Student Guide to Using Zoom to Participate in and Create Meetings

Table of contents

Who can use Zoom?

Zoom is a web conferencing service available for use by the University of Maryland community. UMD students are provided a Zoom Pro account that allows you to host an unlimited number of Zoom meetings with up to 300 attendees. If you wish to host more attendees, contact the Service Desk. Before you can use your UMD Zoom account for the first time, you must authenticate it.


Authenticate your Zoom account

Before you can use your UMD Zoom account for the first time, you must authenticate it.

  1. Go to Zoom where you can configure your account profile, access meetings to which you have been invited and set up meetings.
  2. Click the button labelled Sign in. You will be redirected to a CAS Single Sign On (SSO) screen where you should log in.
    Zoom SSO Sign in
  3. Click Continue and login with your university Directory ID and password.
    Zoom Sign in

NOTE: If you create a meeting and run it, you are the Host. If you join a meeting, you are a Participant. Only the meeting Host can record it.

To learn more about signing in with SSO (university credentials), see Sign in to Zoom.


Get the Zoom client or mobile app

In addition to signing into Zoom via the web portal, you can download the desktop client, available from the Zoom download center or the mobile app (see Mobile app for details). You will launch Zoom via the Zoom icon on your local computer or mobile device and choose the Sign In with SSO option.

Once you have successfully signed in the Zoom client landing page enables you to Join an upcoming meeting, Start a meeting you have already scheduled, schedule a meeting for the future, or initiate a new meeting on the fly. 

Zoom client home page.

The gear icon in the top right of the screen enables you to access Settings related to your default uses of Zoom as both a host and a participant.  The user icon (usually will be your initials) also enables you to manage certain aspects of your Zoom account, most notably checking for software updates and signing out. It is an excellent best practice to Check for updates once a week because Zoom is working continuously to improve the security of the tool and provide enhanced features that are only available if you are running the most current version of the software.


Join a Zoom meeting via your ELMS-Canvas course

Instructors may schedule Zoom meetings within their ELMS-Canvas course spaces.

You must authenticate your Zoom account at or via the Zoom client before accessing a class meeting via the Zoom link in an instructor's course space or an invitation link that is sent to you by your instructor. Simply logging into ELMS does not authenticate you to Zoom.

Those not logged into a UMD Zoom account before clicking the meeting link in ELMS will be placed into a waiting room until a host admits them to the meeting because they are not recognized as a valid UMD Zoom account holder; Instructors have the option for disabling the waiting room. For more information, see Zoom Waiting Room Requirement: Managing Meeting Access for UMD and External Collaborators. 

To access a Zoom meeting room in ELMS:

  1. Click on the Zoom link in the course navigation.
  2. Click the Join button in the Upcoming Meetings tab to join a current Zoom meeting.

    ELMS Zoom page.


Schedule Zoom meetings using the web or app

Students can schedule Zoom meetings to communicate and collaborate with peers. In such meetings students will serve as the "host". To schedule a Zoom meeting:

  1. Go to Zoom or launch the Zoom client (see Get the Zoom client or mobile app above).
  2. Sign in with your CAS credentials (Directory ID and password).
  3. Click Meetings.
  4. Click Schedule a New Meeting to schedule a meeting.
  5. Set up the meeting options. There are a variety of settings that you can change, including whether or not video will be on for meeting participants by default.
  6. A waiting room will be enabled for your meeting room by default; there is an option to disable the waiting room.
  7. Click Save once you have finished setting up the meeting. The meeting information will display.
  8. The Join URL can be shared with potential attendees. Copy, paste and send the join URL to invite others to your Zoom meeting.

Note to affiliate and associate account students

If you are a student at UMD with an Associate account (Associate Account and Affiliate Account Comparison), you will not have a Zoom Pro account through UMD and associated features. You will not be able to log in through the UMD Zoom portal. However, you can still join Zoom meetings by using a personal Zoom account.