MPAS Zoom Meetings

MPAS uses Zoom for its online meetings. Meeting details are shared with members via the E-Scorpius email group and the members-only Facebook group.

Quick Start Guide

If you haven’t used Zoom before, here’s a quick guide to get started.

What you need

Generally, if you’ve used software like Skype, Google Meet, FaceTime, or Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp video calls before, then all you need is the Zoom app. But here’s a list of things you would typically need:

  • A computer, tablet or smartphone.
  • A video camera. You can use the built-in camera of your smartphone, tablet or laptop, or use a separate webcam for your computer. If you don’t have a camera, you can still join meetings, but others won’t be able to see you.
  • A microphone. Phones, tablets and laptops usually have built-in ones. Most webcams also have built-in microphones.
  • We recommend that you use a headset or headphones. This greatly reduces feedback and echo during the meeting.
  • The Zoom software (see below).
  • If you don’t have any of those, you can even call in from any phone (but obviously that would be audio only).
What it will cost you

Joining a Zoom meeting is free for you, however it will use somewhere between 1-2 GB of data per hour. That’s similar to watching an hour of Netflix or other streaming video service. That’s no problem if you’re on an unlimited data plan (e.g on NBN or ADSL). But if you’ve got a monthly data limit, perhaps keep that in mind.

Dialling in via phone costs you the same as a local phone call (the invitation will have a list of Australian dial in phone numbers, pick the one with your local area code).

Downloading and Installing the Zoom Software

We recommend that you download and install Zoom on your device before you join the meeting. Even if you’re planning to use your computer, it may be a good idea to install it on your smartphone or tablet as well, as a backup option. You only need to complete this step once before the first meeting you join.

The easiest way to install Zoom is to click on the meeting link we send you. Alternatively, you can install the software manually.

For smartphones/tablets, go to the iOS App Store or the Google Play store, and search for ZOOM Cloud Meetings, or use the links below:

For computers, go to the Zoom download page and follow the installation instructions for your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux).

Joining a Meeting

The meeting invite we share with you will contain a link that looks like this:
(The link here is not valid, it’s just an example). In addition, we will send you a Meeting ID (a 10 digit code) and a passcode. If you use the link (as explained below), you can ignore the Meeting ID and passcode.

  1. To join the meeting, simply click on the link, and follow the prompts that ask you to open the link using Zoom.
  2. You may now see a screen that says that the meeting hasn’t started yet. Simply wait for the host of the meeting to let you in.
  3. When you join the meeting, Zoom may ask you “How do you want to join the audio conference?”, or “To hear others please join audio”.
    You would usually select “Call using Internet Audio” or “Join by Computer”. This will use your built-in microphone or headset.
    Zoom may also ask you whether to join with video or not. This is up to you, and you can also enable video later during the meeting.
  4. Now you’re in the meeting! On your computer, move the mouse over the main window to display the available options. On a smartphone or tablet, touch anywhere to display the options.

If you want to dial in via phone, you will need the Meeting ID and passcode. Make sure you use the passcode that is listed below the phone numbers in the meeting invite. Follow the instructions on the Zoom website.

During a Meeting

The Zoom application has a lot of options. Here are the ones you are most likely to find useful. The icons are for the desktop version. Most of the functionality is also available in the smartphone/tablet version (but the icons may look slightly different).

Use these icons to mute/unmute your microphone, and stop/start your video. In larger meetings, it is often better for everyone to mute the microphones except for the one or two people speaking. This can avoid feedback and echos.

Click on the Participants icon to see the list of participants. The Chat icon opens the built-in chat function. Click on it to read and send messages to everyone in the meeting. In large meetings, the chat may be a good way to ask questions.

If the meeting host has enabled this function, you can click the Share Screen button to share your screen with everyone in the meeting. Usually only one person can share at a time. This is most often used for speakers to share their PowerPoint slides, but it’s also great for sharing photos, documents etc.

This icon in the top right corner lets you switch between Gallery View and Speaker View. For presentations, speaker view is sometimes easier to follow. For group chats, Gallery View is nice because you can see many participants at once. The broken square icon next to this one switches Zoom into full-screen mode.