NIU partners with Zoom Video Communications

A+computer+desktop+lists+the+shortcut+to+Zoom%27s+video+conference+software.+

Patrick Murphy

A computer desktop lists the shortcut to Zoom’s video conference software.

Bisola Bello, Reporter

DeKALB — NIU has officially partnered with Zoom Video Communications. The university video conferencing platform was approved by the dean and provost for licensure right before the start of the fall semester. 

Microsoft Teams and Blackboard Collaborate are currently the main video conferencing platforms used for classroom use. Zoom has been added as an additional platform. 

 “Zoom has certain functions and capabilities that are helpful to instructors”, Matthew Parks, chief information officer of IT said. “Specifically a groups function that helps instructors divide classes into groups.” Zoom is an additional asset for students and faculty.

Remote learning has increased rapidly across the country, business and companies are transitioning to a work from home format. Zoom usage has increased rapidly. With increased usage of Zoom, certain security and technical problems have arisen. The platform initially struggled with security breaches and hacking. 

“Zoom is tied to a university account and account management,” Parks said. “An additional layer of security has been added to protect university users and secure the network.” 

Security and safety for students while using Zoom is also a top priority for instructors. 

Andrea Guzman, journalism and communication professor, said that students’ productivity and learning in addition to safety while using Zoom are of utmost importance. 

Guzman said that before the start of her Zoom classroom sessions, her students are properly screened while waiting in the virtual waiting room. She also said she encourages interactive learning and makes sure her students are able to interact through breakout team meetings on Zoom. 

“There is a method to this madness,” Guzman said. “Instructors are monitoring and taking feedback from students regarding remote learning and using video conferencing platforms like Zoom.”

Guzman said that before the start of her Zoom classroom sessions, her students are properly screened while waiting in the virtual waiting room. She also said she encourages interactive learning and makes sure her students are able to interact through breakout team meetings on Zoom. 

“Consistency is key, Guzman said. “Going forward students can know what to expect with remote learning during the spring semester.”