Teaching remotely

For Students

Check Blackboard and your email for announcements from your instructor. Courses may include live lectures via Zoom video conferencing as well as prerecorded lectures to watch before interactive class sessions.

To connect to a Zoom meeting, you can either click the link distributed by your instructor or open the Zoom application on your computer, select 'Join', and enter the meeting ID (the meeting ID is the nine or ten digit number at the end of the Zoom link).

If your instructor has linked to videos hosted on the math department cloud server and they do not play properly in your web browser (Mac users should use Safari), you can download the video file via a link on that same webpage and watch locally on your computer. If you have trouble playing videos hosted on the math department cloud server please email compudoc@math.princeton.edu.

For Faculty

Some math courses are continuing via live Zoom video conferences, while others are combining prerecorded lectures with live Zoom study sessions. How each course proceeds is at the discretion of the course-head. If faculty would like assistance in determining what will work best for their course, or require technical assistance, please email compudoc@math.princeton.edu.

The three main approaches to teaching via Zoom meetings are:

  • Use an iPad or other tablet/touchscreen device as a digital whiteboard.
  • Screen-share a PDF of lecture notes to refer to. Absent a touchscreen device, you can use your computer mouse to annotate the document. You may also allow your students to annotate the PDF on screen. Note: the department has a very limited number of writing tablets available for loan; email compudoc@math.princeton.edu to request one.
  • Simply point the camera built in to your computer at a home blackboard or whiteboard.
    • If you choose this route, please write larger than usual on the board to ensure the camera can see clearly.
    • If you are lecturing at your board facing away from the computer, your voice may not be picked up by the microphone very well. You can improve the audio by either using a bluetooth headset or connecting your phone to the Zoom meeting as well and using a headset/microphone connected to your phone.

Using Zoom Video Conferencing:

If you haven’t downloaded the Zoom application:

  • Go to www.princeton.edu/zoom 
  • Click Host
  • Enter your NetID and password in the Central Authentication Service screen (Duo will be required)
  • Download the Zoominstaller file to download Zoom
  • Once the software is installed, the best way to schedule and join Zoom meetings will be by opening the Zoom client on your computer.
  • If you are prompted again to login from the Zoom client, select "Sign in with SSO" as the option, and enter 'princeton' as the company domain.

Joining a meeting

Once you have installed the Zoom program, you can join an existing meeting either by clicking the link that was sent to you or by clicking the 'Join' button in Zoom and entering the nine or ten digit meeting ID number.

If you scheduled the Zoom meeting (see below), you can easily find it by clicking on the 'Meetings' button in the Zoom client.

Scheduling a Zoom meeting for your class/review session

Each Zoom meeting you schedule will act as a virtual classroom accessible throughout the semester. To schedule Zoom meetings for your class, click the Schedule Button in the Zoom client

  • We recommend you setup one scheduled Zoom meeting for your class session, and separate Zoom meetings for each review session (smaller courses may find one Zoom meeting room sufficient). Each Zoom meeting will essentially be a virtual classroom that you and your students will return to for your lectures/review session.
  • From the Schedule tab, you can name your meeting (e.g. "MAT350" lectures or "MAT201 Tuesday 2pm review session"), and instead of setting a specific time you should check the 'Recurring meeting' box.
  • Select to turn on video for the meeting host (instructor) and participants.
  • Finally, click "Advanced Options" and check the boxes for "Enable join before host" and "Mute participants on entry". If you would like to record your Zoom meetings you can also select "Record the meeting automatically on the local computer" here (you also have the option to enable recording during the meeting itself, see below).

After clicking "Schedule" the program will give you a link that you can copy & paste into an email or Blackboard announcement for your students to access. The meeting invitation Zoom provides is very long; the important parts to send to your students are:

Join Zoom Meeting


If students have trouble with the link, they can also join with only the meeting ID, which is simply the number at the end of the link. One can also join a meeting via telephone (voice only) by calling 646-558-8656, and entering the meeting ID when prompted, followed by #.

Sharing screens and digital white boards

Zoom has the capability to share files on your computer (e.g. PDF of lecture note) as well as a built-in digital white board. To use either of these features, click the green 'Share' button near the bottom of your Zoom conference window and select what you would like to share. The options will only include files that are already open on your computer, so if you plan to share a PDF, have it opened before you begin. It is recommended not to share your whole desktop, as doing so may inadvertently let your students see other windows (e.g. your email) open on your computer.

Using multiple devices (e.g. desktop and iPad) together

You may want to conduct a class using both your desktop/laptop and another device (e.g. iPad). The Zoom software only lets you log in from one device at a time, so in this case you would start the meeting from your desktop computer. Then, from your second device make sure you are logged out of Zoom,  select to "Join a meeting", and enter the meeting ID number (found via your initial meeting invitation or at the top of your Zoom window during the meeting). This will allow you to join the meeting from your secondary device, and from there you can share a digital whiteboard to make notes on.

Posting recorded videos

We recommend posting videos the math department's own cloud service. To request access to our shared video repository, email wcrow@math.princeton.edu.To log in to this system, go to https://cloud.math.princeton.edu, and log in with your math department username and password.

Once you have been added to our shared video repository, click 'Shared with you' on the left-hand menu bar and open the 'Videos' folder.

If there is not already a folder for your course, you can create one via the '+' button near the top of the screen. Click to enter the folder for your class, click the '+' button near the top, select "Upload file", and navigate to your recorded lecture on your computer to upload.

To create a link to share with your students, click the share icon () on the line of your video file, then on the right-side menu click the '+' button next to "Share link".

After clicking the '+' button to add a sharing link, the final step is to click the 'copy' icon and then paste that link (ctrl-v) into a Blackboard announcement or email to your students.