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Using Zoom Outside of a Canvas Course

Using Zoom Outside of a Canvas Course


*Note: Are you experiencing permission errors when trying to log in to Zoom or videos/meetings not having up-to date information? Try these troubleshooting tips on our Browser Support page.

Logging in to Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing for New Zoom Users

If you have never before used Zoom, follow these instructions to get signed in.

Logging in to Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing:

  1. Go to Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing landing page.
  2. Click Sign in
  3. Complete your Pitt Passport authentication

There is nothing for you to download at this time. The first time you join a meeting, you will be prompted to download the Zoom client–this takes less than a minute to download, install and start running.

When using Zoom once you have downloaded this client for the first time, follow the instructions below.

Logging in to Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing For Returning Users

If you have previously used Zoom with your Pitt email address through another account (a personal free account or a departmental account) it will prompt you to go through a process to merge the account you’ve previously been using with your new Pitt Zoom account. You will be sent an email to confirm your address.

  1. Open the Zoom Desktop app or client
  2. Select Sign In with SSO
    Zoom sign in page showing SSO option

  3. Enter “pitt” as the company domain
    Screenshot showing where to enter Pitt information for SSO access to Zoom

  4. Complete your Pitt Passport authentication
  5. If prompted, launch the Zoom Meetings app

Scheduling a Meeting

  1. If you have not already, open the Zoom Meetings app on your computer, or go to the Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing page. and log in.
  2. Click Schedule a Meeting

    Zoom Meetings app
    Zoom Meetings app

    Zoom web interface
    Zoom web interface
  3. You will then be prompted to enter a number of meeting details:
    • Topic: This is the “title” of your meeting. You should give it a name that your students will understand.
    • Description: This is optional but you may give some more information about what this meeting will cover, who is expected to attend and what resources they may need to have on hand to participate.
    • Start/When: This is when your meeting is expected to start.  As the meeting organizer, you may start a meeting prior to the date and time displayed here, but this field lets your students know when they will be expected to join.
    • Duration: Give an approximate duration for your meeting. Again, as the organizer you can keep it open for a longer or shorter period than specified here, but this lets your students know how much time to budget for this meeting.
    • Time Zone: Please use your current time zone. Participants in other time zones will have the display times automatically adjusted for their own time zones.
    • Registration [web only]: It is not recommended that you check this box.
    • Video: Recommended setting is Off. These settings determine whether video will be turned on for both the host and joining participants immediately upon entry into the meeting. All participants can opt to turn their cameras on if and when it is desired once the meeting begins.
    • Audio: Recommended setting is Both [web] or Telephone and Computer Audio [desktop]. This setting allows participants to choose whether they hear the meeting audio through their computer or a dial-in phone line. Participants without a sound card installed in their computer, or without headphones to use with their computer should opt to use phone audio.
    • Calendar [desktop only]: If you are on a computer with Microsoft Outlook installed, a calendar invite with all the meeting details will automatically be created.
    • Meeting Options/Advanced Options:
      • You can choose to set a password for your meeting (perhaps to control entry when conducing virtual office hours or group project meetings)
      • You can choose whether or not you want to let participants enter the meeting room before you (the meeting host) do.
      • Mute participants upon entry is recommended. Participants can unmute if and when they need to.
      • All Zoom users are granted a Personal Meeting ID which is a permanent personal meeting room. You can choose to use this room for your class meetings. Leaving this box unchecked means that each class meeting will get its own meeting room with its own meeting ID.
      • Enabling the waiting room allows you (the host) to let participants in to the meeting at your discretion. This can be used to conduct virtual office hours so that students are held outside the meeting until you choose who to let in.
      • Record meeting automatically is used to start the recording of the meeting immediately upon meeting start rather than relying on the host or co-host to start the recording. Checking this box allows you to choose whether to record the meeting to the cloud or to your own computer. Recommend setting is In the cloud.
    • Alternative  hosts [web only]: You can choose certain other users to be your co-hosts and they will have the ability to take on some management tasks in the Zoom meeting. See Zoom support’s “Host and co-host controls in a meeting page” regarding what a co-host can and cannot do in a meeting.

Joining a Meeting

  • If you have received a meeting invitation with a web link in it, simply click the link to join the meeting via your web browser.
  • Alternatively, you can open your Zoom Meetings Desktop app and click Join to enter the numerical Meeting ID you were sent.
  • You can also go to the Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing page and click Join to be prompted to enter the numerical Meeting ID.

Hosting a Meeting

To start a meeting that you scheduled, open your Zoom Meetings app and click the Start button next to the meeting as displayed on your meeting schedule.

Screenshot showing start button for Zoom meeting


You may also log in to Zoom at the Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing landing page, and click on the name of the meeting you want to start and then click the Start this Meeting button.

Once you have entered your meeting room, you will find the following controls along the bottom of your screen:

Zoom host control panel


Please see Zoom support’s “Host and co-host controls in a meeting page” for details about these Host controls. Note that Hosts, Co-hosts and Participants all have slightly different controls at their disposal.

Of special note to instructors hosting a Zoom classes and meetings are the following features:

Access/Share Cloud Recordings


In order to facilitate the free exchange of ideas during lectures, if a faculty member intends to record their lecture with student participation, they must advise the students, via e-mail and at the beginning of the lecture, that the lecture, including their participation, is being recorded.  Students should not be required to participate in the recorded conversation and should be encouraged to ask questions off-line.  Further, the recorded lecture may be used by the faculty member and the registered students only for internal class purposes and only during the term in which the course is being offered. Faculty who have questions should contact

Log into the Pitt Zoom Videoconferencing page with your Pitt Credentials.

Screenshot of Zoom meeting recording options


  1. Go to Recordings
  2. Go to Cloud Recordings
  3. Find the recording you want and click the Share button.
  4. Choose to Share this recording Publicly. Choose other share settings. See Zoom support’s “On-demand recordings” page for more information. Click the Copy to Clipboard button.
    Cloud sharing options for recordings in Zoom
  5. Paste shareable link.
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