How to Zoom Video and Instructions

Introduction to Zoom for OLLI @ SSU

Are you new to Zoom?  We have put together some helpful tips below , or watch the new OLLI Zoom Video to guide you on your virtual Zoom journey.

You don’t have to be a computer professional to use Zoom.   It is a whole new world open to you, so jump in, give it a try, and find out how easy and fun it is to use Zoom.  You will be able to enjoy OLLI classes and activities on Zoom in ways you never thought possible.  Get ready to start Zooming…with OLLI @SSU!

Some things to know:

Your Computer:

  • Equipment: A desktop computer, a laptop, smartphone or tablet device with microphone and speakers for audio.  If you don’t have good audio, you can watch your class on your computer and dial in with your phone for the audio.  Consider inexpensive headphones for better sound and less background noise.
  • Internet Connection: A good internet connection will help you to view Zoom classes.   Check that your Internet connection is able to deliver video.  A friend or family member might be able assist you, or check with your internet provider regarding your internet connection.


  • If you are registered (online or by phone): One day before your class meets,  will send you an email with a Zoom link to join the class.
  • At least 10-15 minutes before the class is scheduled to begin, click on the blue link within the email invitation. This will start Zoom.
  • You will probably be asked to “Allow” access. Click on the “Allow” button.
  • If you see a spinning disc on your screen, it could take about 20 or 30 seconds before your class will open up.
  • Once you have joined your Zoom class, you will have the option to “Join with Video”. Click on the “Join with Video” button.
  • After a short time, you will see your Instructor and a gallery of other OLLI members who are participating in the class.
  • OLLI students are muted at the start of class so no one will be able to hear you or any background noise.
  • You will be asked to turn off their video once class begins so that any movement or activity is not distracting to the instructor or other students.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. When your cursor reaches the bottom, you will see several icons.
  • You will find the “Start Video” – a small icon in the bottom left corner of your screen. If there is a red line through the “Start Video” icon, click on it to remove the red line and then everyone will be able to see you on screen. 
  • At the bottom of the screen on the left, there is a “Mute” button.  If there is a red line through it, you are muted and can’t talk to the instructor. If you want to talk, you need to click that button to remove the red line.
  • At the top of your screen, you can choose whether to show only the instructor or everyone in the class (“Gallery”). You can also choose to make the Lecturer’s image bigger than all the others, and you can adjust the size of the slides the instructor is showing. You can also adjust the size of the images on your screen to 50%, 100% and so on. Scroll through the options and choose whichever view you prefer.
  • If you want to ask a question, the best way is to use the “Chat box” function at the bottom of the screen, in the middle. Type your question in and make sure (on the little scroll-down menu in the “Chat” function) you are sending it to “Everyone. Type your question, then click the “Enter” button on your keyboard.
  • Depending on the Instructor, he/she may stop to respond to your question or may keep talking and answer your question later in the class.
  • Sometimes the Instructor will ask for questions. In this case, he/she may unmute everyone and you can actually ask your question orally.   This can pose challenges with any background noises since we will all hear the sounds.
  • At the end of the class, click on “Leave At the end of the class, and then click on “Leave Meeting” in the bottom right of your screen.

That’s all you need to get started.  You can also utilize the Zoom Help Center at

If you have a Zoom problem:

  • Technical glitches can happen on Zoom.  If something should go wrong, depending on the circumstances, your OLLI instructor and OLLI Program Assistant may either leave the class or shut the class down and restart.  There will always be an OLLI Program Assistant or helper to assist the instructor at each class, so be patient and wait for OLLI to restart the class as quickly as possible.  If something changes with the class, you will be contacted by email from
  • If you have problems with your computer or connection, you might want to log out of the class and then log on again.  If you are new to Zoom, consider practicing in advance of class and test your audio to be sure your sound is up, and your video is on.  If your audio isn’t working, you can watch the class on your computer with Zoom and listen to the class through your phone on Zoom.
  • Feel free to contact the OLLI Program Assistant at or call 707-664-2691 if you need Zoom assistance.  Please be patient with OLLI staff if you need assistance once a class has started.  It could be a few minutes before staff can leave the class to assist you.

The most important thing to know about Zoom is…

  Have Fun… and enjoy your OLLI class! 

Watch the OLLI@SSU Zoom video!