In today’s world, it is almost impossible to not have heard of Zoom.

You might have even been using it regularly for work meetings or just to talk with friends and family online.

At Learn to Flourish we are very familiar with Zoom because clients hire us to help them make a smooth transition from traditional classroom training to online learning including Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) and self-paced eLearning. If you are

Zoom is an excellent option for VILT as it provides instructors with video conferencing functionality and many other classroom activity features to make your synchronous online classes more fun and engaging. We have tried all the tools and Zoom is definitely our favorite so far.

A big challenge for instructors using Zoom is that often your participants are on different types of devices. You might have some people using a desktop and others on various mobile devices. The Zoom interface is different for each which can make it difficult when trying to use some of the more engaging Zoom features such as annotations, and participant panel status indicators.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Instructor: “You’re going to use screen annotation to vote on your favorite option. To use your screen annotation, move your mouse to the top of your Zoom window. Now click View Options. Then click Annotations. Now you can use the annotation tool bar to mark up the screen.”
Student 1: “Uh, my cell phone doesn’t have something that says view options.”
Student 2: “My iPad doesn’t show that.”

This type of interruption can kill the learning experience for the students and put you as the instructor into a tailspin.

I don’t know about you, but I like my classes to run smoothly! So to help out, we have pulled together instructions for Zoom’s desktop and mobile applications.

We recently held a webinar that explains how to rapidly transition your live classes to online training, which you can check out here.

Use this article as a resource for delivering your live virtual online courses.

Zoom Functionality for Participants

When you are teaching classes online (VILT) you’ll want to use as much of the zoom functionality as possible to keep your learners engaged. Examples of this are chats, sharing screens, or annotating.

Function Description
Mute/Unmute The ability to mute/unmute your mic.
Start/Stop Video The ability to start/stop your webcam.
Chat Allows people on the call to send chat messages to each other. This can be useful for sending web links, email addresses, or other contact information.
Participant Panel/Status Indicators Within the participant panel, there are status indicators to notify the host of the call. The list of status indicators are: Raise hand, yes, no, go slower, go faster, thumbs down, thumbs up, clap, break, and wait.
Share Screen The ability to share your computer screen with everyone else in the call.
Annotating Allows anyone in the call to draw or type on top of the screen that is being shared. A screen must be currently sharing to access the annotating feature.

It can be a completely different interface experience between using Zoom on your desktop compared to your mobile device.


zoom desktop


On the bottom of the zoom screen, there is a microphone icon that you can click to mute or unmute yourself.

The microphone icon means your microphone is on and everyone in the call can hear you speak.

When the icon has a red line through it, it means that you are currently muted and no one can hear you speak.

If your microphone isn’t working, Zoom might not be using the correct microphone source. To change that, click the arrow next to the mute/unmute icon to open the microphone sources. Then select the microphone you want Zoom to use.

Start/Stop Video

On the bottom of the Zoom screen, there is a camera icon that you can click to turn your camera on and off.

Just like the microphone icon, the red line means the camera is off.

If your video isn’t appearing on the screen, click the arrow beside the camera icon to change the source of the camera.


To access the chat window, click on the Chat icon on the bottom of the screen.

The chat window will then open on the side of your screen, where you can type in your message and press ENTER to send it to the rest of the group.

Participant Panel/Status Indicators

To access the participant panel, click the Participants icon on the bottom of the Zoom screen.

At the bottom of the participant panel, you’ll find the status indicators. Click on one of the option to notify the host.

Share Screen

Click the Share Screen icon on the bottom of the Zoom screen.

Then select the screen you wish to share with the call. You can also select the two options on the bottom of the pop-up window if you wish to share your computer sound or optimize your screen for sharing the video.


Click the Annotate icon on the top of the Zoom screen.

There are several annotation options available.

There are many different annotation options available for you to use. You can type text on the screen, draw with your mouse, create stamps, or use your mouse as a spotlight. You can also change the colour of your pen or text by clicking on the Format icon.

All annotations you make can be deleted or erased by clicking on the Clear icon.



Select the Unmute/Mute icon on the bottom of the Zoom app to mute/unmute yourself.

Start/Stop Video

Select the Start Video icon to turn on your camera


To access the chat on a mobile device, click the More icon on the bottom of the Zoom app.

Then select Chat.

Type in your message and tap Send to share it with the rest of the call.

Participant Panel/Status Indicators

To access the Participant panel, click the Participants icon on the bottom of the Zoom app.

There are status indicators in the drop list that you can select to notify the host.

Share Screen

Click the Share Screen icon on the bottom of the Zoom screen app.

Select Screen.

If you haven’t already given Zoom access to all of your device’s permissions, then you’ll be prompted to allow access to Zoom.


To access the annotation features for mobile devices, someone must be currently sharing their screen.

Click the arrow on the bottom of the Zoom app.

Then select the Annotation icon.

The annotation features for the Zoom mobile app include a spotlight, pen tool to draw, and a highlighter. You can change the colour of the pen by tapping the Color icon. To delete your annotations, tap the Clear icon.


The Zoom features that you can access on both desktop and mobile are:
– Muting/Unmuting yourself
– Turning your camera on or off
– Sending chats to the group
– Access the participant panel to select status indicators
– Share your screen
– Annotate the currently shared screen

These Zoom features and tools are just the tip of the iceberg. Zoom will continue to update and add more impressive features to improve the online call experience.

Are you currently trying to convert your live classroom sessions to online learning? Check out our webinar on How To Rapidly Convert Live Classroom Training to Online Learning.

For more great articles for elearning and video development, check out our blog at

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