Sharing Audio over Zoom

Sharing good quality audio sources on your computer over Zoom can be tricky. You don’t simply want to play music over your speakers and let your computer microphone pick it up. That will sound terrible to remote listeners. Watch this demonstration video to learn how to use the settings on your computer to stream audio via a browser or iTunes or even a midi keyboard.

Pros: vastly improves experience for remote listeners.

Cons: adjusting the settings can be tedious, because . . they are.

Experts: Alex Savoth, Richard Freedman


Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create “grids” to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called “topics,” and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display.

Pros:  Free, simple to use. Web-based. 

Cons:  Limited editing capabilities. 

Expert: Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard


Panopto is available directly from Moodle, and allows Faculty or students to record their screen or camera and share it with others.  Panopto can also be used as a repository for Zoom recordings or additional media. 

Panopto has many useful features for capturing and replaying lectures. It will time stamp and index PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, allow you to insert questions into a lecture, and let students take notes or ask questions at a particular time stamp. There are also detailed stats for each video, which are only accessible to teachers and admin. 

Pros: Easy and efficient built in editing. Accessible metrics. Indexes Powerpoint or Keynote presentations, which will allow students to jump to important sections for review. Built in quizzing. Editable captions. Allows video upload and streaming.

Cons: Integration between Moodle, Zoom, and desktop client can be a little confusing. Also, the program is complex; while it can perform a number of different tasks, there is a bit of a learning curve for some of it’s features.

Expert: Sharon Strauss, Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard


Zoom is available to all Haverford community members, and allows users to video conference with people either in large groups or in smaller sessions. Zoom also has the ability to record your meetings online and add captions, if you want to do more formal presentations that you can then share afterwards via Moodle.

Pros: Available to everyone with a haverford email address, can be used with anyone as long as the ‘Host’ has a licensed account, allows for interaction with participants to be a part of the recording, if that is important to you. Provides meetings transcriptions, which can be downloaded as caption files. 

Cons: Limited long term storage space, you will have to download the recording after it is available and upload it to, Google Drive, or Moodle if you want to hang on to the recording. Limited to no editing capabilities. 

Note: Starting September 27, 2020, Zoom will require a password for all meetings. See this explanation from IITS.

Expert: Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard

Voice Thread for student audio or video assignments

Voicethread is a great tool for collecting audio from students. It will also work for short video assignments or performances. 

Pros: Lightweight, done entirely within the browser so students don’t have to download any extra software, integration with Moodle, accepts a wide variety of media formats.

Cons: Requires an internet connection to use. Archiving presentations is somewhat of a tedious and cumbersome process. 
Expert: Hiroyo Saito, Sharon Strauss, Charles Woodard, Alex Savoth

Statistics Tools beyond Campus

Assembled by Ben Le.


SPSS, a widely used program for statistical analysis in social science, is available via the Haverford Virtual Lab

Pros: students may already be familiar with SPSS; if syntax is used, it supports computational reproducibility

Cons: using the Virtual Lab can be somewhat clunky; SPSS is waning in adoption; not open-source nor freely available (it’s expensive); the user interface is not that intuitive and is somewhat bloated; does not run on tablets or Chromebooks


PSPP is open-source alternative to SPSS, with pros and cons similar to SPSS in strengths/limitations


jamovi is a free and open statistical platform which is intuitive to use, and can provide the latest developments in statistical methodology. 

Pros: open-source and freely available; the user interface is very accessible and easy to use; built on and generates R code, so a good stepping-stone to R and facilitates computational reproducibility; produces nice graphs and figures (at least compared to SPSS); supports add-on modules (e.g., there are nice packages for mediation and interaction terms in regression); available for Windows, Mac, and can be installed on Chromebooks

Cons: does not run on iPhones/iPads


JASP is another free desktop platform, with an extensive set of teaching and learning resources.  Includes support for Bayesian analysis.

Pros: similar to above with jamovi

Cons: similar to above with jamovi

R, R Studio, R Studio Cloud

R (and R studio) and R Studio Cloud

Pros: open-source and freely available; this is what most graduate students are learning, so it is good preparation for later; free for academics; since it is code-based, it facilitates computational reproducibility; excellent for making graphs/figures

Cons: takes more time to learn, less accessible for undergrads than other programs


 StatsCloud is cloud-based, but provides many of the functions found on other systems

Pros: cloud-based and in-browser, so it runs on tablets/Chromebooks in addition to Windows/Mac computers; can export to R; seems to be accessible to students

Cons: a new product, so it’s unclear how it will evolve or be supported; current free version is (somewhat) limited

Whiteboard and Notebook Display Tricks

We’ve learned of various ways to share a whiteboard, notebook or other content while on Zoom. These include:

  • Share Tablet with Stylus.  If you have a tablet and stylus you can connect it directly to zoom, then share its screen and allow participants to see everything you write or draw.  See detailed explanation here.
  • Share Notebook with Phone Camera.  Here you raid your pantry for a pair of cans that will hold your phone over a notebook as you write.  Install Zoom on the phone and join the meeting, then ‘share’ the camera to participants. If you have an iPhone you can share the phone camera via a wired or wireless connection (see here). You could even record the Zoom session and thus make a permanent, shared record of what you wrote and explained.  Here is one version of this approach:
  • View Whiteboard, Lab, or Studio Situation with Laptop, Camera, or Phone.  Here Suzanne Amador-Kane uses an artist’s easel, large whiteboard, and house-bound spouse to demonstrate how to broadcast or record a lecture.  Here also is another version of this done with two devices.

Pros:   Gets the job done.

Cons:  Some solutions require multiple devices. Hacks can be unstable (in all ways).  Tricky to avoid audio feedback problems.

Peer Review with Google Docs

Students can review and comment on each other’s work with Google docs, which offers tools for side bar comments and also a ‘suggesting’ mode that allows them to propose revisions to prose, etc.  If you expect, for instance, students to save drafts (with comments) it will be a good idea to make periodic Word versions (which preserve all comments) for further reference. 

Pros: Free, extensive editing tools means that drafts and revisions can easily be saved as Word or PDF documents with full apparatus or special symbols and formatting.

Cons:  Bryn Mawr students will need to sign up for Google accounts and they will need to have user names you can recoginze if they are commenting on drafts or other documents.  If student authors are too quick to “accept” suggestions or “resolve” comments it might be difficult to track the process of review and revision.

Zoom Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.

Some additional tips:

  • Breakout groups have their own private chat and whiteboard; they can save the whiteboard to PDF or JPG 
    • Pro: it is a private workspace
    • Con: it is not easy for the professor to see/save/share group work with others unless they pop into the group
    • Alternative: have students post into a shared google doc that prof can also see even if they’re not “in the room”
  • Use cases vary, but group size of 5 or under often works best – small enough so everyone can contribute and be heard
  • Allowing Zoom to do random group assignment is easiest way to quickly group students for discussion/reflection
  • Pre-assigning groups takes some setup but once done, the groups can be standing for repeated use in subsequent class sessions
  • The instructor/facilitator can send broadcast messages to all groups
  • Group members can use “ask for help” button to call the professor
  • If a big number of groups are used, it is helpful to have a student or other co-host facilitate group management – to the “con” noted above, it can take some manual shuffling to move students from one to another

Pros: Allows for discrete, smaller discussion groups within Zoom sessions for meeting participants to discuss individual topics.

Cons: Completely silos users into their assigned room and requires the host to actively manage which room they are in without any easy way for students to move around easily. Breakout rooms are not included in the primary recording for the meeting. 

Expert: Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard

Groups in Moodle

Moodle will allow you to organize students into groups in Moodle for smaller discussions and other activities.  You can have group assignments, so that several students work together on a single project. Written assignment can be crafted within Moodle (with the text editor) or uploaded as a finished PDF or other document.  Note: there is a file size limit of 20 Mb for assignments uploaded by students. Audio or video assignments of more than a minute or so, should be uploaded to a separate cloud service (Panopto, Google, Box, etc.).

Pros: If you are using Moodle, this lets you facilitate group work in almost any activity. 

Cons: If you are using multiple group configurations within your course, along with groups in the gradebook, you need to use the “groupings” option. This is not hard, but if fail to add groupings, your gradebook won’t reflect the group grades correctly.

Expert: Sharon Strauss