Overall Satisfaction with Zoom
Zoom is an easy-to-use video conferencing tool that addressed several problems around student engagement with Fordham's Online Masters in Social Work program, a top-ranked, nationally-recognized completely asynchronous degree program. First, students could start their own small-group video sessions and record them, which they could then post online in the Blackboard or Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS). The video recorded as a .mp4 so the video will play in the browser when clicked (no plug-ins). Activities such as these are useful for role plays and practicing social work and leadership skills. Zoom also addressed our need to build community online, so an instructor or our admissions department could easily set up a meeting, share their screens or a video, and hold small, breakout discussions. A tool link in the LMS provided a single sign-on with our internal systems, but a Zoom link will just work, which is so satisfying!
- It works with a click of the link, just download a small plug-in one time. A host can download software to make scheduling easier, and it comes with an online chat feature to boot. We were able to provide academic or technical office hours with chat.
- Screen sharing is very robust and easy.
- Videos record to your computer, so finding files is easy. Files record in mp4 format, which play in a modern browser.
- Some functionality in the back end to group users into departments or programs could use some updating, but in the time I have used the software I have seen constant updates.
For a university, letting students record and host their own videos could be problematic; but, for a masters or doctorate program where role plays, assessment of interpersonal skills or applications of leadership qualities must be demonstrated asynchronously, Zoom is very easy to use, has online help and copious documentation.