Zoom for trainers

Actually, this page is more about how to succeed with great online trainings

First time teaching online? Are you an experienced teacher, but still a bit worried about how things will be now that you can’t gather everyone in a room?

Don’t worry – there is a lot of help around. Just remember that online teaching is not about taking your regular classes and doing them exactly the same on a computer.

A great story I heard was from a guy that has been teaching online for ages. He explained that when he was a school kid, the most important thing he did all day was to get to the bus that took him to school. The rest of the day he basically just did what everyone else did in the classroom, which eventually got him graduated. But getting himself to the bus was his own greatest effort.

And the problem with online teaching is – there is no bus!

So the first thing you as a teacher need to do is to get your students to get into learning mode. You need to do something that makes them (and their too-early-in-the-morning-brains) realise that now is the time to focus, now is the time to learn.

Some of your students or participants have little or no experience of long distance trainings in general, specifically not in video meetings. So be aware of the rather large chance of technical issues and problems on your first day. Make sure you have that planned into your schedule.

  1. A few things you can do to make things easier:Remind all your participants to download the Zoom software and test it well ahead of the course
  2. Remind them to read the basics on our Zoom page.
  3. Open the meeting room around 15 minutes ahead of schedule to give everyone a chance to get their settings right.

For your own part, here are a few things you can prepare:

  • CLEAN If you are going to share your screen and show stuff, make sure you minimise all the windows and clear your desktop. No one wants to accidentally read your email and no one wants to see a hundred and twelve pictures of your dogs.
  • LINK If you are going to share longer videos it’s way better to send the link to the participants in advance so they can watch on their own on their computers. If you need to stream through your computer, make sure to check ”Share computer sound” when you start screen sharing in Zoom.
  • GREET Always say Hello to everyone joining the room. It will be much nicer and more personal compared to ”Hello everyone”.


That’s it. You don’t get to talk much longer than that.

Forget about your 45-minute lectures and hours of talking seminars. In the digital classroom you will lose all of your participants if you try to teach them in a static way for more than ten minutes. It’s a like putting subheadings in a long text in the paper, just to make people wantna keep reading.

This doesn’t mean that you need to learn to juggle or tap dance, it just means you need to think and plan hard to make the lecture dynamic and rich.


09.00-09.10 > ”Alright, let’s get started. I hope you’ve all slept well and have fresh minds. Today I’m planning that you will learn to…”
09.10-09.20 > Ask a question: ”What did you learn yesterday that is fresh in your memory?” Let everybody mention one thing.
09.20-09.30 > Teach/lecture
09.30-09.32 > Show a video clip or screen recording
09.32-09.40 > Teach/lecture
09.40-09.50 > Ask a question and have a short discussion
09.50-10.00 > Teach/lecture
10.00-10.20 > Give participants an assignment. Divide them into groups and breakout rooms. Join rooms and take part in the discussions.
10.20-10.30 > Everybody back to the main session. Check if the discussions were good and if anybody has any immediate questions. You don’t have to answer them now – you can save the answers until after the break.
10.30-10.45 > Break
10.45-10.55 > Everybody back. Answer questions, discuss, teach.

Naturally, you can plan this however you want, but the point is to make sure you break these long sessions into little pieces. Variation is the key to keep people focused. Remember that a lecture online is usually much faster than live because you won’t have to adjust to the little things that happens in a live classroom.

Also – don’t be afraid to give an assignment that lasts an entire afternoon where participants have to work amongst themselves or on pairs. As long as you rally them by the end of the day, this might be a good way of have them work independently.


If you want to learn a little more about long distance learning

7 great tools

Create a complete classroom


These digital tools are all free to use (or have at least “free versions”) they are to be seen as complementary tools to Zoom. It is easy to drop in a link from the space that you have created. Do not use several tools in one workshop as it may be too confulsing for the participants. All tools require login and preparation for the person creating the resource. In some cases also the participants need to log in. Make sure you test this before using. Also, make sure to do a detailed instruction, if participants need to log in. It may be best to create the space prior to the course and let all participants enter the space in their own time before the workshop.


An amazing conference toolbox where you can create opinion polls, voting, live-feedback and live-comments from all. People can use their computer or telephone and go into menti.com – write in a code that you provide and then engage, so no login required. (only for the creator). This one can be used as feedback-service during workshops and conferences, to ask what people have gained from the day.


An on-line whiteboard where people can put up postit-stickers, add presentations and comment on each-other’s stickers. Good for collaboration when you want to do an activity. No need to log in for participants if a link is provided.


A great tool if you want to ask your participants to create mind-maps. Mindmeister is very intuitive. If you have a course that runs over more than one day, this can be a creative way to get participants to work on their own. You can then ask them to send their mind-maps in and present them (you make a ppt of them and each participant presents their own mind-map).


A versatile tool with many functions relating to agile working practice. Formats for retrospective, user-stories, kanban and road maps. Again, a great tool if you are working over a longer period of time together – a bigger course or project planning.

Facebook groups

If you have a course with files to share and need a discussion forum, why not create a private facebook group? Many people already have facebook and are familiar with the format. Just make sure that you make the group a closed one if you don’t want others to join you! Great for file-sharing and discussion, particularly if you want the group to stay together after the course.


An excellent chat-tool where conversation is threaded. Different channels allow for multiple discussions on many different subjects and many different teams (practical if you for example have different mentorships or courses). Signin necessary.


Classic task-board which can be adapted for all sorts of things. Often set up as a “to-do” taskboard, but can have columns and cards containing anything you wish. Excellent collaboration tool, but not the best chat. Slack and Trello are often combined by development teams. Signin required. The free version contains a limited number of boards.

Zoom Hacks



If you want to create a direct link to join in the browser, use https://lnu-se.zoom.us/wc/join/roomnumber. It is also working if you have the desktop client running and want to join your own meeting in the browser to test and demonstrate (although you can’t use the camera in both applications).


If you have two screens, you can set Zoom to show two streams. This is a good thing if you share screen since you can see the participants on one of the screens and the shared content on the other. You need to enable extended desktop on your computer. Find the option under Settings: General – Use Dual monitors.


You can do pre-assigned breakout rooms, which means that you can create any number of rooms you wish, and name them. Then when you are in the meeting, you can choose pre-assigned rooms or regular rooms. You can also add your participants to the rooms in advance, but that requires that all participants are logged in with their emails to work.


If you’re a fan of instant feedback, you can login to your own meeting using another device (phone or tablet). This will give you an instant look on how your participants see things.


When you create breakout rooms, you can allow your co-hosts to join different rooms. That can be a useful feature if there are more of you that are supposed to ”walk around” and help participants. Or you can make everyone a co-host and let them wonder around between rooms however they like.


Ask anyone that wishes to not be recorded to turn video and audio off. Remember not mention names when reading from the chat and hide participants who turned their video off by choosing ”hide non video participants” in the settings.


When you want to share screen in Zoom, you can choose to share your own screen, only certain applications – and even your phone or iPad if they are on the same wireless network. In the advanced settings there are a few more useful options: sharing part of a screen, share audio only or share a second camera (like a document camera).


Use the Rename option to show everyone who you are, what group you’re in or something useful or fun. You’ll find the option under the three dots on your own video feed. Examples: ”Coffee, Lars”, ”Introvert, Marcus”, “Group 8, Alan”, etc. This can add an interesting context and allows for easier assigning of individuals inte groups.