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Zoom Features for Online Learning

May 2, 2020

Technology has made online learning easier and more accessible. With online learning, you can connect with students and teachers from around the world . . . all while sitting at home!

For online learning, many schools use Zoom, which provides a free video chat service. If your teacher uses Zoom, spend some time getting to know the features of Zoom for online learning. This will make your experience even more enjoyable.

Zoom Features for Online Learning


Chat allows you to send messages and links to the group. It does not interrupt the speaker, so it is a great way to ask questions without stopping the class lecture. 

The host can also choose if you can send private messages to other members of the class. Most hosts will turn this function off, but your instructor may think it is necessary for some groups. 

You can save your chat messages after a meeting. This will help you save important information and links. 

Learn more about Zoom chat: 

Virtual Backgrounds

Virtual backgrounds allow you to select an image or video as the background for your video conference. Zoom recommends that you use a background that has green in it. The company also says to make sure that the lighting in your room or office is uniform (there shouldn’t be an open and uncovered window behind you or to the side of you). We also recommend testing your background to make sure that it works: try a Zoom test to see if your background will work. 

Learn more about Zoom virtual backgrounds:

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow you to “break out” (separate from a group) and go into smaller groups. This allows you to work in a small group on a separate project. For English learning, this is a great feature! You should expect your teacher to use breakout rooms during your class sessions, so make sure you are comfortable with how they work. 

Learn more about Zoom breakout rooms:  

Video Call Facetime Chatting Communication Concept

Sharing a Screen

Zoom allows any person in the meeting to share his or her computer screen with the rest of the class. Only one person can do this at a time, and the person who is sharing their screen must click on “Stop Sharing Screen” before another person can show their screen. 

Learn more about Zoom screen sharing in this informational video:


The whiteboard feature of Zoom works just like a classroom whiteboard. You have the ability to draw, write text, and make shapes. To use this, you must first share your screen with the class. 

A unique feature of the whiteboard is that you can save the whiteboard. Teachers may choose to do this and then email their students the saved whiteboard after class. 

Learn more about Zoom whiteboard:

Transcription of meetings

If your host allows it, you can save an audio recording of your meeting, This will make it easy for you to review the meeting and take notes. This function is only available to Business or Enterprise accounts on Zoom. 

Watch this video for information about recording meetings:

Learn more about Zoom transcription:


Did you know that you can participate in a poll on Zoom? Your teacher may use this feature to ask the class some questions. 

Learn more about Zoom polling:

What are some more online features you love about Zoom? Tell us on social media!

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Happy online learning!

IEC@OCC uses Zoom for online learning. Would you like to join one of our engaging online English classes? Contact us to learn more about enrolling in our online courses. 


Video: A Day in the Life of an IEC@OCC Student

Our academic English language program has challenging, fun classes and a variety of activities to help students learn English and make friends! Watch our student Jing Jing go through a day here at IEC@OCC. See more IEC@OCC content on our YouTube channel!…

November 6, 2019