Zoom for Students

Modified on Tue, Jul 2 at 4:42 PM

Blue zoom logo with camera in a circle


Zoom Use in Your Penn LPS Online Course

Online and hybrid classes have a few distinctive features, including the spaces in which students and instructors meet. To facilitate synchronous sessions, many instructors use Zoom’s meeting feature to share their screen and connect with students via video and chat. See below for a short orientation video that will guide you through the process of using Zoom. After the video, you'll also find tips for using Zoom in synchronous sessions so that everyone has a positive experience.  

PennKey-Secured Zoom accounts provide important benefits to students: 

  • All users will have fully functional accounts and are not subject to 40-minute time limits free Zoom accounts impose
  • Students will be able to use Zoom to collaborate outside of instructor-led class sessions
  • PennKey accounts secure the class to only allow users with a @upenn.edu email address

If asked to log into Zoom for a collaborative assignment, select SSO and then enter upenn for the domain name. Read more in the Collaboration in Zoom section below.

Penn Medicine - Please Note

If you are affiliated with Penn Medicine (e.g., staff), you might be ineligible for a Penn Zoom account because Penn Medicine has a separate Zoom license. You will know that you are ineligible if you see an error message when trying to create an account using the steps below. If this happens, you might be barred from using certain Zoom features set up for your course. Please email online-learning-help@sas.upenn.edu if you cannot set up your Penn Zoom account, and we will advise on next steps.

First Step

Do These ASAP (After You Register For Your First Penn LPS Online Course) 

What to Do Each Time You Use Zoom for Your Course:

  1. First, go to https://zoom.us/ and make sure you are logged out of Zoom. This step prevents the issue of Zoom logging you into a non-Penn account. 
  2. Next, enter your course's Canvas site and the click Zoom button. Also, click on the Class Recordings button if it is present. (This helps sync your student account with the Zoom account in Canvas and enables you to view Class Recordings.) 
  3. To access additional settings in your Penn Zoom account- https://upenn.zoom.us/

Your instructor may have a list of Zoom meetings listed under the Zoom button in Canvas; If not, don't worry! They may not have added their meetings yet, or this class will not meet synchronously with Zoom. 

If you are unsure about the Zoom protocol in your course, reach out to your instructor and ask if they will be using Zoom.

Zoom Orientation and Meeting Controls (Videos)

5 Zoom Tips for Synchronous Class Sessions

Tip 1 - Keep your camera on: You’ll feel more connected when others can see your face, and you can see theirs!

Tip 2 - Mute your microphone: This will prevent background noise from interrupting the meeting speaker. Remember to unmute when you are ready to talk.

Tip 3 - Use a headset: Everyone will hear you better, and you’ll hear everything and everyone better (it makes a big difference!). 

Tip 4 - Know where the screen share option is:  Also, be sure to pick the exact window or presentation that you would like to show, and not your whole desktop (we don’t want to read your emails by accident!). 

Tip 5 - Take advantage of the chat: Ask your instructor questions, answer instructor questions, and more in the chat box.

Collaboration in Zoom 

Sometimes instructors share Zoom templates or collaborative whiteboards in Canvas via a link. You will be asked to sign in when you click on the shared link. 

Please ensure you have set up your UPenn Zoom account before proceeding with the next steps. 


When the sign in screen opens, you will want to select the SSO button (key icon) at the bottom half of the screen. You do not want to enter anything in the email or password fields. 

(picture below) 

zoom sign in with email crossed off while SSO is selected  


After you select the SSO button, you will be brought to a page asking for the domain name. You should enter upenn and then select continue. (picture below) 

sign in with sso, upenn is written in for company domain 



You should be brought to the collaborative Zoom activity/template after following the steps above. 


Access Issues 

If you have any issues with opening collaborative activities or templates in Zoom and you know you have made a Penn Zoom account, try opening an incognito browser window:

  • Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + n.  
  • Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + n.  

With the new window open, paste the link from the instructor into the browser and ensure you are selecting SSO and not entering an email address at log in. 

Please learn more about collaborating in Zoom below:

Zoom Whiteboard

Zoom Whiteboard is a collaboration tool with an infinite digital canvas. Participants can share whiteboards across any Zoom-enabled device during and outside of a Zoom meeting. A visual space that can be used for interactive teaching, teamwork, brainstorming, and more. Access Whiteboard from the Zoom web portal, Desktop Client application, or during a Zoom meeting.

For more information about using Zoom Whiteboard, please refer to the following information: 

Zoom Advanced Polling

Polls are a Zoom feature that allows hosts and co-hosts to launch a live set of questions for participants to answer during a meeting. These can be conducted anonymously or openly. When a poll is completed, you can share the results with everyone and download poll data to review later.   Some ways to use polls are to create ice breakers, make group decisions, share opinions, take quizzes, and provide feedback. There are two types of polls, basic polling, and advanced polling. Create polls ahead of time for scheduled meetings in the Zoom web portal or during a live meeting using the tool bar’s poll icon. Please view the following two links for more information about Zoom Polling: 

Please see below for some Zoom useful links:


If you need assistance with Zoom, please reach out to us at online-learning-help@upenn.edu.

*Some material taken with permission from infocanvas.upenn.edu

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