Zoom Meetings for Graduate Defenses

Graduate students, in conjunction with their advisors and/or committee members, can choose the platform they wish to use for their remote defenses. Zoom is strongly recommended, as it is paid for and officially supported by the university. All UNL faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom and can host Zoom meetings with up to 300 people, so students can set up their own Zoom meeting for their defense and provide the link to for distribution as needed. More information about Zoom is available on the ITS service catalog page for Zoom at https://its.unl.edu/services/zoom/.

After finalizing a date and time for their defense, graduate students should schedule a Zoom meeting to facilitate their defense by following these steps:

  1. To schedule a Zoom meeting, users must start at https://unl.zoom.us and click the Login link in the top right corner of the page, and then log in with their MyUNL account (same credentials as Canvas).
    1. After logging in, use the blue Schedule a New Meeting button.
    2. Populate the required Topic (meeting name, e.g. John Doe's Defense), When (date/time), and Duration fields.
    3. The following settings are recommended:
      1. Registration: Do not click the Required box.
      2. Meeting ID: Generate Automatically
      3. Security: You'll be required to either enable a password or the waiting room feature, but can do both if you choose.
      4. Video: Defaulting video to off for both hosts and participants is generally recommended, as video can be turned on individually when needed.
      5. Audio: Both (this enables participants to call in from a telephone instead of listening to audio through the internet).
      6. Uncheck the "Allow participants to join anytime" option to prevent your Zoom meeting room from being used by a third party.
      7. Check the box to "Mute participants upon entry" to avoid interruption from participants speaking while their microphone is enabled.
      8. If you are expecting only UNL faculty, staff, and students to join your meeting, check the "Only authenticated users can join" to require participants to log in using their MyUNL account. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked so that anyone can join without logging in.
      9. If you want to record your presentation, click the checkbox for "Record the meeting automatically" and select "In the cloud". You'll receive an email message from Zoom after the meeting has ended, and it will include a link to your recording.
      10. Consider adding your advisor and/or another designee as an alternate host, which would allow them to assist with the Zoom meeting while you present if someone needs to be admitted in to the meeting (if you're using the waiting room feature), if another participant's microphone needs to be muted, or something similar.
  2. Share the Join URL for your Zoom meeting with the School of Computing Graduate Secretary so she can include it in the announcement about your presentation.
  3. Send your slide deck to committee members in advance so they can follow along from their own file if there are technical difficulties with the screen sharing functionality during your live Zoom meeting. If there is no animation or video in your slides, consider exporting them to a PDF file before sending to others.
  4. On the day of your Zoom meeting (defense), make sure to log in to https://unl.zoom.us using your MyUNL credentials by clicking the Login link in the top right corner of the page before launching the meeting to ensure that you have Host priviliges to start the meeting and manage options while the meeting is in progress.
  5. If you enabled automatic recording, you can pause recording after launching the Zoom meeting until you're ready to begin your presentation if you wish, but make sure remember to un-pause the record function at the appropriate time.
  6. After launching the Zoom meeting, make sure to Join Audio and Start Video so participants can see and hear you.
  7. Use the green Share Screen button to share your slides by sharing either a single application (e.g. PowerPoint) or your entire desktop.
  8. Make sure to use the red End Meeting button once your presentation has been completed. This closes the Zoom meeting for all participants and stops the recording.

With the approval of your committee, consider recording segments of your presentation in advance using a tool like VidGrid and sending a link for the video(s) to committee members so they can view it ahead of time, saving the live Zoom meeting for questions and answers. This hybrid approach can help to mitigate technical difficulties with a live remote presentation.

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Working Remotely