Communication and course materials can be disseminated by using: 

  • Email for direct communication. 
  • UMBox for course material distribution. 
  • Zoom for live communication with students and hosting your classes online. 
  • Moodle for course announcements, assignments, course materials, lecture notes or PowerPoints, quizzes, assessments/exams, and forum discussions. Moodle is an accessible platform. 
  • ABBY Fine Reader is an OCR document converter service that IT has available. This will assist in making your PDFs accessible to students. 
  • Upload all your course materials to one accessible location. Include your syllabus, assignments and rubrics in a single folder.
  • Share your folder with your students, with limited permissions.
  • Review the UM Box Support page.
  • Review the box support knowledge base for frequently asked questions and troubleshooting.
  • For a self-paced tutorial on using Moodle, you can self-enroll in Moodle Basics for Faculty. This tutorial covers most features of UM's version of Moodle and modules can be viewed in any order.
  • To limit potential technical difficulties use Chrome or Firefox Web pages.
  • Notify your students that they will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and save PDF files and a word processing program that can open and edit Word documents. The University of Montana provides Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for free to UM Students.
  • Review UMOnline's Moodle Resource Page.
  • To track your students' attendance and activities in Moodle, check out our Moodle Report information.

NOTE: Zoom cloud has been experiencing delays in recording processing of up to 24 hours. UMOnline still strongly recommends that everyone use the cloud recording so that your recordings get transcribed for accessibility purposes. Please only record what is necessary. Please do not set up automatic recording in your settings.

REMINDER: Make sure your Zoom desktop clients are updated. Old versions that have not been updated could pose a security risk.


  • Connectivity problems can happen. If students are experiencing difficulties let them know it's okay and they should rejoin as they are able.
  • Use a microphone or headset. The audio quality using these tools is typically better than your computer’s built-in options.
  • Control background noise. Ask your students to stay muted unless they are going to speak. Encourage the use of earbuds or headphones and refrain from typing unless they are muted. Instructors also have the ability to mute all participants. NOTE: Due to campus-based emergency circumstances students may not always be able to find quiet space and control interruptions by roommates, spouses, children, and pets.
  • Consider using Zoom's built-in Chat feature or keeping the video feed off. This frees Internet bandwidth, allowing students to listen without worrying about their appearance.
  • To track your students' attendance on Zoom, check out our Zoom Tracking pdf.
  • For synchronous (real-time) online sessions be aware that you’re often being invited into a student’s home. Please practice respect and understanding.
  • Update your security features after reviewing our our Mischief Prevention Chapter in our Moodle Basics for Faculty course. 
  • More tips and tricks for using Zoom can be found on UMOnline's Zoom page and by self-enrolling in our Zoom Web Conferencing step-by-step guide.

Note: Tips for Using Zoom was inspired by Seattle Pacific University's Wiki Page.

Please watch this short video on Zoom, provided by Jeff Meese, UM College of Business.

Co-Hosting vs. Alternative Hosts in Zoom

Zoom includes features that allow hosts to distribute hosting duties with other users, which is especially helpful for large meetings or classes. There are several important considerations when using these features, however.


Co-hosts are an in-meeting feature that allows the host or instructor to manage the administrative side of the meeting, such as muting participants or starting/stopping the recording. You can assign a co-host while you and the user you wish to promote to co-host are logged into the meeting. If you are added as a co-host, the original meeting host will remain the primary and have control of everything, including recording.

More on co-hosts and complete instructions can be found in the Zoom documentation.

Alternative Hosts

"Alternative Host" is an option for scheduled Zoom meetings. If you schedule a meeting you can appoint an alternative host to start the meeting on your behalf. The alternative host will be notified via email or calendar appointment with a join link. This option can be found in the desktop client and web client ( You can visit Zoom's Alternative Hosts page, for more information.

Another advanced feature is the ability to appoint an individual to schedule meetings on your behalf. Users with the scheduling privilege will be able to act as co-host (or if they start the meeting) and manage all your meetings, so this permission should only be granted to a highly trusted individual. You can visit Zoom's Scheduling Privilege page, for more information.

Other Considerations

Please note that if you wish to retain your primary host permissions and access to recordings and your scheduled meetings, you cannot have another person set these features up for you. You will need to appoint co-hosts in-meeting or alternative hosts while scheduling your meeting. The same applies to give someone scheduling permissions. If someone offers to do any of this for you, you will not be the primary host in the meeting and will not have control of any meeting assets, like recordings.

Another best practice is to join your scheduled meetings or personal meeting room from or while logged in to the desktop Zoom client, rather than via the public join link that you share with others. This will ensure that you have host control over your own meetings even if you have appointed an alternative host.

Interested in Pre-Recording Your Zoom Session?

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library are taking appointments to assist! The Library has a One Button Studio and a Lightboard Studio that you can use, along with many other services such as scanning class materials for your students. Scanning services include books, microfilms, microfiche, slides, photographs, and even some films!