Video Conferencing Best Practices

Mills uses video conferencing such such as Zoom and Google Meet for teaching and connecting to Mills community members online. Preparing for your online meeting—including pre-testing your setup and taking proper security stepscan improve your video conference experience.

Preparation & Testing | Security | Tips For a Good Video Conference


Preparation and Testing

Download and Install Apps or Add-ins

There are many video conferencing services. Some that you may be asked to join require that you install an app or add-in first. A few of the services Mills uses for video conferencing are:

Please note: Make sure your apps are updated at all times.

Test Everything

Before scheduling an official meeting, make sure that you've tested everything fully.

Make sure:

  1. You are able to log into the video conferencing service
  2. You can create and/or join a meeting successfully
  3. Your video camera and microphone are working
  4. You are able to share your screen and present materials

Additional Help

If you have any questions or concerns about video conferencing, contact the ITS Helpdesk. Be sure to plan ahead and get help well in advance of your meeting. The following guides can also help you troubleshoot your video cameras and microphones:

Windows 10

Mac

Chrome Browser


Security

Use Unique Video Conference Links

Unique links help keep your meeting distinguishable and reduce the likelihood of others accidentally joining your meeting. Zoom has unique meeting links that are automatically generated when you create a meeting (these are separate from your Zoom personal meeting ID). Zoom is the preferred software for use with Canvas, our Learning Management Software for teaching and online course management.

Google Meet creates unique links as well, unless the meeting is duplicated or recurring. 

Use Passwords or Waiting Rooms

When possible, use passwords or approve users before they join your meeting to improve security.

Passwords
Passwords can help ensure that guests are those invited by the host. For example, adding a password to your Zoom meeting adds an additional layer of protection, since only invited guests will know the password that you create. We recommend using a numeric password.

Learn more about Zoom meeting & webinar passwords.

Waiting Rooms
Waiting rooms allow the host to have even more control over when a participant can join the meeting.

Learn more about Zoom waiting rooms.

Do not post links on public web pages

Please only post your meeting links to private sources (Mills email, calendar). This will help keep the details of your meeting from uninvited guests.


Tips for a Good Video Conference Meeting

Hard-Wired Connections
Connections through an ethernet cable provide the best quality. Use this type of connection whenever possible.

Wireless Connections
If you need to use a wireless connection, minimize other online activities that use your Wi-Fi. Close unnecessary browser tabs, browser windows, and apps and disable other devices that are connected to your wi-fi. This will save bandwidth and computing resources for your meeting.

Using Chat
When you have a question, use the chat feature to minimize interruptions to the presentation or primary conversation. Ask questions in chat rather than talking over someone.

Mute Yourself
Mute yourself when you are not speaking, and unmute yourself only when you need to talk. If you talk or have noise in the background when you are unmuted, your audio may interrupt the current speaker and their video or screen sharing.

Find a Quiet Space
Minimize background noises to prevent disruptions. Find the most quiet space possible, make sure pets are in another room, turn off fans or heaters, etc.

Lighting
Make sure others can see you by providing good lighting. More light in your room, especially in front of you, will enhance the visibility of your face onscreen.

All Services Have Their Quirks

There are a lot of variables among video conferencing services. From different video conferencing offerings; types of computers, devices, internet browsers; and the video conferencing services themselves, there are many combinations of technology that make your video conference work. Not every variable or service will work perfectly for your specific needs, so doing some research ahead of time will help you figure out which service will best suit your needs.

Have a Backup Plan

Technology doesn’t always work as planned. Increase your chances of success by having a backup plan, including being able to switch to another service if the one you originally planned for isn't performing as you hope.