What do we mean?

  • Online whiteboard: an online digital canvas allowing collaboration and saving of the completed canvas.
  • Synchronous meeting: a meeting where participants can communicate live, in real time.
  • Polling: requiring participants to indicate a response to a question. Replies are received instantly.
  • Breakout rooms: participants move from the online meeting space to smaller meeting rooms, often for discussion or to collaborate.


Zoom meetings

Zoom meetings are designed to be highly collaborative, giving attendees the ability to use audio and video, share their screen, and annotate in a live, interactive environment.

Most University of Bath staff have the ability to host Zoom meetings using their University credentials (via Single Sign On). Students do not have the ability to host meetings, but can attend them via SSO. Zoom will be integrated with Moodle (details to follow), allowing staff to invite cohorts of students to timetabled teaching sessions from their Moodle pages (Zoom meetings will be automatically added to a Moodle page's calendar). However, Zoom will not be integrated with Outlook calendars so participants must be notified of meetings via other routes of communication such as Moodle or by direct email.

Zoom for learning and teaching

  • Like Teams, Zoom meetings have a limit of 300 people per meeting.
  • Zoom can be used for synchronous teaching sessions and workshops etc. Build and pre-record content in Re:View and Moodle so that your online teaching sessions in Zoom are focused and engaging. We do not recommend simply mirroring a traditional one or two-hour lecture in a Zoom meeting.
  • Control the meeting set-up by enabling waiting rooms, muting participants upon entry and setting a meeting passcode.
  • Breakout rooms can be automatically or manually assigned (either during the meeting itself or in advance). These allow small group discussions to take place between participants.
  • During a Zoom meeting the host can run quick multiple-choice polls. These can also be created prior to the meeting.
  • Zoom supports content sharing either by PowerPoint, browser window, or entire screen. Students can share content if required, and multiple participants can share content at once. Staff (and if permitted) students can annotate over the screen with a range of built-in tools. Likewise,  students and staff can use an online whiteboard with multiple pages - this is especially useful for those with touchscreen devices.
  • Staff and students can chat with all participants or individuals, and staff can disable chat if required (or only allow messages to be sent by meetings hosts). Download the meeting chat before ending the meeting so that you can respond to queries from students at a later date if you can not answer them during the meeting.
  • Invite external guests to take part in Zoom meetings. For example, a guest lecturer or industry expert who can answer questions on their area of expertise.

Comparison between Zoom and Microsoft Teams

Although Teams and Zoom have many similar features, they do offer different meeting experiences and collaboration opportunities.

Zoom is the platform best suited to delivering teaching due to its advanced meeting controls and feature-rich annotation features. In this respect, Zoom is best described as webinar software.

Microsoft Teams enables colleagues to communicate and collaborate together in online meetings and have a shared team space for collaborating on documents and chat. It also offers additional tools as part of Office365, such as OneNote which can be used for teaching and learning.

In the case of both tools, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do not post links to any meeting you arrange on a public-facing web site, or broadcast via Twitter or any other open social media platform as you will be opening your meeting up to the possibility of attracting unwanted participants.  We recommend that links are only shared directly to participants or via 'closed' web pages.  This means that links to LOIL or IPT sessions for students should be posted on the relevant Moodle unit page.


  • I want to use breakout rooms (Zoom)
  • I want to run a teaching session and have control over participants, such as enabling waiting rooms (Zoom)
  • I want to schedule the meeting with a cohort through Moodle (Zoom or Teams)
  • I want my meeting to be integrated with my Outlook calendar (Teams)
  • I want the meeting recording to appear in Re:View/Panopto without an additional upload (Zoom)
  • I want students and/or staff to annotate my screen (Zoom)
  • I want to share my screen and/or a presentation (Zoom or Teams)
  • I want to control who can share their screens, and/or share multiple screens (Zoom)
  • I want to control who can chat/share their video and/or audio (Zoom)
  • I want to hold a meeting with my colleagues (Teams)
  • I want to students to be able to hold a meeting with each other for group work (Teams or Zoom (limited to 40 mins))
  • I want to hold an online meeting where restricted use or sensitive data may be shared (Teams)
  • I want to work on shared Microsoft Office documents and share files (Teams)
  • I want my students to collaborate on a project or presentation (Teams)

Below are some of the key features of both Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This list is not exhaustive.

Feature Zoom meeting Microsoft Teams meeting
Number of participants 300 300
Polling In-built multiple choice Possible with other applications such as Forms or Polly, although to limited to one question only per poll
Breakout rooms Yes No - although workarounds do exist
Guest access Yes Yes
Waiting room Yes Yes
Maximum number of participant webcams viewable 49 9 (49 is also possible depending on version of software and settings)
Live captions No Yes
Annotate screen Yes No
Set a meeting passcode Yes (to restrict a meeting to specific invitees only) No
Whiteboard Yes Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes
Raise hands Yes Yes
Turn off participant video Yes No
Turn off participant chat Yes No
Mute participants on entry Yes No
Recording Yes Yes
Recording directly to Panopto Yes No


Updated on: 24 September 2020