your students via email or post it on a course web page, etc.
A few minutes before your advising/office hours are to begin, launch Zoom on your computer (be sure you’re signed in), and then start a new "Instant" meeting.
Using the Waiting Room
In Zoom, hover at the bottom of the screen and click “Manage Participants” at the bottom of the Zoom window to see people who are in the waiting room waiting to be admitted.
You will see their name in the Waiting area of the Participants list (see screenshot). Click "Admit" to bring them into your session.
Upon joining your meeting, students and other participants are automatically placed in the waiting room and see a simple explanation: "Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon." As soon as the host clicks "Admit", the participant will see the main meeting room.