Most of the synchronous events in the Academic Writing Studio happen on Zoom, a video conference application. This page provides more details about Zoom, how to use it, and where to find more help if you are having difficulties.
Zoom works best if you install their client on your desktop or phone. It’s a small app. I strongly recommend you do this if you can. If you don’t already have the app installed, you will be prompted to do so when you click on the meeting link. Or you can do this now from their website. Click on Resources in the black bar at the top, and “Download Zoom Client”.
Joining a Zoom event
Once you have the app installed, clicking on the URL in the event details will redirect you to the app. Alternatively, you can open the app, click on Join in the home screen, and then enter the Meeting ID, also listed in the event details.
For recurring events like A Meeting With Your Writing, clicking the downward pointing V at the edge of the box will bring up a list of Meeting IDs you have joined before so once you’ve joined A Meeting With Your Writing once, you can open your app, navigate to the Home screen, click Join, click that arrow, select A Meeting With Your Writing, write in the name you want me to call you and others to see, and click Join.
Using Zoom in your Browser
Zoom also works in your browser though the company says it’s not as good and might be missing some features. If you are using it in a browser and having difficulties try switching browsers.
To join in your browser, go to the Zoom homepage (zoom.us) you’ll see a link to “Join a Meeting” along the top. Clicking that brings up this screen.
Enter your Meeting ID (in the event details) and click Join.
Raising your hand & other features
The icons for turning your video on and off and muting and unmuting your audio are along the bottom of the Zoom window. The Video one looks like a video camera; the Audio one looks like a microphone. If you are muted or have your video off there will be a red diagonal line through the icon. I can also control your video and microphone from the Host’s Participant pane.
I will run A Meeting With Your Writing as an audio-only meeting though I might turn my video on or share the Writing in Progress sign. For live classes and office hours, having people turn on their video and then viewing in Gallery mode makes it feel more like a group. I have set all meetings to start with participant video turned off so you retain control over whether your video is on or off. If you navigate away from Zoom (e.g. to take notes in a document), your webcam is still sending us a picture of you.
The icon for Gallery mode looks like a 3×3 grid and is in the top right corner of your window. The alternative is Speaker mode (which is what you want to select for A Meeting With Your Writing) which shows the person speaking in a larger pane with smaller boxes for everyone else along the top.
When you are in a Zoom meeting, you will be able to click “Participants” to open a sidebar and see who else is in the meeting. At the bottom of that little window there should be a button to raise your hand. You can also edit the name that displays here if you like. Participants are listed in alphabetical order with those with hands raised floating to the top of the list. If you have your video on, you can just wave at me to raise your hand though using the Raise Hand feature in the participants pane puts people in order for me and makes sure I don’t miss anyone.
There is also a Chat feature. Clicking on Chat opens another sidebar window where you can text chat with either the whole group or individual participants. This can be useful if your microphone is not working or you are in a space where it’s difficult to talk.
For some classes it might be helpful to share your screen, e.g. to show me a section of your peer review comments in Dealing With Reviewer Comments. Click Share and then select the window you want to show. It’s best to wait until I invite you to do so.
Joining by phone
It is possible to join by phone and there are numbers in several countries. I’ve listed the numbers for countries where I know we have current members in the reminder emails and on the MWYW Info page. For the full list of numbers see https://zoom.us/u/abHDLYMvwn.
When joining by phone you should know that *6 toggles between muted and unmuted. I am able to mute all callers from the host interface. To raise your hand, use *9. I will not have your name next to your raised hand so will identify you by the last 4 digits of the phone number shown or by your country.
Need more information?
There is more information on the Zoom website about joining meetings and the technical specifications required. This information may be particularly helpful if you need to talk to tech support in your institution to troubleshoot any problems.