Zoom Security

As users of our institutional Zoom account for “Meetings,” there are many approaches we can use to prevent unwanted intrusions or “Zoom bombings” from happening in our virtual classes and events. We want Concordia meetings and classes to be safe and welcoming for everyone.

Here are a few safeguards we recommend using with Zoom Meetings:

When you are a participant

  • Be sure to sign into your Concordia (CUWAA) Zoom account. Anyone with a CUWAA e-mail can connect through our account. After you have downloaded a Zoom client, follow these instructions to sign into your CUWAA Zoom account: Sign into CUWAA Zoom Account Instructions
  • Do not share the links to any Meeting with those outside our community.

When you are a planner or host for an event

  • Do not post your link on social media, a website, or any public spaces\
  • Keep your Zoom app on your computer updated to the most recent software (click on your name icon, then “check for updates.”
  • Require your CUWAA participants to connect their device to their CUWAA account and automatically bypass the waiting room:
    Sign into CUWAA Zoom Account Instructions
  • For an added layer of security, edit the meeting settings to automatically generate a unique meeting id (do not use your personal meeting id or PMI) and  set a passcode for the meeting so only users with the invite link or passcode can join.
  • For persons outside the university, when they join they will be admitted to the waiting room. Take caution when admitting people from the waiting room.
    • Closely check the names of the people you allow in from the waiting room. All verified CUWAA accounts bypass the waiting room, including students if they are using their CUWAA account.
    • If you have a few non-CU persons you are inviting, find out the name used by their device so you can identify them before you admit them from the waiting room.
    • If you wish to invite a number of persons that do not have CUWAA e-mails, consider using the Zoom registration process so you have information on participants prior to their arrival in the waiting room.  Set up or edit your non-recurring meeting at cuwaa.zoom.us with “registration” required (check the box). This means you will collect information from everyone seeking the link.  Instructions for using the registration process
    • If you have a significant number of persons outside CUWAA, inquire about using the CU Webinar License forpublic Zoom Webinars have more built in security features as attendees cannot use audio.  Contact me, sean.young@cuw.edu for more information.
  • When you are hosting Meetings, use your account setting options at cuwaa.zoom.us to minimize potential intrusion from someone set on disturbing your meeting, and use the in-meeting Security features once the Meeting is underway.
    • In the settings area, enable “mute all participants when they join a meeting” so that they will need to request the ability to talk which will also share their video. In Meeting Security Options
    • Under in-meeting basic settings, enable screen sharing, but identify “host only” and then you can grant “share screen” rights to individuals in your meeting when it’s appropriate.
    • Use the Security icon in your Meeting controls bar to remove anyone who is causing trouble.  Use the option “Suspend Participant Activities” to turn off all participants video, audio, ability to share screens, and locks the Meeting.
    • During the Meeting, ask a co-host to watch for intrusions and be prepared to eliminate anyone disrupting the Meeting and report that user to Zoom.
    • In-meeting security features are explained here In Meeting Security Options

If you need help with accessing or using Zoom, call the HELP Desk at Mequon at 262-243-4357 or (866) 849-4272 or e-mail ithelpdesk@cuw.edu

Final Exams for Unusual Times

Concordia University Wisconsin Ann Arbor
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
April 27, 2020

For a 40 minute video presenting most of these ideas on a Zoom call with faculty from the School of Business on April 24 click here.

Final Exams for Unusual Times

Stay the Course

If you have a final exam on your syllabus, keep some type of remote exam rather than change the assignment too much as of this point in the semester. There are many options for exams beyond the traditional timed, exam opened only during your course’s final exam time.

Many of our students are experiencing challenges with internet connections at home, some due to low bandwidth or many people using it at the same time. This article makes suggestions on all the options available, including alternatives that might not be as difficult or stress-producing for students with technology challenges.

Review your course learning outcomes and identify which outcomes your final exam will address. Remember to match the types of questions with the verbs used in your outcomes.  Review the outcomes your exam addresses with students during the final week of the course.

As always, after you develop your plan for your final exam, be sure to communicate that plan in advance with students in writing. The Registrar develops a final exam schedule that is communicated to all faculty. Faculty members may not change the date or time of their final exam, or the due date for a final project or paper.  The final must either be offered within the designated 2-hour time slot listed in the final exam schedule, or if converted into a take-home test, be due by that time.

Communicate with Students

Post information on your exam in your Blackboard course site as soon as you can. Indicate your expectations for the exam include time limits, whether or not students can use books, or notes, or not. Also indicate whether students are allowed to work together on the exam or if they are prohibited from doing so.

If you are using timed exams,  send a reminder the day before the exam and suggest students ask for support from others in their household during the test time to facilitate a good internet connection.  Students can  ask others to reduce use of a shared internet connection during the time of the test. Include suggestions for minimizing distraction such as: find a private space, close the door, ask others to leave them alone, silence notifications and cell phones. Remind students also of your expectations communicated in your Blackboard site.

Connect with the Academic Resource Center on any accessibility or accommodation issues or testing needs for students with accommodations.

CUW https://www.cuw.edu/academics/services/student-academic-resources/academic-resource-center/index.html

CUAA https://www.cuaa.edu/academics/services/student-academic-resources/academic-resource-center/index.html

Conventional Wisdom suggests that exams are to be offered in secure environments to prevent cheating.  In other semesters, it has been easier to create such an environment by giving exams in a physical classroom.  This semester, we are forced to make alternative plans for final exams.

For remote tests in Blackboard, the most secure option is proctoring with Respondus Monitor. This requires students to download and use Lockdown Browser and have a video camera and microphone attached to their computer. The browser students use to access the exam in Blackboard does not allow the student to open other windows or copy or print.  Faculty should notify students at minimum one-week before the test so students can download the software and be ready. Faculty should include a practice test using Monitor in the Blackboard site to facilitate student preparation.

Details on Respondus Monitor include a recorded session from March located here along with the handout. Information to share with students is here

Features of Tests in Blackboard

Remote tests in Blackboard not using Respondus Monitor can also use be secured through test features.

  • Overall time limits can be used to prevent students from looking up a great number of the answers.
  • Individual questions cannot be timed, but a test can be split into parts, each with its own time limit.
  • Randomize test questions and/or randomize multiple-choice responses.

Instructions for creating a Blackboard test are located here Advance to about 25% of the way into the recording. More information about Blackboard tests is available on the CELT blog.

Use Zoom to Observe Students Taking the Test

If you are offering your test during a short window, students could take the exam in Blackboard while also connecting with you and the class on Zoom. You can see everyone on the same Zoom window if you have no more than 25 students.  You will not be able to see if they have papers or notes, but if you have prohibited those, this option will give you the opportunity to observe their faces.  Some students may feel heightened anxiety at “being watched.”

Using Zoom on a Second Device to Observe Students Taking the Test

If students have a second device like a phone, they could prop it up so that it observes their keyboard and work area during the exam.

Unconventional Wisdom in these times suggests using alternate, non-timed exam formats that still effectively evaluate student learning.  Check out these five reasons not to use timed exams at this time

  • Open-book or Take-home test – Convert your final exam to an open-book or take-home test. Adjust your exam questions to accommodate a longer time to work on the exam, but don’t make it a test-and-a-half. Be sure that the questions aim at higher levels on Bloom’s taxonomy, lining up with course-level outcomes. For example, you could use case studies or ask students to respond to a problem using particular critical thinking strategies you have taught.  You could request that references to course resources and supporting evidence be included.
  • Alternative Blackboard Assignment: Create a take-home exam with prompts that students write to in a word document. Make the exam available during the last week of class. Then create an Assignment (dropbox) in Blackboard so students can upload their responses. If you are using a percentage-based Grade Center, you may need to adjust it.  For example, students could be asked to identify and explain five critical concepts learned in your class, supported with evidence and citations.

How to Get Help


If you need help with accessing or using Zoom, call the HELP Desk at x4357 or e-mail ithelpdesk@cuw.edu


If you need help with Blackboard, additional information is available Here or contact the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at celtsupport@cuw.edu (provide information on what you are hoping to do) or call 262-243-2358, and leave a detailed voice message if no one is available.


For More Information:

IDEA Paper #76 Writing Better Essay Exams https://www.ideaedu.org/idea_papers/writing-better-essay-exams/

Waterloo University Tips for Writing Exam Questions https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/developing-assignments/exams/questions-types-characteristics-suggestions

Rutgers University’s specific, practical tips for going open-book in quantitative courses: https://sasoue.rutgers.edu/teaching-learning/remote-exams-assessment#special-advice-for-open-book-assessment-in-quantitative-courses

Indiana University Bloomington’s suggestions for adapting assessments:


UC Berkeley’s list of ideas for alternative assignment types:


University of Wisconsin Extended Campus: Unproctored Online Assessments


Zooming Along: Best Practices for Teaching Via Zoom

Zooming Along: Best Practices for Teaching via Zoom with Kate Robertson and Susan Gallanis

Dates (All sessions address the same content):

  • Tuesday April 7, 3:00 – 4:00 pm Central Time
  • Wednesday April 8, 3:00 – 4:00 pm Central Time
  • Thursday April 9, 10:00 – 11:00 am Central Time

This program focuses on three key areas: the importance of frontloading and intentionality in the Zoom teaching world; engagement and attendance strategies; and the importance of “hitting pause” throughout the class session to give students time to consider what they are learning. We will demonstrate how some of the Zoom tools can be used to address learning goals and incorporate your questions as well.

PowerPoint: Zooming along final

Sample Order for the Day: Order of the day on Zoom

Archived Recording: https://cuwaa.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=6a09c4d8-e83b-4474-9d92-ab98012d74ce

Updates and Reminders: Instructional Continuity Portlet

Below are updates and reminders related to resources posted on the Instructional Continuity portlet on the CUWAA portals (mycuw.edu, mycuaa.edu). Updates are divided by Blackboard and Zoom and are in date order, most recent on top.

Blackboard and Respondus

March, 2021

On April 20, 2021 all Blackboard courses in the terms 201710 (Fall of 2016) and older will be archived and then deleted from Blackboard (concordia.blackboard.com). Students will not be able to access those courses.

What to do now: Prior to April 20th, please copy anything you still need from those Blackboard courses to an external location.   This can be an external hard drive or an online cloud service.  What to backup would be any assignments or work done within a course you would like to save for future use.  This maintenance is part of our process of remaining within our Blackboard size limit.  If you have questions or problems related to courses that will be deleted on April 20th, please send an e-mail with that information to blackboardsupport@cuw.edu

November, 2020

New Content Editor in Blackboard: This will result in a few different and better ways you can upload content into Blackboard.  You will see this change whenever you are adding text in Blackboard, such as posting in a discussion board, writing an essay answer to a test, or for faculty, creating or editing an item or writing a test question.  This change will affect how faculty add content as well as student submissions.

Learn more

April 14, 2020

Respondus Help Center for Students

The Respondus Help Center is in addition to the technology assistance provided by the Concordia IT Help Desk.

Once Respondus LockDown Browser is installed on the computer, students have access to the Respondus Help Center that includes an option for live chat with Respondus Technology Support (available 24/7).

Before beginning a test, or after submitting a test using Respondus, the Help Center icon appears at the top of the Respondus Browser. Please see document below for details. Please share with students.

Respondus Help Center for Students

April 3, 2020

Time Zone Adjustments Needed in Blackboard

The Blackboard servers use the Central Time Zone. If an instructor is located in a different time zone, such as Ann Arbor (Eastern Time Zone) and needs to set a specific time that an assignment or test is due, opens, or closes, the instructor must take into account their time zone and adjust accordingly. Please see this document with examples that show how to make  the needed adjustments: Time Zone Adjustments Needed in Blackboard


March 3, 2021

Automated transcriptions available during Zoom sessions

With a recent Zoom update, Zoom hosts can now enable automated transcriptions for Zoom sessions. To do this:

  1. Click on the Live Transcript button Live Trancript
  2. Then click on Enable Auto-Transcription
    Auto transcription

November 17, 2020

Zoom cloud recordings retention and Zoom messages on deletions

When you record to the Zoom cloud, these are temporary recordings the system will delete. Last spring we thought we could only keep the temporary cloud recordings for 90 days. We did not max out the storage limit, so we expanded the retention period to 180 days.

Zoom emails you are now receiving should be about recordings from the Spring term, (April and May) 180 days ago. Let them expire, they were not designed to be permanent.

Recordings you want to use semester to semester should be recorded to your computer and then uploaded to Panopto. Watch this Recordings session for more information.

April 13, 2020

Zoom Product Updates: New Security Toolbar Icon for Hosts, Meeting ID No Longer Displayed

The next time Zoom is opened, faculty and staff will be prompted to update the Zoom app. Most faculty/staff will be able to complete the update without assistance. Contact the IT Help Desk if you are unable to complete the update.

After faculty/staff update Zoom on their computer, meeting hosts will see is an option in the Zoom meeting controls called Security. This new icon simplifies how hosts can quickly find and enable many of Zoom’s in-meeting security features.

Visible only to hosts and co-hosts of Zoom Meetings, the Security icon provides easy access to several existing Zoom security features so you can more easily protect your meetings.

By clicking the Security icon, hosts and co-hosts have an all-in-one place to quickly:

Various security settings in the Zoom client, while extremely useful, were also extremely scattered. The addition of this persistent Security icon helps augment some of the default Zoom security features in your profile settings and enables Zoom users to more quickly take action to prevent meeting disruption.

The Security icon replaces the Invite button in the meeting controls. The Invite button has been moved to the Participants panel, and hosts can add additional guests there.

April 1, 2020

Issue: Participants Cannot Hear Audio When a Video is Played

Solution: When you share your screen, make sure to click Share Computer Sound (see bottom left of image).

Note: When showing video based content, i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc., also check “Optimize for Full-Screen Video clip”.  By doing so, you will increase the frame rate of the video playback and will allow for smoother playback.


March 30, 2020

Update to Zoom Default Setting for Screen Sharing
Zoom has recently adjusted the default setting for screen sharing, so that only hosts can screen share. If you want participants to share their screen (such as for a student presentation), when you are in a Zoom Meeting, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the up arrow at the right of the “Share Screen” icon in the Zoom controls.
    (If you do not see the arrow, share your own screen, then click stop share.)
  2. Click on “Advanced Sharing Options”
  3. On “Who Can Share” click on “all participants.” Keep the third setting at “only host.”
  4. Click the x in the upper right of the dialog box to close it.


If desired: You can also change this setting in your CUWAA.ZOOM.US profile by following these steps:

  1. Log into your profile at CUWAA.ZOOM.US
  2. In the navigation panel, click Settings.
  3. Under In Meeting (Basic), scroll down to Screen Sharing heading
  4. Switch on the option for All Participants.

Downloadable PDF with screenshots: Update to Zoom Default Setting for Screen Sharing