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.

  • University of Bath teaching and research staff have a licensed account that allows them to host Zoom meetings using their University credentials (via Single Sign On).
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (PGT and PGR) also have licensed Zoom accounts. They have the ability to host meetings for longer than 40 minutes, if they have logged in with their University credentials (via Single Sign On).
  • If a student has a basic Zoom account and requires a licence upgrade to allow them to teach regularly on Zoom, this can be requested by the Unit Convenor. Contact tel@bath.ac.uk with the unit code, username of student, and reason for uprgade.

Zoom is integrated with Moodle, allowing staff to invite cohorts of students to timetabled teaching sessions from their Moodle pages. Zoom is not yet 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

  • Zoom meetings have a limit of 300 people per meeting.  If greater capacity is required, Large Meeting Room licenses can be purchased by individuals for either one month or one year.
  • Zoom can be used for fully online and hybrid teaching sessions. 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 or during 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 meeting hosts). Download the meeting chat before ending the meeting so that you can respond to queries from students at a later date if you cannot 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.
  • Live transcription is available in Zoom meetings.

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 regularly, have other hosts, and/or wish to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms (Zoom)
  • I want to occasionally use breakout rooms (Zoom or Teams)
  • 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 students to be able to hold a meeting with each other for group work (Teams or Zoom (limited to 40 mins if the user does not have a licensed account))
  • I want to hold an online meeting where restricted use or sensitive data may be shared (Teams, but be aware of viewing permissions if the meeting is recorded)
  • 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.

FeatureZoom meetingMicrosoft Teams meeting
Number of participants3001000 (limited to 300 if using breakout rooms)
PollingIn-built multiple choicePossible with other applications such as Forms, although to limited to one question only per poll
Breakout roomsYesYes
Guest accessYes (must have a free Zoom account)Yes
Waiting roomYesYes
Maximum number of participant webcams viewable499 (49 if set to Large Gallery View)
Live captionsYesYes
Annotate screenYesNo
Set a meeting passcodeYes (to restrict a meeting to specific invitees only)No
Mobile appYesYes
Raise handsYesYes
Turn off participant videoYesNo
Turn off participant chatYesYes
Mute participants on entryYesNo
Record directly to Re:View (Panopto)YesNo


Updated on: 24 September 2020