Instructions and Tips

Zoom Instructions for Online Courses

If you haven’t used Zoom before, it should take under 5 minutes to set it up and we are here to help anyone who needs some assistance. Call us!

If you are planning on using a laptop or desktop, the first time you click on a Zoom link it will download a free and secure program to your computer. Here’s a link to use to start that process:

If you are planning on using a tablet or smartphone, you’ll want to download the free and secure Zoom application from your application store (App Store). Search for “Zoom Cloud Meeting.” When you open the app, it might ask for permission to use your camera and mic. Say yes.

Below are links to two quick videos that will further introduce you to Zoom.

  • 1 minute video about joining Zoom.
  • 1 minute video about testing your equipment. We recommend testing your microphone, speakers and video. Video is good to have, but not necessary, so if you only have audio, that’s okay.

What Equipment Do I Need to Get Started?

We recommend that you use a laptop or desktop computer for the best Zoom experience. However, a tablet, such as an i-pad, or a smartphone (i-phone or Android) can also be used by download the “Zoom Cloud Meeting” application (see above). It’s probably best to only use one device during a Zoom session since two members of a household using separate devices could slow down your transmission speed, thereby reducing overall quality.

Link to Customizing your profile (display name “Zoom Name”)

Equipment To Enhance Your Zoom Experience

Web Camera — The camera on your laptop, desktop, i-pad or other notebook, or smartphone will increase your connection with your instructor and your peers by allowing you to see each other face-to-face. However, if your equipment doesn’t have a camera (highly unlikely), you will still be able to see the instructor.

Microphone — The microphone built into your laptop, desktop, i-pad, notebook, smartphone is sufficient. However, if you have a headset with a microphone, this will let you hear and be heard more clearly. This does not need to be fancy equipment; it can be the same as the headphones you might use with your phone. The key is that the headset must have a microphone. If you don’t have a headset, don’t worry; the microphone built into your device will be sufficient.

Charger — Try and have your device fully charged before you begin your Zoom session. And by all means, have your charger close by in case your battery begins to run low. This will ensure that you do not have an unexpected power outage interrupting your learning.

Check your audio and video before your class starts.

Review the one-minute video about testing your equipment.

Here are two challenges of using Zoom, and how you can address them before they happen.

How Do I Chat on Zoom?

In your controls at the bottom window, click Chat. If you are on a mobile device, tap Participants, then Chat.

The chat window will open on the right side of your screen if you are not in full screen mode.

  1. You can type your message into the chat window and press Enter to send your message.

Zoom instructional pic

Additional Help 

Zoom also has many helpful tutorials located here. Please check these videos for additional answers about using Zoom effectively.

APCUG’s Tips for participating in a Zoom meeting
Do I need a Zoom account to participate in a meeting? No; only the person who coordinates/hosts the meeting needs an account.

What do I need to participation in a Zoom meeting? Computer with a web cam* & microphone Laptop Tablet (Android or iOS) Smartphone *If you do not have a web camera, you can still participate in the meeting. You will be able to hear and see everyone; they will not be able to see you. They will see a silhouette or your username.

How do I download Zoom? Go to and download the app for the device you will be using to participate in the meeting. The first option is for computers.

If you haven’t downloaded Zoom when you click on the Zoom URL in the invitation email, you will be prompted to download the app.