Osher Online - Winter 2021

Zoom Basics

What is Zoom?

Zoom is MU’s centrally supported video conferencing platform that provides high- definition, interactive collaboration tools and telephone conferencing to use for communication and collaboration.

The application is free to use. You do not need to purchase a subscription to use Zoom to take an Osher@Mizzou class or attend a meeting or gathering.

How do I join a class in Zoom?

You will be sent email invitations for each of the classes for which you’ve registered. Simply click the link to access your class (or, if you are using the app on your smart phone or tablet, type in the meeting ID number). Every week the class meets, you’ll use the same link.

A Zoom account isn’t required to attend a class session. Anyone can attend a class session using their laptop or desktop (Windows or Mac), tablet, smartphone (iPhone or Android) or landline.

  • If you haven’t used Zoom before, leave about 5 minutes to set it up before your first use.
  • If you are planning on using a laptop or desktop, the first time you click on a link it will download a free and secure program to your computer.
  • If you are planning on using a tablet or smartphone, you’ll want to download the free and secure Zoom app from your application store.

Click here for a 1-minute video on How to Join a Zoom Meeting.

What equipment do I need to get started?

At the most basic level, all you need to use Zoom is a telephone, such as a smartphone or landline. However, if you have access to a computer or mobile device you can use the full capabilities of Zoom.

The following equipment will enhance your experience but is not necessary:

  1. Web camera: A camera will increase your connection with your meeting host and your peers by allowing you to see each other face-to-face. If you do not have access to a web camera, you will still be able to see the meeting host. (Most modern computers have web cams built into them!)
  2. Headset with a microphone: This will let you hear and be heard more clearly. This does not need to be fancy equipment; it can be the same as the headphones you might use with your phone.
  3. Charger: Charge your device so you don’t run out of power!

What to Expect for Your Class(es)

Please plan to join the Zoom session a few minutes ahead of the official class start time. When you successfully connect with the Zoom session, you will be held in a “Waiting Room” – this means that an Osher staff person is working with the instructor to make sure their presentations are ready to go. Once everything is set, the host will add you to the meeting.

Once the class begins, all participants will be muted so that you all may hear the instructor only (or the Osher staff person, when necessary). To ask questions of the instructor or staff, please use the CHAT button on your menu bar. (There may be time at the end of class when students may be “unmuted” to engage in conversation.)

Before you join the session, you may see an option for entering your name; please use your first and last name when signing in to Osher Zoom classes. If you miss this option, please update your name after joining the session.

We hope you enjoy connecting with your Osher instructor and classmates in this fashion while we’re all experiencing life from our homes!

FAQs and Advice

Here are some lessons learned since beginning online classes in March of 2020.


I cannot hear the presenter.

  • If using a computer, always select the JOIN WITH COMPUTER AUDIO button when it prompts you.
  • If using a smart phone or tablet, select CALL VIA DEVICE AUDIO when it prompts you.
  • Still can’t hear? Make sure you TEST YOUR SPEAKER AND MICROPHONE. Hover your mouse over the Zoom window to bring up your Zoom toolbar. Click on the UP ARROW to the right of the MICROPHONE ICON. Select ”Test My Speaker and Microphone” and follow the steps carefully.

    Click here for a 1-minute video about testing your equipment.

I only see the instructor and cannot see my co-students (during open discussion).

  • Zoom allows each user to set his/her own view during the meeting. If you are only seeing one person at a time in a large box, you are likely in SPEAKER VIEW.
  • When using a computer, hover your mouse over your Zoom window to bring up the toolbar. Look in the TOP RIGHT of your Zoom window for icons that allow you to change your view. GALLERY VIEW allows you to see everyone in the meeting; when in gallery view, you may need to click the left and right arrows to see additional pages of people.
  • If using a smart phone or tablet, tap your screen to look for your various VIEW options. Look for GALLERY VIEW to see your co-students. You may have to swipe left and right to see all of your co- students in the larger classes.

When my instructor is sharing her screen, I cannot see the presentation.

  • Again, you have control over which VIEW you are seeing.
  • If using a computer, hover your mouse over your Zoom window and look for the various view icons in the TOP RIGHT of the Zoom window. Select one of those options to make a change.
  • If using a smart phone or tablet, tap your screen to look for your various VIEW options.

 I cannot find the CHAT function to leave a comment or ask a questions.

  • If you are on a computer, hover your mouse over the Zoom window to bring up the toolbar. If CHAT is not one of the options, look for the MORE option. Click MORE to see additional Zoom options, such as CHAT.
  • If you are using your smart phone or tablet, tap on your screen to bring up your Zoom options. If you do not see CHAT right away, look for the MORE option to see additional features.

I'm having issues that I cannot solve during my class.

  • If you are having bandwidth issues (choppiness, delays, garbled audio, etc.), try turning off your video/ webcam. The “Stop Video” option is right next to the “Mute” option on most devices
  • Please email Osher@Mizzou.edu or call (573) 882-8189 and leave a message. The Osher staff and interns will be monitoring their inboxes during the classes and will contact you as soon as possible.

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