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Remote Programming Toolbox

In order to help members of the Rackham community facilitate remote programming, we have created this resource page of tips and best practices from across U-M and beyond. These resources include guidance on which platform is best suited to your event, along with recommendations on security, accessibility, improving your home internet performance, and more. If you have a question on an item listed here or would like to suggest a revision or an addition, please contact the Rackham communications team.


Zoom Training

First, check out U-M ITS’s guides on Getting Started and Common Tasks for links to instructions and instructional videos.

Zoom Meetings vs. Webinars

Though Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars provide comparable features, there are some differences to be aware of when deciding on which tool best suits your need. Below you will find a key feature comparison and a use case comparison chart.

If after reviewing the charts below you decide a webinar fits your need, you will need to complete the U-M ITS Meeting vs Webinar form to request a webinar license. We also recommend you review their 30 Minutes to Becoming a Webinar Subject Matter Expert.

How to Secure Meetings in Zoom

“Zoombombing” is a form of trolling that disrupts online meetings and classes with disturbing language or images through screen sharing. As reports of Zoombombing rise, U-M is taking proactive measures to ensure our meetings, classes, and community are protected.

We highly encourage our community to do everything possible to secure their meetings, participants, and data, and recommend the following methods of securing your Zoom meetings. See the U-M ITS Quick Start Guide: Securing Meetings in Zoom for more information.

Sensitive Data with Zoom

Zoom provides appropriate security and compliance assurance that allows it to be used for teaching and learning, as well as many other use cases. Check the Zoom entries in the Sensitive Data Guide to IT Services for a list of the sensitive data types that are and are not permitted with each of the U-M Zoom services:

You are responsible for using Zoom in ways that comply with sensitive data laws and regulations, as outlined in the Sensitive Data Guide entries.

Only the Zoom for Health at U-M service may be used for Protected Health Information (PHI, regulated by HIPAA). The University of Michigan has signed a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Zoom, which allows for this use.

Zoom Quality and Your Internet Connection

What to do when your audio or video in Zoom becomes choppy or distorted.

System Requirements

Your Internet Connection

Reduce Bandwidth and Data Usage

There are several strategies you can try to reduce your bandwidth and data usage during Zoom meetings.

Reducing Zoom Data and Bandwidth Use (IT@Cornell)

Zoom Accessibility

There are several video accessibility tools that can be considered when using Zoom Meetings and Webinars.

If live captions or other accommodations will be provided at your event be sure to include the information in your event description and event communications.

Synchronous Transcription

Synchronous (Live) Transcription enables speech transcription to be added while the meeting is in progress.

Automatic Live Transcription

It’s always preferable to hire a transcriptionist for live captions, but the increased demand for transcription services there may be times it’s not possible. Automatic transcription should only be used if manual transcription services are not available at the time of your event. Contact Rackham Communications for more information.

Zoom Automatic Live Transcription (beta)

Automatic live transcription is a beta feature within Zoom that enables auto speech-to-text transcription in Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars. See Zoom Live Transcription for step-by-step instructions on how to set up and use Live Transcription.

Note: This feature is not available in Breakout Rooms or Zoom for Health at U-M.

Rev Automatic Live Captions for Zoom

Rev Automatic Live Captions adds real-time, AI-driven captions to Zoom meetings and lectures. The cost is $20 per host. Contact Rackham Communications for more information.

Communication Access Realtime Transcription (CART)

CART involves a human transcription in real-time while someone is speaking or a video is playing. With this feature enabled, captions can be typed directly into Zoom or added to Zoom via an integration with a third-party software or service. See Videoconferencing Captioning Tools for Zoom for more information. Also, see Getting Started with Closed Captioning in the Zoom Help Center.

Asynchronous Transcription

Asynchronous Transcription enables captions to be added to the recording of the meeting after it has concluded. If you require the most accurate transcriptions for a meeting, we recommend using the existing “Automatically Transcribe Cloud Recording” feature within Zoom to review and edit recordings before making them available to your audience.

See Videoconferencing Captioning Tools for Zoom for more information.

Synchronous American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation

Make Zoom sessions and recordings accessible with ASL interpretation.

Breaks During Longer Virtual Events

Provide breaks during your virtual events. If your event is longer than 45 minutes give your attendees time to recharge. It’s good for everyone, but especially helpful for people using captions, and people with learning or attention disabilities. It gives you, your presenters, and your transcriptionist (if you’re providing live captions) a moment to rest. You and your audience will return refreshed and ready to engage.

Other Zoom Accessibility Topics We Should Cover

  • Descriptive Audio
  • Chat and screen readers

Zoom and Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.

  • You can only pre-assign participants that have a Zoom account (internal or external Zoom users).
  • When pre-assigning participants using the web portal, you can only pre-assign internal Zoom users that are in the same account.
  • To pre-assign participants that are external Zoom users, import a CSV file.
  • If you have registration enabled and external participants register for the meeting, you need to assign them to breakout rooms during the meeting.
  • Up to 200 participants can be pre-assigned to breakout rooms.
  • If the meeting is being cloud recorded, it will only record the main room, regardless of what room the meeting host is in. If local recording is being used, it will record the room the participant who is recording is in. Multiple participants can record locally.
    • It is currently not possible to record a breakout room to the cloud. Zoom is aware of the issue, and is working to implement this feature.
    • To record a breakout room the host is not in, a participant in that room needs recording permission. The host can grant this permission during a meeting using the “Manage Participants” panel, or ahead of time by making the participant an alternative host (for instructions, see Alternative Host).
    • Local recordings in breakout rooms can run concurrently with cloud recording in the main room.
    • Keep in mind that local recordings are stored on the computer that initiated them.
  • Only the host can assign participants to breakout rooms. The co-host can leave and join any breakout room only if they join a breakout room assigned to them by the host.
  • Users joined into the Zoom meeting from the Zoom Mobile App or H.323/SIP devices can participate in breakout rooms, but cannot manage them. Users joined using Zoom Rooms are unable to join breakout rooms, but the main room can be used as an alternative session for these users.
  • If a user would like to chat with a workshop facilitator for any reason during a Zoom breakout session, they can click “Ask for help” to let the facilitator know they need assistance in their breakout room. Alternatively, they can click “leave room” and go to the main virtual room, where a workshop facilitator will be available to answer questions or address concerns.

Privacy, Security, Compliance, and Videoconferencing

Questions or concerns? Contact the U-M Privacy Office at [email protected].

Your Responsibilities

  • Comply with U-M guidance and relevant laws protecting student educational data. See Recording and Privacy Concerns: FAQ for more.
  • Hosts: Choose privacy settings. Meeting hosts can choose settings that respect the privacy wishes and requirements of participants. Hosts are responsible for notifying participants and getting their permission if they are going to record the meeting.
  • Record respectfully. Provide notice to participants when you are going to record a video session. In general, do not record meetings that involve sensitive data.
  • Protect sensitive data. Check the Sensitive Data Guide to help you choose a videoconferencing service that is approved for your data type.
  • Share with care. Be aware that the content you share in a videoconference meeting is made available to all participants and share appropriately.


Tips, Instructions, FAQ

Policy and Data Use at U-M

Zoom and Privacy

Prerecorded Video

Copyright Basics

The University of Michigan Library Copyright Office provides help with copyright questions for University of Michigan faculty, staff and students. Please email the Copyright Office with questions or visit the library’s copyright website for more information.

Copyright Legal Advice

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.

Remote Office Hours

Google Calendar Appointment Slots

You can set up a block of appointments on your calendar that other people can reserve. For example, professors can invite their students to reserve time during office hours each week. This works for individual and shared calendars.

Appointment slots are useful when you don’t know who needs to meet with you, but you want to make yourself available. You can offer people a block of time on your calendar that they can book time slots within. For example, you can set aside 2 hours that you’re available to meet with people in 30-minute slots. Others can then book one of the 30-minute slots within that time that works best for them.

Remote Office Hours Queue

The Remote Office Hours Queue is a virtual queueing tool that allows meeting hosts to manage queues of attendees waiting to meet with them for private one-on-one meetings over BlueJeans video conferencing. The Remote Office Hours Queue application will automatically create and provide a unique BlueJeans meeting ID for every attendee. This tool is for hosts who prefer to have one-on-one meetings with attendees rather than host office hours or other meetings in a group format. Hosts and attendees must log in to Remote Office Hours Queue using U-M Weblogin.

BlueJeans Required

The Remote Office Hours Queue app works in conjunction with BlueJeans videoconferencing. If you have never used BlueJeans before, you MUST log into BlueJeans before an attendee can be added to your Remote Office Hours Queue. Please review Getting Started with BlueJeans. We also recommend you test audio and microphone settings before meeting with the first attendee.

Equipment Suggestions


Blue Snowball iCE USB Condenser Microphone

  • $49.99
  • MFR #988-000067

The Snowball iCE from Blue incorporates Blue’s revolutionary Ball-microphone design with the added convenience of a USB output.

Blue Yeti Nano Multi-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone

  • $99.99
  • MFR #988-000088

The Blue Yeti Nano is a multi-pattern USB condenser microphone offering simple operability and high-quality audio capture for podcasters, YouTubers, vloggers, gamers, and voice-over artists in homes, project studios, and mobile recording setups.

Saramonic SR-ULM10 Omnidirectional USB Lavalier Microphone

  • $35.00
  • MFR #SR-ULM10

Designed for mobile journalism, vlogging, and live streaming, the Saramonic SR-ULM10 is a compact lavalier microphone that lets you record clear and accurate speech directly to your Mac, Windows, or Chromebook computer—with easy plug-and-play operation.

Microphone Accessories

Auray RFDT-128 Desktop Reflection Filter and Mic Stand

  • $59.99
  • MFR #RFDT-128

Designed to be an all-in-one solution for desktop recording where isolation is needed, the RFDT-128 Desktop Reflection Filter and Mic Stand from Auray features high-density acoustic foam and a perforated aluminum screen that absorb and block room noise and reflections that can commonly occur in acoustically untreated rooms.

Auray PFSS-55 Pop Filter with Gooseneck with Springloaded Clamp

  • $18.99
  • MFR #PFSS-55

The Auray PFSS-55 Pop Filter with Gooseneck with Springloaded Clamp (5.5″ Pop Filter and 13.5″ Gooseneck) features double-layered nylon to greatly reduce noise from aspirated plosives like p and b sounds. The PFSS-55’s double-layered nylon filter gently disperses the explosive rush of air from speaking and breathing, while protecting your microphone from corrosive moisture.


Cyber Acoustics AC-851B USB Headset

  • $32.00
  • MFR: AC-851B

Slick, comfortable, and awesome quality, the AC-851B USB stereo headset is a great choice for anyone doing VoIP and gaming.

Sennheiser GSP 350

  • $100.73
  • MFR: 507081

The Sennheiser GSP 350 gaming headset brings an incredible level of realism to PC gaming thanks to its customizable sound options including downloadable 7.1 Dolby Surround technology. Form-fitting memory foam ear pads ensure exceptional comfort and best-in-class isolation from outside distractions allowing for total focus while you play. Also on board is Sennheiser’s infamous broadcast quality, noise-cancelling microphone that minimizes background noises for crystal-clear in-game chat.

Logitech G PRO X Gaming Headset

  • $129.99
  • MFR #981-000817

The Logitech G PRO X Gaming Headset is designed to provide users with eSports-grade features fit for pro gamers. It’s built with 50mm neodymium drivers and a detachable boom mic with Blue VO!CE technology for clear communication.


Logitech C920s HD Pro Webcam

  • $69.99
  • MFR #960-001257

Chat, stream, and record with the C920s HD Pro Webcam from Logitech. This webcam supports up to 1080p video at 30 fps and features HD auto-focus and automatic light correction for clear details whether you’re in dimly- or brightly-lit environments. Thanks to its dual microphones, your voice will sound natural and clear.

Webcam Lighting and Accessories

Lume Cube Webcam Light Kit for Laptop or Monitor

  • $69.95
  • MFR #LC-VC2

The Lume Cube Webcam Light Kit is designed to attach to your computer monitor to provide illumination for your webcam videoconferences. Attached to the back of a laptop or desktop monitor, around the top or side edge, it sticks out to light up your face and background so that everything looks better and more professional on camera.

Lume Cube Broadcast/Webcam Light Kit with Panel GO for Desktop

  • $129.95

The Broadcast/Webcam Light Kit from Lume Cube combines the compact Panel GO LED light with a desktop stand, a suction cup, and a 6′ USB Type-C charging cable.

Webaround The Big Shot Collapsible Portable Webcam Backdrop

  • $75.00

Up your Zoom presentation game with the 56″ green WebAround The Big Shot Collapsible Portable Webcam Backdrop. Made of lightweight and durable nylon and neoprene, the background has a spring steel frame that pulls the material taut to eliminate wrinkles for perfect background replacement and its large 56-inch diameter will ensure your webcam can’t see past the edges. Designed for ease-of-use it attaches to the back of just about any chair with an integrated stabilizer and adjustable strap that ensure it will sit flat against the chair back. When your meeting is done, The Big Shot collapses to just 21 inches and fits into a convenient carrying bag.

Web-based Teleprompters