Using Zoom for Online Office Hours

This page has been developed for instructors who are already using Zoom. For information on getting started in Zoom and for additional resources please see our Web Conferencing with Zoom page.

Zoom can be used for regularly scheduled ​online office hours, online advising appointments, check-ins for student group assignments, and any time you may need to schedule an online consult. 

Here are three options for setting up online office hours in Zoom:

  • Use your Personal Meeting Room:  Your Personal Meeting Room is your own persistent meeting room in Zoom which is available 24/7.  All meetings conducted through your Personal Meeting Room use the same meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode.

  • Create one meeting room for all office hours:  Create a New Meeting Room to span a block of time that includes all office hours within the week and recur weekly for an entire semester.

  • Create separate meeting rooms for each office hour time slot:  Create a recurring Zoom meeting room with its own URL, Passcode, and Meeting ID for each office hour.    For example, a recurrng meeting for all Mondays at 3 PM and a different recurring meeting for all Wednesdays at 8 AM.

 Use your Zoom Personal Meeting Room for office hours

Your Personal Zoom Meeting Room is a persistent 24/7 meeting room that allows you to maintain the same Meeting link, Room ID, and Passcode for all of your Office hours.

It is strongly recommended that you regularly change the Meeting ID and Passcode for your Personal Meeting Room, especially if you use this room for other types of meetings such as committee meetings.  Changing your Personal Meeting ID also changes the Meeting URL/Invite Link. Make sure to provide updated information to your students.

Go to your UWSP Zoom portal at zoom.uwsp.edu and click Sign In.

Select your Personal Meeting Room. Select Meetings at the left if you do not see this option.


Your Personal Meeting Room is already available but you will want to enable the room's Passcode.  By default, the Passcode is not activated in a Personal Meeting Room.


To activate your Personal Meeting Room Passcode, scroll down and click Edit this Meeting at the lower-right corner of the page.


In your Personal Meeting Room settings, place a check next to PasscodeThis generates a default Passcode. You can also edit this to create your own custom Passcode or periodically change your Passcode.

Scroll down and click Save at the bottom of the page.  This displays the settings you selected for your meeting room.

To easily select and copy your Meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode, click Copy Invitation to the right of the Invite Link.


Select and copy your Meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode all at once from the Copy Meeting Invitation box and share with your students.


 Create a New recurring Zoom Meeting room for all of your office hours

A recurring Zoom meeting allows you to maintain the same Meeting link, Room ID, and Passcode for all of your Office hours.  The room can be deleted if you want to replace or remove it, and it leaves your Personal Meeting Room for other meeting uses.

Important Note:  A recurring Zoom meeting creates a separate Topic/meeting occurrence for each day it's scheduled yet all occurrences keep the same Meeting link, Room ID, and Passcode.   A separate occurrence can be deleted (e.g. an office hour that falls on Thanksgiving) or all can be deleted at once.

To schedule office hours in with a Zoom meeting you just need to create a recurring meeting with the Duration set from the start of the earliest office hour through the end of the latest office hour within your typical semester week.


Go to your UWSP Zoom portal at zoom.uwsp.edu and click Sign In.

On the ribbon click Schedule a New Meeting. Select Meetings at the left if you do not see your meeting rooms.


Update the following fields:

For Topic, give the room a descriptive name that identifies it in your Meeting list. e.g. "Fall Semester Office Hours".

When:  Change the Date to the date of your first office hour of the semester. Set the Time to the start time of your earliest office hour. Note: your earliest office hour might be scheduled on a day other than the first office hour in the week.

 

Duration:  Set to the number of hours between the start time of your earliest office hour to the end time of your latest office hour. These may occur on different days. For example your latest office hour may end on Monday 4 PM and your earliest office hour may start on Wednesday at 8 AM so from 8 AM through 4 PM is 8 hours.

Recurring meeting: Place a check next to Recurring meeting to display recurrence options.

Recurrence: Set to repeat "Weekly".

Repeat every:  Set to "1" to repeat each week.

Occurs on:  Select each day where an office hour is scheduled. You can also select all week days if you intend to use the room for other meetings such as student group consults. The meeting room will be available each selected day for the Duration you set above.

End date:  The last day you intend to use this meeting room in the semester. Create a new meeting room with a new URL, Passcode, and Meeting ID for the next semester.


Scroll down and click Save at the bottom of the page.  This displays the settings you selected for your meeting room.

To easily select and copy your Meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode, click Copy Invitation to the right of the Invite Link.

Select and copy your Meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode all at once from the Copy Meeting Invitation box and share with your students. Use the scrollbar at the right to scroll down and locate your meeting access information.


 Schedule separate recurring office hours

If you intend to make a Zoom meeting room available only for your scheduled office hours, create a recurring Zoom meeting for each office hour time slot.  Each recurring office hour will have its own URL, Passcode, and Meeting ID.  A scheduled office hour can be deleted if you want to replace or remove it while leaving the remaining office hour meeting rooms and their access information intact, and it leaves your Personal Meeting Room for other meeting uses.

To schedule a Zoom meeting for an office hour time slot, you just need to create a recurring meeting with the Duration set to the time between the office hour's start and end time (e.g. one hour) and select the day the office hour occurs.

Go to your UWSP Zoom portal at zoom.uwsp.edu and click Sign In.

On the ribbon click Schedule a New Meeting. Select Meetings at the left if you do not see your meeting rooms.

 

Update the following fields:

For Topic, give the room a descriptive name that identifies it with the specific office hour. e.g. "Monday 3PM Office Hour".

When:  Change the Date to the first day in the semester where that specific office hour is scheduled. Set the Time to the start time of that office hour's time slot. 

Duration:  Typically set to "1" hour. You may wish to extend this if two office hours are back to back.

Recurring meeting: Place a check next to Recurring meeting to display recurrence options.

Recurrence: Set to repeat "Weekly".

Repeat every:  Set to "1" to repeat each week.

Occurs on:  Select the day where the office hour is scheduled.

End date:  Set to the last day this office hour is scheduled for the semester. Create a new meeting room with a new URL, Passcode, and Meeting ID for the next office hour.

Scroll down and click Save at the bottom of the page.  This displays the settings you selected for your meeting room.

To easily select and copy your Meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode, click Copy Invitation to the right of the Invite Link.

Select and copy your Meeting link, Meeting ID, and Passcode all at once from the Copy Meeting Invitation box and share with your students. Use the scrollbar at the right to scroll down and locate your meeting access information.


Don't forget to also schedule your online office hours as recurring appointments in your Outlook Calendar!


To make the online room for your office hours available to your students you must share the connection information.

To do this, add your Zoom Office Hours connection information to your class syllabus and post to your class. Remember to update this information if your connection information changes.

Your Office Hours connection information consists of:

  • The URL link to your Zoom meeting

  • Meeting ID

  • Passcode

Zoom Meeting IDs and Passcodes are key security features to preventing a Zoom meeting from being hijacked.


Share the connection information for your Online Office Hours:

Sign into your Zoom UWSP Portal at zoom.uwsp.edu.

If you are using your Personal Meeting Room, select the Personal Meeting Room tab.

OR

If you have created a new meeting room(s) for your office hours, under the Topic column click the link to the room.  Remember, when you create a recurring meeting through the Zoom Portal, a separate topic will be listed for each day the room is available. All topics created for one meeting room have the same URL, Meeting ID, and Passcode.

 Selecting your Personal Meeting Room or your meeting room's Topic link takes you to the room Settings screen.

 

Then - to the right of Invite Link, click Copy Invitation.


Highlight and copy (Ctrl+C) the Meeting URL, Meeting ID, and Passcode.

Paste (Ctrl+V) the connection information to your Syllabus and course.

Important: Make sure to share both the Meeting ID and Passcode in addition to the meeting URL. Students accessing your Zoom session from the installed Zoom desktop app will be prompted to enter both the Zoom Meeting ID and Passcode.

Just for information

Why don't I have to provide the Meeting ID and Passcode when I attend a Zoom meeting sent via Outlook?  

The Zoom Join Meeting link generated in an Outlook calendar invitation contains an encrypted version of the Zoom meeting Passcode and Meeting ID. Since you are already logged into Outlook when you click that link the encrypted Passcode and Meeting ID are automatically passed to the meeting room.

Using your Zoom Waiting Room

It is assumed that you already have experience using Zoom for other purposes. If you are new to Zoom, please see our Web Conferencing with Zoom page.

By default, Zoom's Waiting Room is enabled and the meeting organizer must enter the room first and Admit meeting participants.

Use the Waiting Room to:

  • Admit each participant as they join, or admit all participants at once. For example if meeting with a group.

  • Screen who has entered the Waiting Room prior to Admitting All to ensure that no attendees for an upcoming meeting have entered the Waiting Room early.

  • Maintain confidentiality by admiting your next meeting's attendee(s) only after the attendee(s) for your previous meeting has left your Zoom room. Waiting room participants cannot see others in the waiting room.


Moving someone back to the Waiting Room

If you need to remove a student from your office hour, for example, they are unsure how to leave and the next student is already in the Waiting Room waiting for you, consider moving them back to the Waiting Room instead of removing them from the online room.

Why should I move a student back to the Waiting Room instead of simply removing them?

IWhen you remove someone from your Zoom room they will be unable to rejoin the same room in the future unless you change the Zoom setting that allows removed participants to rejoin. If you do wish to use the feature that allows you to completely remove them and not move them back to the Waiting Room, you should change the Zoom setting to, "Allow Removed Participants or Panelists to Rejoin".

To move someone back to the Waiting Room, 

Click Participants. You can also click See Waiting Room if the prompt to admit your next student displays.


Mouse over the participant's name then click More >.


From the list of options that displays, click Put in Waiting Room.


See Zoom's Controls for managing participants page for additional information. 


More Information

 Delete or edit your office hours

Edit your Office Hours

If you have created your office hours in the Zoom online portal, it's easy enough to extend or reschedule one or more individual office hours in the recurring office hours that you have created.

Sign in to your Zoom portal.

In the Topic column, click the link to the meeting you wish to edit. This opens the Settings for the selected recurrence.

Scroll down and click Edit this Meeting at the lower-right of the page.

In the box that opens, select whether you wish to edit Only this meeting or All meetings in the recurrence.

Update the date/time settings, then scroll down and Save.

Delete one or all Scheduled Office Hours

To delete one or all of your office hours, Sign in to your Zoom portal and click Delete to the right of the Office Hour.

In the box that opens, click Delete this Occurence to delete just your selection.

OR

Click the middle button, Delete All Occurences, to delete all Topics generated with the same set of recurring Office Hours.

Reminder: you cannot delete your Personal Meeting Room in Zoom.


 Other options for creating Office Hours

Schedule Office hours through Outlook or the Zoom Desktop App

Option 1: From the Outlook Desktop app:

In the Zoom section on the Calendar's Home tab, or in a new meeting click Schedule a Meeting.

See Finish Scheduling the Zoom meeting in Outlook below.


Option 2: From the Outlook Web App's Calendar: 

Create a New Event.

At the right on the open Event's menu click the Ellipses, mouse over Zoom and select Add a Zoom Meeting.

See Finish Scheduling the Zoom meeting in Outlook below.




Option 3: From the Zoom Desktop app:

Click Schedule.

In the Schedule Meeting box. place a check next to RecurringYou do not set an end to a recurring meeting within the Zoom desktop app. 

Click Schedule at the bottom of the Zoom Schedule Meeting screen. This opens an Outlook meeting invitation containing your Zoom connection information.

See Finish Scheduling the Zoom meeting in Outlook.

 

Finish Scheduling your Zoom meeting in Outlook

In the Outlook meeting, set the meeting recurrence.  The accompanying Zoom room that is created will remain open to use throughout the Outlook meeting's scheduled recurrence period.

Click Send.  If no recipient is added to the Required field you will receive a pop up asking if you would like to save and close the meeting instead. Click Yes to this prompt.

The meeting URL, Meeting ID and Passcode that displays in the Outlook meeting invitation can be copied and pasted to your syllabus and posted for your class.

Please note that unlike a recurring meeting created through the Zoom Portal, the Zoom Portal does not display separate Topics for recurring meetings created through Outlook or the Zoom Desktop app.  Edits or deletions must be made through your Outlook Calendar.


Deleting the Office Hours Zoom room

To delete the Zoom room but keep the Office Hours on your Outlook Calendar, delete the room only from within your Zoom online portal.

To delete both the recurring meeting in Outlook and the recurring Zoom room, Cancel the Series through your Outlook Calendar.

 Sharing screens

Sometimes it's difficult to verbally explain a concept or understand what a student is struggling with.

See Zoom's documentation on Screen Sharing for to see how easy it is to share your computer screen with a student or have them share theirs allowing you to troubleshoot better.

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​Questions? Contact the Service Desk!