Zoom feature requests for effective teaching

I taught many courses using Zoom in spring 2020. Overall, a great tool. I did not have to read a single line of documentation to get started. I never had an issue with Zoom in any of my classes. It just worked. That said, I wish it had the following features: [Perhaps these features already exist. However, I could not find them after a cursory search of the documentation.]

  1. Ability to switch between two screens quickly: I used two monitors. One monitor had my Excel/Word files. The other monitor was a Wacom tablet on which I wrote with an e-Pen. I wanted to switch back and forth between the two monitors quickly. I found clicking the share button and then picking the screen tedious when I had to do it many times. There should be a button on each screen that one can simply click to start sharing that screen.
  2. Ability to assign a student a fixed spot on the screen: When I teach discussion-based classes in a physical classroom, I require that the students sit in the same seat in every class. I also require that team members sit together. This makes it easy to address them when the company assigned to their team is being discussed. This was not possible to do in Zoom. Student videos occupied a different spot on the screen each time they logged in. It was difficult to identify team members and track them. I wish I could assign them a spot on the screen in advance of the class, or shuffle the location of the video tiles, as I took turns to discuss each team’s write-up. It was also quite distracting when the location of their video changed depending on who was speaking or when they flipped their video on and off.

A minor issue: The polling feature worked, but it wasn’t as intuitive as the other Zoom features.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Karthik

    Prof have you tried add-ons with Zoom for polling.

    1. dangode

      I am not even aware of any add-ons. Which ones do you recommend?

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