Everything you need to know about learning with Virtual Classrooms

Participating in a Zoom Virtual Classroom

Zoom Virtual Classrooms allow students who are not physically present in class to attend the session online. The steps below will show you how to participate in a Zoom virtual classroom.
To fully participate in a Zoom virtual classroom, it is recommended that you work from a computer enabled with a webcam, speakers, and a microphone. You may also like to use a headset or a headphone with an attached speaker.

If you have never used or downloaded the application Zoom before, please look at the guide Accessing a Zoom Virtual Classroom for further guidance, before following this guide.

Please note that Zoom and other VU Collaborate functionality should only be used on Google Chrome. Make sure to update Google Chrome regularly for usability and security.

This guide covers the following topics, use these links for easier navigation:


 Step One: Configuring your Zoom account through Victoria University

1. Once your Zoom Application has been installed on your PC or Mac device, you will need to configure your account to strengthen it for security measures. The easiest way to do this is to search on Google Chrome and type in the following:

search online for

This will open up a specific page on Victoria University's website related to all Zoom queries. 

2. Once the webpage is open, press Sign-in.

Press Sign In on VUs Zoom Webpage

3. This will open another page, asking you to log into Victoria University like you usually would with your Student ID and Password

Log into Victoria University with your Student ID and Password

4. Once you have signed in, the Zoom website will open allowing you to edit and select various settings, options and even the ability to join Zoom and host Zoom sessions. You may now close this website.

Your account is now configured to Victoria University. This process might need to be continued regularly. If so you will need to log in this way automatically from time to time.

 Make sure to add or check to see if your account has a decent avatar of you for Online Etiquette/Netiquette. A guide on, A Guide to Online Etiquette / Netiquette is useful to understand before using zoom.


Step Two: Participate in a Zoom Session 

1. To participate in a Zoom Session you must Sign-in to VU Collaborate and select your unit space.

2. On the Navbar, select the Communication dropdown and select Zoom Classroom to access your Zoom Schedules.

Communication tab Access

3. Scheduled Zoom classrooms will appear in the events list. To join the relevant session and launch the virtual classroom, click on the Join button.

Join will highlight blue when the cursor is placed over the button.

Communication tab Zoom Join 

 4. A new tab will open asking you to Open Zoom Meetings. If you have already downloaded Zoom following the mentioned guide at the top of this page, click Open Zoom Meetings.

Press Open Zoom Meetings to connect to the Session

5. If you are trying to access a Zoom session before the host has started the meeting, you might see the following on your screen.

1st screen of waiting for host

6. Once you are in a session, at the bottom left of the window, check that you are connected and the microphone and video are enabled.

You may disable the audio and/or video by clicking on the icons. A red line through the microphone means that you are muted and a red line through the video icon means that your video/webcam is not showing your face to others.

Zoom Mute and Unmute

7. The screen being shared by the host of the session will be visible in the middle window.

If the mini window appears, you may expand it by clicking on the zoom expand button at the bottom right of the window.

Zoom viewing screen and exit mini

8. To enter a full viewing screen, double-left-click on the window, or click on the Enter Full Screen at the top-right window as shown below.

Zoom Full Screen

9. You may change your screen proportion by clicking on View Options and then Zoom Ratio at the top of the window.

Zoom View Option

10. The host (current academic) of the virtual classroom may share their screen with you. This could include the following:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • The virtual whiteboard
  • Their desktop screen or internet screen
  • An application
  • A video
  • Or their Webcam.


Step Three: Participate in Chats

The chat function is another useful tool, especially when there is a large group in the class.

The chat provides you with the opportunity to type dialogue and interact with other participants and the host via text and/or files.

1. Select Chat on the Zoom tool bar to activate the chat panel.

Zoom Tool Bar Select Chat

2. At the bottom of the chat panel, you can type messages to the host and/or other participants to read.

Type in the search bar

3. Select the dropdown menu, Everyone, in the chat section next to To: to designate whether you would like your chat dialogue to be viewable only by the host or by everyone in the session. Then select either everyone or the host.

Zoom Chat Selection


Step Four: Reactions

In-meetings, reactions allow you to send emotes and emojis to represent your current reaction to a question, topic of discussion or the need to ask a question by raising a virtual hand, showcasing to all participants within the session.

1. Select Reactions on the Zoom Tool Bar to activate the dropdown menu full of possible reactions.

Reactions on the Zoom Tool Bar

2. Selecting a Reaction will place the reaction on the top left corner of your screen if you are currently not sharing a screen. All reactions will last around 15 seconds on screen before vanishing. Raising your hand, Yes, No, Slower and Faster, however, will continue to stay active until reselected.

Selecting a Reaction will place the reaction on the top left corner of your screen

3. You must lower your hand by selecting Reactions from the Zoom Tool Bar and Lower Hand to close the reaction.

Participants must lower their hand by selecting Reactions from the Zoom Tool Bar.

4. Select Participants and Chat on the Zoom tool bar. With these options selected, you can see who has selected a reaction and also how many have selected a reaction within the session.

Zoom Tool Bar Select Participants and Chat

With the Participants and Chat selected you can see who has selected a reaction.

5. In order, each symbol allows you to:

Clap Emoji

The Clap symbol can be used when celebrating one's success in completing a great presentation or when you're enjoying a student's participation.

Thumbs Up Emoji

The Thumbs Up symbol can be used when agreeing with a discussion or possibly a question.

Joy Emoji

The Joy symbol can be used when you wish to express that something was quite hilarious or joyful to listen to.

Open Mouth Emoji

The Open Mouth symbol can be used when you wish to express shock or surprise.

Heart Emoji

The Heart symbol can be used to express that you loved watching or listening to a student's presentation or a possible answer to a question. 

Tada Emoji

The Tada symbol can be used when celebrating a joyful moment within the session, such as the last day of the unit.

Raise Hand Emoji

The Raise Hand symbol can be used when you have a question you wish to ask the host. Just as you would raise your hand in class, this is the virtual mechanic to do so. Once you have permitted them to speak, you may unmute yourself and ask your question, or possibly answer a question the host has tasked you with. Once finished, you can click on Raise Hand symbol again to remove the symbol.

Yes Emote

As a student, if the host has asked the class a question. You may press the Yes symbol if everyone is muted. (This should be used if their answer is yes).

No Emote

As a student, if the host has asked the class a question. You may press the No symbol if everyone is muted. (This should be used if their answer is no).

Slower Emote

The Slower symbol indicates that you would like the host to repeat what they just said or to slow down so you can understand them clearly.

Faster Emote

The Faster symbol indicates that you wish the host to speak louder or present faster.- Presenting Faster is not recommended.


Step Five: Share Screen and Files 

During a Zoom session, you may share files, or share the opened applications on your desktop with other participants.

1. Click on the Share Screen option at the bottom of the window.

If you are in a Zoom classroom with an academic, this option may not be available to you.

Zoom Share

2. Select the relevant application in the Zoom Share Screen window, and click Share at the bottom right of the page.

The Share Screen window selection will automatically open in Basic view. This will show several possible applications ready for sharing with others.

You need to open the application first to share it through Zoom.

screen share basic options

3. If you would like to select another view besides Basic, you can select either Advanced or Files.

screen share advanced options

Advanced options will allow you to select an array of particular sharing settings such as allowing a slide to display as your virtual background.

5.1 Sharing Files in Zoom

Online sharing accounts accessible through the share screen option include:

  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft One Drive
  • Google Drive
  • box
  • Browse Computer (Chat function)

Files such as a Word document or PDF are usually shareable in the Chat function next to where you type in your question or comment.

1. Click on the Share Screen option at the bottom of the window.

2. Click on Files and select the relevant online sharing accounts in the Zoom Share Screen window, and click Share.

screen share files options

The following options are demonstrating the Google Drive option.

3. Click Connect on the pop-up authorisation window.

 Zoom Share File with Drives

4. Click Sign in with SSO.

Zoom Share File with Drives 3

5. Type victoriauniversity in the white box with at the end and select Continue.

Zoom Share File with Drives 4

6. Type your Student ID in the first text box, type your Password in the second text box, and select Log in.

Zoom Share File with Drives 5

7. Select Authorise.

Zoom Share File with Drives 6

8. Select the account you would like to share.

You may be required to sign in to the chosen account.

Zoom Share File with Drives 7

9.Click Allow.

Zoom Share File with Drives 8

5.2 Sharing Files with Zoom Chat

The following option is demonstrating the Sharing document via the chat function.

1. Select the Chat button on the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

Zoom Tool Bar Select Chat

2. Then select File

Zoom Sharing Docs Via Chat1

3. Choose the document source.

In the chat function, you can upload a document from your PC or laptop.   

4. To upload from your PC or laptop, simply select the Your Computer option.

Zoom Sharing Docs Via Chat selectsource

5. Select the desired file from your PC or laptop and then select Open.

Zoom Select Doc

6. Once selected, it will automatically upload to the chat thread within your zoom meeting.  

 Zoom Chat Sahredoc Uploaded


Step Six: Making Annotations 

You may use Annotate to make notes, drawings and add arrows on the share screen during a virtual classroom session.

1. Click on View Options at the top of the window then click on Annotate.

2. You may choose from a variety of tools:

  • Text
  • Draw
  • Stamp
  • Arrow
  • Eraser
  • Format
  • Undo/Redo
  • Clear
  • Save 

Zoom Tools

3. You can take a screenshot by selecting Save. The captured photo will be saved on the computer under the Zoom Folder in Documents.

Zoom screen shot

4. You can exit the tool by pressing the Cross icon at the top right corner of the annotation bar. On the left, if you are using a Mac.

Zoom Tool Close

If you do not have the annotation option available you may need to check your Zoom account.

  • Sign in to the Zoom web portal as in step 3. ( 
  • In the navigation panel, click Settings.
  • Click the Meeting tab.
  • Under Meeting (Basic), verify that Annotation is enabled.
  • If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialogue displays, click Turn On to verify the change.


Step Seven: Zoom Breakout Rooms

During your Zoom class, your academic may want you to do group work in Zoom breakout rooms.

7.1 Joining a Breakout Room

1. The host will need to invite you to join the breakout room.

2. Press Join once the pop up appears on your screen.

Join Breakout Room Click Join

3. If you select Not Now, you can join a Breakout Room by selecting the Breakout Rooms button on the bottom zoom toolbar.

Select Breakout Rooms on the Zoom toolbar

4. Select Join to enter your Breakout Room. You should see your name next to a room identifying which room you should join. 

Click Join to enter your breakout room

7.2 Participating in Zoom Breakout Room

Once you have joined the breakout room, you will have full controls similar to the meeting. You can:

Zoom Toolbar

  • Mute/Unmute to speak
  • Start/Stop Video/Camera
  • Participants - view the Participants list
  • Chat - type messages to the other participants in your breakout room
  • Share screen 
  • Ask For Help - request host for help.
  • Reactions - virtual emotes
  • Record - you can record the Breakout Room locally if the host gives you recording permission. Read more about local recording.

7.3 Asking for Help

You can request your host or academic to enter your Breakout Room if you require assistance.

1. Within the Breakout Room, select Ask for Help on the Zoom toolbar.

participant options for asking host for help in breakout room

2. A pop-up box will appear on your screen asking you to invite your host into your session. Select Invite Host.

Ask for help invite host pop up

Once sent, you might have to wait for a certain amount of time for your host to arrive.

7.4 Recording while in a Zoom Breakout Room

If you are a participant in a Zoom breakout room then the host needs to allow recording before opening the breakout rooms. If the host has already opened the breakouts rooms, they can join your breakout room to allow you to record.

Select Record on the Zoom Navbar

1. Click Record in the meeting controls to start a local recording.
2. The host will need to invite you to join the breakout room.
3. Click the pause or stop icon in the meeting controls to pause or stop the recording.

Select the Pause Resume Stop button to pause resume or stop the recordingjpg

The recording can also be stopped or paused by clicking the indicator in the top left corner of the Zoom page.

It's important to note that Zoom Recording is not available within most courses at VU. VU Polytechnic courses are allowed to record in certain units.

7.5 Leaving the Breakout Room

You can leave the breakout room and return to the main meeting session at any time, or you can leave the meeting entirely from the breakout room.

1. Select Leave Room to activate the leaving options.

Select Leave Room

2. Choose if you want to leave the breakout room or the entire meeting.

It's appropriate to select Leave Breakout Room when requested, by your academic.

Select to Leave Meeting or Leave Breakout Room

3. When the host ends the breakout rooms, you will be notified and given the option to return to the main room immediately, or in 60 seconds. You may select Leave Breakout Room to instantly leave it.

If the Breakout Room is being closed you may select to leave before the coutdown is complete

Step Eight: Leave a Session 

1. Click on Leave at the bottom right window.

2. Then click on Leave.

Zoom Update Leavebutton