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Student Guide for Zoom

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Accessing Zoom

Some of your faculty may choose to hold class or office hours live via Zoom, which is SFA’s web conferencing platform. If so, they’ll likely announce that intention via email to your account or in Brightspace. We encourage you to follow the steps in advance of your scheduled class or meeting time so that, should technical issues arise, you have time to resolve them.

  1. Authenticate your Zoom account by either:
    1. Logging into mySFA and clicking the Zoom button.
      mysfa zoom button
    2. Visiting and clicking Sign In.
      zoom login page
  2. Once you’re logged into Zoom, you can choose to join a meeting (information about doing so will be provided by your faculty) or to schedule or host a meeting of your own (useful for continuing work on group projects).
    schedule join or host a meeting in zoom
  3. You can also elect to install Zoom Launcher on your desktop or the Zoom app on your mobile device. If you do so, once the program/app is installed, select Sign In with SSO, type sfasu when prompted to enter the domain, then enter your mySFA credentials. Once you’re logged in, click the Launch Zoom button.
    sign in with sso thumbnail sso domain thumbnail

Zoom FAQs

What device can I use to join a Zoom meeting? 

You can use a desktop, tablet, or smartphone to join a Zoom meeting. Tablets and smartphones will require you to install the Zoom app.

Can I login with my Yahoo, Gmail, or private email for Zoom? 

No. Regular Zoom accounts do not have the advanced features of SFA Zoom accounts. Please log into Zoom using your mySFA credentials to ensure that you have all features necessary to have a positive experience.  

Do I need to have a webcam or a headset? 

Maybe. If you are using your smartphone or tablet, your microphone and camera are built in.

If you are using a laptop, the device likely has a microphone and webcam. You can check for these by looking at the top edge of your laptop screen. A built-in webcam is a small circle lens, and a microphone is typically a large pin hole.  

Some desktops may need a webcam or headset. PC desktops do not typically come with a microphone, but they often have 3.5mm jacks (looks like a headphone jack) or USB drives into which a headset or webcam can be plugged.

My instructor gets into Zoom through Brightspace. Can I do the same? 

No. Students do not have access to Zoom through Brightspace. Instead, login using one of the methods described at the top of this page. 

All my instructor sent me was an email with a link. Don’t I need the meeting ID? 

The link you received is called a join URL. You can use it to join the meeting. Simply click the link to download the Zoom Launcher and follow the on-screen instructions. (The meeting ID is also the last part of the join URL. So, for the join URL, 1234567889 is the meeting ID.)

Why can I only see myself in the meeting?  

There are two possible answers for this:

  1. You are in a meeting by yourself. This happens if you click “Start Meeting” or try to join a meeting that has ended.
  2. You are in the pre-meeting screen. Return to the email your instructor sent and click the join URL.  

I cannot see my instructor. 

Your instructor might not have his/her camera turned on. You can control whether your camera is on as well. In the lower left corner of the window are toggle buttons for the microphone and camera. Click them to turn your microphone and camera on or off.

mute video buttons

I cannot hear my instructor. 

When you first join a meeting, you should see a pop-up that says “Join Computer Audio.” Be sure to click it so you can hear your instructor and everyone else can hear you. If you do not see the pop-up, look for and click the icon in the bottom left of the screen says “Join Computer Audio.”

join audio

I can see my instructor, but the video and audio is lagging.

This tends to be a network problem, and often happens in places where mobile networks can be slow. Make sure your device is connected to WiFi and not mobile data. You can also turn off your video to help.

I can see my instructor, but the audio is cutting in and out.  

This tends to be a network problem, and often happens in places where mobile networks can be slow. Make sure your device is connected to WiFi and not mobile data. You can also turn off your video to help.

My instructor has Zoom office hours. How is this different than a class meeting? 

Zoom office hours are just like face-to-face office hours; your instructor will be logged in and available to meet with you. This is a great way to address questions or concerns without having to come to campus.

How do I know if my instructor is recording a Zoom meeting?  

You’ll see a red flashing light in the top left corner of the screen if your instructor is recording the meeting. If you don’t see it, you can always ask the instructor if they plan to record the meeting.  

My instructor shared the recording from class, but when I try to view it, I get an error that says I do not have access to the video.  

If this happens, make sure you are signed in with your mySFA login and let your instructor know you cannot access the video. Your instructor may have accidentally shared the host-only link to a video.

Do I need to download any videos?  

No. Zoom uses a cloud server so the videos will always be available as long as the link isn’t changed or removed.

I need to meet with my classmates to complete a group assignment. How do I schedule that meeting in Zoom?

Schedule a meeting by clicking the Schedule a New Meeting button and filling the boxes with appropriate information. In the When fields, enter the date and time your group has agreed to meet. Enter the appropriate information in the Duration fields as well. Complete the remaining fields as desired. Click Save.

Zoom Resources

The SFA Help Desk offers a number of helpful videos that may be of use to you as you prepare to use Zoom.

Have questions about your device, webcam, microphone, or details about how to use Zoom? Call the Help Desk at 936.468.4357.