Zoom: Join a Zoom Meeting as a Student or Participant

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that may be used for your course to support online activities, such as:

  • whole class meetings/sessions
  • office hours
  • guest speaker presentations
  • online discussions
  • demonstrations
  • and more

Use this page to prepare for Zoom-supported learning activities.

The Student Conduct Code and Teaching and Learning: Student Responsibilities policies apply to using and participating in Zoom meetings for your academic courses.

Note: If you are a student or resident in one of the U of MN Health Care Component departments (HCC), you are required to complete a 15-minute self-paced online Training for Access to Zoom. Your Zoom account will be activated within 24 hours. Please plan accordingly to allow enough time for this step. 

In this article:

Choosing Equipment

It is possible to join a Zoom meeting with nothing more than a landline phone. For the best meeting experience, we recommend the following hardware equipment:

  • A web camera: Many laptops and mobile devices come with a built-in camera. For desktop setups, you may need to purchase a webcam in order to fully participate in the meeting experience. Without a webcam, you are not able to transmit video.  Learn more about what you can and cannot do with a webcam
  • A headset with a microphone: A headset with a microphone allows you to hear and be heard more clearly.
  • Two monitors (Optional): A dual-monitor display feature allows you to see the video on one monitor and the screen share on another monitor simultaneously.  Learn more about dual-monitor displays.

If you are interested in purchasing a headset or webcam, the University Bookstore carries several recommended options that have been tested by our IT staff across the University system. Check out headsets and webcams in the University Bookstore.

Recommended Software

You are strongly encouraged to download the Zoom Desktop Client (zoom.umn.edu).  Doing so gives you access to many features, as well as the following browsers:

  • Windows: IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari5+
  • Mac: Safari5+, Firefox, Chrome
  • Linux: Firefox, Chrome

If you do not download the Zoom Desktop Client, you will be able to access some (but not all) of Zoom's features using a Chrome browser.

Watch a 3-minute video about the Zoom Desktop Client

Learn more about using Zoom without downloading the Desktop Client.

Accessing a Zoom Meeting for Your Canvas Course

There are two ways for you to find the virtual location of your Zoom meeting(s). 

In most cases, your Zoom meetings will be scheduled within a Canvas course site. 

  1. On your Canvas course site, click on the Zoom link on the left-side navigation menu.
    Canvas course navigation bar. Zoom link highlighted.
  2. You will see upcoming meetings for your course. Click Join to join the meeting.
    Zoom interface in Canvas integration. Upcoming meeting with details included.
    • You can also find Zoom meetings in the Canvas course calendar.
      Canvas calendar with zoom meetings.

Note: The first time you log in to Zoom within Canvas, you need to give permission authorizing using Zoom for Canvas. 

Accessing a Zoom Meeting Outside of Canvas

Your instructor may schedule a meeting without using a Canvas course site. These meetings will be added in Google calendar. You will receive an email invitation to join a meeting. You can access meetings using:

Google Calendar

Click on the link provided in the calendar event or appointment details
Google calendar event. Zoom meeting join options highlighted.

Direct link

The Zoom link may be sent through email or Canvas chat notification.
Gmail inbox. Please join zoom meeting. Preview shows meeting details and partial join link.

Using Mobile Devices or Telephone 

You can join a Zoom meeting using a smartphone or landline device.

  • Using the Zoom app on a mobile device: Click the Join Zoom Meeting link to open the app, much the same way as joining from a computer. 
    1. Tap Login with SSO
    2. Domain: enter UMN
    3. You will be directed to the U of MN authentication system to enter your University of Minnesota ID and password. Then you will be able to join your meeting. 
    • Using the dial-in option: Select One-tap mobile to call in using your cell phone. The meeting ID automatically enters.
      • Or, Dial by your location if using a landline phone. You will need to enter the Meeting ID, located in the meeting invite.
        Zoom meeting details on cell phone in google calendar. join options highlighted.

Joining Zoom Meeting

Before joining the zoom meeting:

  • It is strongly recommended to clear browser history/cache and reboot your computer before joining any Zoom meeting. 
  • Make sure your computer is plugged in to a power source.
  • If possible, connect to hard-wired internet (ethernet) for the best connection and meeting experience.
  • Zoom will request access to your webcam and microphone. Click Allow to give the app or browser permission to use your computer's microphone and camera.
  • Note: If you are a University of Minnesota student, you must use your University InternetID (University email) to log on to Zoom meetings and to access Canvas courses. 
    • Non-University of Minnesota guests may access meetings using their own Zoom accounts.

After joining the zoom meeting:

  • Check the audio and video settings to make sure your camera, microphone and speakers are working correctly and troubleshoot as needed.
    • If you have it, it is recommended to wear a microphone + earbud/headphone headset. 
    • Remember that when you join the meeting your instructor may have all participants' microphones muted automatically. So check whether or not you are muted. 

Meeting Best Practices 

  • It is easy to get distracted online. Please:
    • close out of as many tabs and apps as possible
    • put away phones and other devices.
    • minimize distraction while maximizing attention, respect, engagement, and learning.
  • If you're not actively speaking, mute your microphone.
  • Set your computer or mobile device on a solid surface to avoid sharing a bouncing screen.
  • Use the Chat function within Zoom to ask questions directly to the instructor or the whole class. 
  • You can click various options within the Participant list to get your instructor's attention.

Troubleshooting Resources

Additional Resources

Login to Your UMN Zoom Account

Zoom's Access to Your Data