A guide to learning with Zoom at UB

A man in a chemistry lab talks to someone virtually on a tablet while working.

Photograph by Douglas Levere

Published June 15, 2020

With more classes being held online, Zoom is an essential tool to keep up with lectures, attend office hours and more. Follow these tips and become your class’s resident Zoom master.


These tips were adapted from this online Zoom guide for students--for UB-specific information about Zoom, including tutorial videos and step-by-step instructions, visit the UBIT website.

Why are we using Zoom at UB?

Everyone has their favorite apps for connecting online—FaceTime, Discord, Skype and so on. UB even has other apps for online meetings, like Webex. So why Zoom?

Zoom is highly preferred by UB’s faculty and staff, and before UBIT added it to the list of supported apps at UB it was among the top-requested apps from UB employees and students alike.

Zoom is easy to use and also has privacy features that other apps lack. It’s FERPA-compliant, which means it follows important rules for protecting student data. 

For the best results, use the desktop app

You can use Zoom in a web browser or on a mobile device, but you get access to more features when you download the Zoom app for your desktop or laptop computer. There’s an app for Windows, Mac and Linux—just visit buffalo.zoom.com and click Download Client at the bottom of the page.

Join a few minutes early to adjust your settings

Logging on two or three minutes early is typically all the time you need to make sure your settings are configured the way you want them. Test your audio and video, and, if your internet connection is spotty, you can try disconnecting your computer audio and calling in from your phone instead.

If it’s a larger meeting (say, greater than four people), check to make sure your microphone is muted before class begins. And, assuming you’re not having internet problems, turn your video on—while it can be tempting to leave it off in large classes, everyone communicates better when they can see someone’s face.

Make the most of your display name

You can change your display name in your profile by visiting buffalo.zoom.us. It’s helpful to include your first and last name, but, if you have space, you can also add a pronunciation guide (e.g., “Kay-lee”) or your preferred pronouns (e.g., “she/her”).

Save the chat before you leave

Did you know you can save Zoom chats? To keep a log of everything that was said in chat during a Zoom meeting, open the chat window and click the three dots on the bottom right. Then, select Save Chat

Get help with Zoom

You can get help with Zoom 24/7 by submitting a ticket to https://support.zoom.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.