While we wrap up the Fall of 2020, we are beginning to look forward to prepare for the Spring of 2021. As we do so, there have been some exciting announcements from the providers of two of our tools.
In order to utilize these updates, be sure to update your desktop or mobile client to the most recent version (in the desktop version, this can be done via the user menu, or if you are on mobile, you can check for updates via your device’s app store).
Enhanced Co-Host Priviledges
While in the past, co-hosts in a Zoom meeting did not have the same abilities to control breakout rooms during a meeting- requiring them to rely on the primary host- Zoom has made updates to extend the same control options to co-hosts. For many who are in team teaching roles, this long awaited change will bring much greater flexibility in scheduling, lecture planning, and the ability to be flexible on your feet as a course meeting progresses.
Desktop Meeting Reminders
The Zoom desktop client will now have the option to give reminders to users of upcoming meetings. This will be especially useful for those users who prefer to manage their meeting schedule within the Zoom app, rather than having to add their meetings to Outlook or another calendar program in order to receive reminders of their meetings. For new users, this will be enabled by default. Existing users who wish to enable this option can do so via their settings page in the Zoom web portal or in the General Settings portion of the desktop app.
In-Meeting Poll Reports
Starting with the new version of Zoom released on 12/21, users can now access their Poll Reports during a meeting instead of having to wait until the conclusion of the meeting, giving more flexibility in when and how to share Poll results.
Non-Verbal Communication in Meetings
Also released 12/21, non-verbal feedback (“yes,” “no,” etc.) now appears under the Reactions option which has housed icons such as the smiley face and thumbs up. This will make it much easier for users to access and use these options interchangeably without needing to access multiple menus within the Zoom interface. These reactions will now also show in the top corner of the user’s video as well as in the participant list.
Hosts and co-hosts will also notice that they can see the “Raise Hand” option under reactions going forward. Previously, this option was restricted to meeting participants, however the inclusion for the meeting hosts and co-hosts will now allow for more flexibility in situations where meeting leadership is being shared/handed off between multiple people.
Poll Everywhere has also released several exciting updates as well as an important functional change to the Trash folder.
New Presenter Controls
Poll Everywhere has updated their Presenter Controls options for greater ease of use.
First, users will now be able to toggle between activity views in their surveys: when you enter fullscreen and present a survey to your audience, you’ll see new buttons to advance between questions, lock or unlock each activity, and to choose your desired view.
In addition, the bottom of the screen for each activity will now have unique views customized based on on the activities features. For example:
- Did you request responses on a Multiple Choice activity with one correct answer? You can now choose between views that show the instructions, the responses, or if answers were correct.
- Did you present a clickable image with predefined response regions? You can now choose to view the image you presented, the results, the regions on your image, or even all of the above at once!
You can now share the responses you collected even after your class meeting is over! This addition will provide another useful way for students to review information while studying or working on projects for future course meetings.
To utilize this new option, instructors can select up to 20 items from their activity list to be shared at once. After selecting the desired activities, click the “Share Response” option at the top of your activities page and enter your students email addresses to send them a link which will allow them to download screenshots of the information. Students do not need to have signed up for their own Poll Everywhere account in order to review the shared information.
A Change to Trash Retention
Starting January 25th, 2021 items in your trash folder will be deleted after 30 days. After deletion, activities are not recoverable so be sure to remove any items you may want to keep before that period of time.
Interested in more Product Updates?
Both Poll Everywhere and Zoom maintain product update pages where you can read more about recent developments that might be of use in your classes.
The ATSI team can be reached via email with questions on these or other Academic Technologies in use at the University of Portland.