Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning

Zoom Updates

Zoom updates their application regularly.  This page keeps you up-to-date on the latest features commonly used by the CSU community. All of the new features listed below are available in the latest version of the Zoom Client.

Breakout Rooms | Security | General Improvements | Virtual Backgrounds | Live Help

How to Update Zoom

It's a good practice to check for updates regularly.  Updating your Zoom Client gives you access to the latest tools and security features offered by Zoom. 

This article shows you how to update Zoom on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

Breakout Rooms

Zoom has added several new features to make Breakout Rooms more robust and easier to use.  Here are some of the latest improvements.

Self-Select Breakout Rooms - Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS 
The host can now create breakout rooms with the option for participants to self-select which breakout room they would like to join. If enabled, participants can move freely between breakout rooms, without needing the host’s help. Both the meeting host and participants need to be on Client 5.3.0 or later to self-select Breakout Rooms.

Enhanced Co-Host Privileges Over Breakout Rooms
Co-hosts have the same breakout room controls as the meeting host, such as starting or ending breakout rooms, assigning participants, etc.

Move Participants to the Main Session from Breakout Rooms
Hosts and co-hosts have the option to assign a participant back to the main session, rather than ending all breakout sessions.

Improved Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms Behavior 
Pre-assigned attendees joining after the Breakout Rooms have been started will now automatically be assigned to their Breakout Room.


Zoom continually adds new features to make meetings secure.  Here is the latest.

Suspend Participant Activities
Hosts and co-hosts can turn off all participants' video, audio, and ability to share their screens. They can also lock the meeting to prevent participants from joining, end all breakout rooms and pause a recording. This will apply to all participants including those joined using a Zoom Room.  You can learn more about in-meeting security options in this article.

General Improvements

New annotation tool: Vanishing Pen 
In addition to the arrow and spotlight tools, Vanishing Pen will allow the presenter to mark on the shared screen to highlight certain information, but the markings will fade away within a couple of seconds. This provides easier highlighting of information without having to undo or erase annotations. You can learn more about annotation tools on a shared screen or whiteboard in this article.

Designation of shared content
When sharing begins, a notification is provided over the shared content, clearly showing what you are sharing and when participants are able to see the content.  This requires at least 80% of participants to be on version 5.5.4 or higher for the host to be notified that the shared content is visible to participants.

Share and Play Video Files Directly into a Meeting
The Video option under Advanced share options will allow you to choose a video file, which will be opened by Zoom and played in the meeting as shared content. Host has typical video player controls (pause/ play, volume control, full screen, video length/elapsed time), which are not seen by other participants during share. MP4 and MOV files are supported, and max video resolution is 1080p.

Scheduling Preset Time Limits to Join Before the Host
Hosts can allow participants to join 5, 10, or 15 minutes before a meeting's scheduled start time.  You can learn more about allowing participants to join before the host in this article.

Enhanced Alternate Host Features
If the original host joins after the alternative host, the original host will always regain control of the meeting and become host. In addition, the alternative host will change roles. If the co-host feature is enabled for the meeting, the alternative host will become a co-host. If the co-host feature is disabled, the alternative host becomes a normal participant.

Enhanced Nonverbal Feedback and Reactions 
Nonverbal feedback options are moved to the Reactions button, and all reactions will be shown in the corner of the participants’ video. The host will see each participant’s reactions in the participant list as well as the aggregate numbers of each reaction at the bottom of the list.  Additionally, hosts and co-hosts can utilize the raise hand feature along with meeting participants.

Poll Reports Available During a Live Session 
The meeting host will now have the option to download the full poll results when the poll has ended, during the live session, rather than waiting until the meeting or webinar has ended. This will launch their browser and begin the download of the CSV poll report.

Hosts Can Admit Participants from the Waiting Room While in a Breakout Room 
The meeting host is now notified of participants in the Waiting Room, even while currently in a Breakout Room. The host can admit each participant one at a time, or all at once. If pre-assignments for breakout rooms are active, participants will be asked to join their pre-assigned breakout rooms. Otherwise, the host can assign participants directly to the breakout room of their choosing.

Host Can Activate Live Transciption in Zoom Meetings
Hosts will now notice a "Live Transcript" button at the bottom of the Zoom interface. This button was previously labeled "Closed Captions."  Upon clicking Live Transcript, hosts will find the original closed captioning options along with a new one titled "Enable Auto-Transcription."  Clicking this will start a live transcript of what is being spoken in the meeting.  A detailed transcript can be saved from the Transcript Panel.

Virtual Backgrounds

Immersive View
You can recreate the look and feel of your class or conference room by placing video participants onto a single virtual background. Participants are automatically placed onto provided scenes, but the host can upload their own custom background and adjust the arrangements as needed. This requires client version 5.6.3 or higher and works best when using Virtual Background, but is not required.  You'll find instructions for using Immersive View in this article; and you'll find a showcase of Immersive View, including a list of frequently asked questions, in this blog post.

CSU Branded Virtual Backgrounds
When you sign-in to Zoom with your CSU credentials you'll have access to a number of handsome CSU virtual backgrounds

Blurred background
Users can now choose to blur their background rather than selecting a specific virtual background, providing added privacy when a branded background is unavailable or unnecessary.

Talk to Us About Updates (Live Help)

You can visit our Zoom Help Meeting to have questions answered in real-time.  Our Zoom Meeting is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.