How to succeed with
trainings and meetings online

Some tips & tricks for Fojo staff,
trainers and participants

For everyone

General advise and rules for everyone taking part in digital events
INCLUDING IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT SECURITY AND SAFETY.

For staff at Fojo

Information on best practice when working together

For trainers

Specific advice and useful links on conducting seminars

For attendees and students

Tips for attending an on-line course

Zoom and safety

There have been a lot of discussions lately on the use of Zoom. Claims and rumours say the service is unsafe and easy to hack and also that the company is distributing personal information to third parties. We are of course monitoring the situation and can clarify a few things:

  • Fojo is a part of the Linnaeus University. All Nordic universities have access to Zoom through the Nordic University Network Nordunet. This means that the Zoom client is hosted on Nordunets servers that are located in Stockholm and not run on public servers in the US.
  • This means all data is encrypted to and from the Zoom servers.
  • It also means we are compliant with the GDPR rules.

More details to be found on Nordunet.

Zoom-bombing and hacking

The major issue around the globe win the past weeks has been so called Zoom-bombing, where uninvited people have joined meeting and started to make a lot of noise and sharing screens with inappropriate material. These situations can be easily avoided with some basic measures:

  • Don’t share your meeting ID publicly, including on social media
  • Password protect your meetings
  • Use the Waiting room feature
  • Only allow authorised users to join
  • Lock the meeting once everyone you want inside has joined

In addition, just use common sense on digital safety, for example never to click on links you don’t know where they are taking you or who posted them in the chat. And remember not to share your screen or to post pictures on social media if you have any sensitive information displayed.

The guys at Zoom have collected a lot of stuff aimed towards people who are fresh in the online meeting genre. But we have also summarised a few things that we think are relevant for our programmes and projects:

General advice for everyone involved in video meetings

Be on time, mute yourself and raise your hand

Shifting from live meetings to the digital world also means a shift in our perceptions of time and space. This is really important to understand. One minute in a digital meeting will feel much longer than one minute live and that’s why it’s super important for you to be in your meetings on time every time. If you’re supposed to speak or lecture, it’s just as important to stick to the time frame given to you.

Make sure you mute yourself if you’re not an active part of the discussion, to avoid disturbing with annoying background noise (nobody wants to hear your dog bark or kids scream). A good trick is to press and hold the space key when you are muted to temporarily unmute yourself.

If you’re in a meeting with a lot of other people, it’s important to remember to use the icons in the chat/participants panel. You’ll find them if you click on ”Participants” at the bottom of you Zoom window (”Manage participants” if you’re a host). Use the hand icon to raise your hand and wait for the host to address you.

Computer up and avoid the vampire

A good thing to remember is to put yourself in a place where your face is well lit. Never sit in front of a window with daylight coming in from behind you - no one will see anything of your face. Look at the images to the right (above on mobile) - the person is sitting in the exact same spot and is just facing opposite directions. Sometimes it can be even better to have a regular lamp to light up your face.

This video is pretty good and describes the importance of light: "Don't be a Zoom vampire".

Also, try to put your laptop on some books or something to raise the camera to your eye level. By doing this you avoid filming from underneath and you won’t have to show your nose hairs to anyone.

Make the audio work

One of the most common issues when first using Zoom is getting the audio to work. If no one can hear you talk, start of by checking if you have chosen the right audio source by clicking on the arrow next to the microphone icon at the bottom left in your Zoom window. This brings up a small menu where you can choose audio output.

If those settings are correct and it’s not working, check the audio settings on your computer. This is done differently on different systems, so you need to find that yourself.

Last thing if things still won’t work is to check if you have Skype or Skype for Business running. It is a known fact that Skype somehow ”steals” the audio from other applications. Turn Skype off and then restart Zoom, it might work.

Great guides at Zoom.us

Zoom.us, the official site for the software we are using, has some great guides and tutorials for almost everything and all levels.