Zoom Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding Zoom.

Getting started with Zoom

Who can use Zoom?

NIU has purchased an educational site license of Zoom and has enabled access for all faculty and students to use for educational purposes. Microsoft Teams remains the primary collaboration tool for the university.

Will Zoom be available for all faculty, staff, and students?

No. Our educational site license permits only faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, and students to have access to create meetings. Staff will not have access to create or manage Zoom meetings. Anyone however can attend a Zoom meeting.

Microsoft Teams remains the primary collaboration tool for the university.

I’m a faculty / student and would like to use Zoom. How do I receive access?

All NIU faculty and students already have access! All you need to do is login to Zoom at https://niu-edu.zoom.us using your NIU Account ID (example: A123456@mail.niu.edu or z123456@students.niu.edu) and password to login where prompted, just like you would to login to Blackboard or Microsoft O365. If you previously had a personal Zoom account using your NIU email address, you'll be prompted to change the email address of your personal license to a non-NIU.edu email address.

I logged into Zoom but am unsure whether I am using my personal account or the university's site license. How do I know if I'm logged in using the university's site license?

In order to use Zoom with NIU's educational site license you must login to NIU's Zoom login URL: niu-edu.zoom.us and enter your NIU email address (example: a123456@mail.niu.edu or z123456@students.niu.edu) and your Account ID password, like you use for logging into Blackboard or Microsoft O365. Moving forward, you should always login to Zoom using this NIU Zoom login URL. You can find a "Login to Zoom" button prominently on NIU Zoom support pages if your forget this URL.

How do I login to the Zoom app using my new NIU Zoom faculty account?

To login to your NIU Zoom account on the Zoom app, do the following:

  1. On the Zoom app, logout of your personal account.
  2. On the Zoom app, click Sign in
  3. Click Sign In with SSO
  4. In the "Your Company Domain" field, enter https://niu-edu so that the domain listed in the sign in box is https://niu-edu.zoom.us
    Your Company Domain field filled with https://niu-edu
  5. enter your Account ID (ie: a123456@mail.niu.edu or z123456@student.niu.edu) and password when prompted and submit

Joining a meeting

Do I have to have a webcam to join on Zoom?

While you are not required to have a webcam to join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, you will not be able to transmit video of yourself. You will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting, share your screen, and view the webcam video of other participants.

Scheduling a meeting

Meeting features

Can I record my meeting?

All Zoom hosts can record locally to their computer unless this feature has been disabled by their Zoom account owner or admin. Hosts who are Licensed can also record to the Zoom cloud. In a Zoom meeting, press Record to start the recording. Learn more about local recording and cloud recording.

How to I enable auto-captions for my Zoom sessions?
To make auto-captions available for meetings you schedule:
  1. Log in at niu-edu.zoom.us
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Go to In Meetings (Advanced)
  4. Click the toggle to enable Closed Captioning
  5. Click the checkbox to enable live transcription
After live transcription is enabled for your account, you can turn on auto-captions within a specific session that you schedule.
To enable auto-captions within a session:
  1. Click the Live Transcription button in the toolbar at the bottom of the session (if you don't see a button there, make sure you have enabled them in your account settings)
  2. Click the button to Enable Live-Transcription
How do I show or hide auto-captions during a Zoom session I'm attending?
If the host has enabled live transcriptions prior to scheduling the Zoom session, captions will automatically appear for the host and participants. Individual users can hide them by clicking the Live Transcription (the host should click the arrow in the Live Transcription button) and choosing Hide Transcription. From the same menu, you can also view the full transcript, which opens a side panel where you can download the transcript.
What's the difference between pinning and spotlighting a video in Zoom? How can I make sure my students can see me?

You can pin or spotlight a video during a meeting.

Pin screen allows you to disable active speaker view and only view a specific speaker. Pinning another user's video will only affect your local view in the Zoom Room, not the view of other participants and will not affect cloud recordings.

Spotlight video puts a user as the primary active speaker for all participants in the meeting and cloud recordings. To spotlight, you need at least 3 participants in the meeting with their video on and can only be done by the host.

This 3-minute video provides a good explanation of the differences.

Blackboard Integration

Does Zoom have an integration with Blackboard?
Yes, Zoom does have an integration for Blackboard, which is now available. The integration allows you to schedule and manage sessions from within your Blackboard course and provides a convenient way for students to access your sessions and cloud recordings.
How do I record a Zoom session and post it to my Blackboard course?

Zoom has two options for recording: record to the cloud or record to your local computer. The storage available for recording to the cloud is very limited, so it will not be useful if you have more than a few sessions, or if you have very long sessions. Instead, you should record to your local computer

Once you have ended the Zoom session, Zoom will save the recording to your computer as an .mp4 video. The most effective way to add that to a Blackboard course would be to upload the video to Kaltura and then link or and embed the video in Blackboard.  


Can I use Zoom for HIPPA-protected activities?

Currently No. Zoom was purchased under an academic use site license and is not configured to be compliant with HIPPA. While Zoom can be HIPPA compliant two things need to happen. First, business associate agreement (BAA) is needed between Zoom and NIU in order for NIU to use Zoom in HIPPA covered activities. Second, various features that are required for course delivery and are not HIPPA compliant must be disabled.

At this time faculty should use Microsoft Teams for HIPPA-protected communications.


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