About this tool

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that can be used for video conferencing meetings, audio conferencing, webinars, meeting recordings, and live chat. Zoom offers two types of virtual room services: Meetings and Webinars.

Zoom meeting features

  • Instructor’s audio/video
  • Slide Presentation
  • Whiteboard
  • Chat, public or private
  • Distributed multimedia link
  • Mute/unmuted audience microphones/cameras
  • Role assignments
  • Recordings
  • Telephone call in
  • 300 seats capacity (larger by request)
  • Waiting lobby room
  • Transcription of video
  • Streaming to popular streaming services such as, YouTube
  • Virtual background/blurred background
  • Faster /slower playback of recordings
  • Breakout rooms
  • Co-host
  • Polling
  • Classroom feedback

Meetings and Webinars features

The Meeting and Webinar platforms offer similar features and functionality but have some key differences.

  • Meetings are designed to be a collaborative event with all participants being able to screen share, turn on their video and audio, and see who else is in attendance.
  • Webinars are designed so that the host and any designated panelists can share their video, audio and screen. The host can also unmute attendees. Webinars allow view-only attendees, who have the ability to interact via Q&A, Chat, and answering polling questions. Webinar attendees can't rename themselves.
  • Additional information is available in the following Zoom resources:

Tool guide

Cost No cost
Recommended class size

For employees and graduate students

  • 300 seat meeting room capacity (default size)
  • Larger meeting sizes by request
  • Unlimited meeting times
  • Cloud storage for recordings

For undergraduate students

  • 300 seats
  • 40-minute per meeting time allowance
  • Local storage for recordings
LEARN integrations Instructors can add a LEARN Zoom widget to their course. See LEARN via the Zoom widget.
Known limitations N/A
Level of support Centrally licensed and managed
Privacy & Security
  • LEARN user data shared with Zoom: 

    • USERID (e.g. jsmith), Role (e.g. student, instructor), username (e.g. jsmith), email (jsmith@uwaterloo.ca), system username (D2L string not your jsmith), system role (student, staff, or instructor)

    • LEARN has the ability to receive grades from Bongo

  • Please review the Privacy in Recordings page, which includes a downloadable notification template to post in your course

Similar tool(s)

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How your peers are using this tool

"Zoom has been an important tool for teaching computer programming to engineering students. The critical feature that we used in Zoom is “simultaneous screen sharing”, which enables all students to share their screens at the same time. During programming labs, it is important that instructors and TAs be able to observe in real-time the computer code that students are producing, even if students are not actively seeking assistance. These observations enable instructors to evaluate the problem solving processes that students are using. Without this ability, instructors are left with only assessing the final result that students submit. Two students that submit working code may have vastly different skill levels as they may approach the problem in different manners. Zoom’s simultaneous screen sharing enables the instructor to get insight into the students’ thought processes while they are working and then provide coaching to help less-skilled students make adjustments."

- David Lau, Electrical and Computer Engineering

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