Checklist for online meetings and office hours

Checklist for online meetings and office hours


  1. In an email or announcement, list down all the requirements for the online session from the participants
    • If you're using zoom, ensure all participants have downloaded Zoom.
    • If video feed is important for the session, state it clearly in the announcement
    • If you will be recording the session, announce it beforehand to the audience with enough time for them to state their concerns if any. Faculty who are using the tool should inform students that the Zoom servers are located outside Canada, and that they can maintain their privacy by logging in using only their first name or a nickname, turning off their camera, and muting their microphone. Staff who are using Zoom for sensitive discussions should not use the Record feature.
    • Ensure that the link for a zoom meeting is not posted on a public forum or public page. Zoom trolls have been known to disrupt sessions from time-to-time.
  2. Decide on a host and co-host for the session
    • The host and co-host will be responsible for ensuring the session runs smoothly and for solving technical issues as they arise.
    • If the session is for a class, the co-host can be a TA and will be responsible for collecting feedback and suggestions from the class.
  3. Start the session in a dedicated environment with no distractions or disturbances in the background.
    • Ensure there are no personal or distracting elements in the background.
    • Ensure there are no loud noises in the background. This can be done via an audio check during setup and asking attendees for feedback on the sound.
    • Use a headset with built-in microphone and a camera for ensuring good audio and video quality
    • Test your PowerPoint or PDF file that you will be sharing with the participants before the start of the session in a test call.
  4. Start the session 5 to 10 minutes earlier to ensure all participants have time to do a quick check of their equipment.
    • Start a countdown timer if possible. It gives the participants an idea of the time available to them to test their equipment.
    • Encourage the participants to use a microphone headset instead of built in computer speakers for better audio clarity.
    • Click on your profile picture and then click on Settings. In your settings, check the box for “Show my meeting duration”. This allows you to add a meeting duration and a countdown timer every time a session is started and allows you to set aside the 5-10 minutes of equipment check time.

  1. Ensure all participants have access to the link to the online session
    • In the announcement prior to the meeting, note down the place where the attendees can see the link to the meeting.
  2. Encourage a video feed from participants to add a more interactive aspect to the session
    • This may not be possible for bigger groups or if the network connection slows down
  3. Mute the participants at the start of the session if you do not want to be interrupted while speaking
    • If you are not the speaker, discuss this with the speaker privately before the session starts
    • Any disturbance in the audio can be eliminated via this step if the source is from one of the participants.
    • If using Zoom, click on Alt+M for Windows or Command+Control+M for Mac computers for muting all participants.
  4. Periodically check on the attendees to answer their questions
    • Check in regularly - pausing and silent spots to give people time to unmute and say something
    • Attendees will raise their hands for any questions they have. Set aside time while speaking for resolving the questions.
    • Have a co-host monitor the group chat for questions. Inform users beforehand on who the co-host for the meeting is.
  5. Have a co-host to:
    • take notes, a shared Google doc if appropriate is helpful as all participants can view and contribute at the same time
    • if using Slido, to monitor the questions

  1. Ensure all questions raised during the session have been answered
    • Check in with the co-host to ensure there are no pending questions.
    • This includes responding to all participants who have ‘raised hands’ during a Collaborate Ultra meeting.
  2. Post the recording of the session for the participants to review later
    • If you wish to send a recording to the participants, post the recording on a webpage or Canvas page and ensure all participants have access to the recording.


  1. Join the session before the actual session time and test the equipment
    • Your moderator normally will start the meeting 5 to 10 minutes before the meeting starts, follow the instruction you have received from your moderator.
  2. Once you have joined the session, check the video/audio connection and report any technical issues to the moderators via Group chat immediately:
    • Test your speaker, camera and microphone in the software being used.
    • Use a headset instead of the built-in computer speaker to reduce background noise
    • Ensure you have a stable internet connection
    • Make sure there are no bright lights behind you if you will be on camera
  3. Ensure your name is entered correctly in the participants list
    • This ensures your name shows up correctly next to your camera feed when you are speaking.

  1. Mute yourself except when you are speaking during a session
    • Holding the space bar down in Zoom will allow you to use the microphone like a walkie-talkie by temporarily unmuting you until you release the space bar
  2. Be familiar with the raise hands and other features of the software
    • Collaborate Ultra has the raise your hands button on the bottom of the screen for asking questions.
    • The moderator will answer the questions at a time that causes the least disruption
    • Use the chat feature to connect with the host if you have questions or difficulties
  3. Turn on your video feed if comfortable.
    • Unless your background is too distracting or the internet connection is too poor, turn on the video feed. It enhances the social connection between the participants.
  4. Pay attention (don't multitask)
    • You can only tap into the full potential of online classes if you are paying attention. Try to close other software like Slack, Messaging services and notifications, and participate in all the activities during the session.


There are a handful of tools available. LFS users seem to be leaning towards Zoom

UBC will provide licenses for UBC faculty and staff (free accounts have limited features). We've automatically signed up instructors for this term. If you need a license let us know: We are not able to provide accounts for students. You do not need to have an account to join a Zoom session.

Zoom can be reached at It allows multi-person chats, breakout rooms, screen sharing, and recording.


  • Zoom stores personal information on servers outside Canada. Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), it is acceptable to use Zoom provided that you use the following guidance
    • Faculty who are using the tool should inform students that the Zoom servers are located outside Canada, and that they can maintain their privacy by logging in using only their first name or a nickname, turning off their camera, and muting their microphone.
    • Staff who are using Zoom for sensitive discussions should not use the Record feature.

Other resources:

UBC's approved system is Skype for Business. You can schedule meetings in Outlook.

Collaborate Ultra can be accessed through Canvas. Non-Canvas use requires a service request:

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