University of Wisconsin–Madison

Zoom Canvas Integration: What to Expect from the Interface

The simplified Zoom interface in Canvas is nearly identical to the Meetings tab in the Zoom web interface ( > Sign in > Meetings). Following is an overview of how to get the most from the Canvas interface and when you may need to use other Zoom interfaces. See Adding Zoom to Your Canvas Navigation Bar for instructions on how to activate the Zoom menu item in your Canvas courses.

Get the most out of the Zoom Canvas interface

The Zoom Canvas course interface is useful for scheduling and joining recurring class meetings. Meetings scheduled and recorded to the Cloud in the Zoom Canvas interface do not require instructors or hosts to share the recording link. All recordings scheduled in a Canvas course can be published or unpublished at any time from any Canvas course to which a Zoom user belongs.

All in-meeting controls will be the same as long as you continue to join meetings from the Zoom desktop client. See Zoom Interfaces: When to use Canvas, Web, and Desktop clients for a detailed explanation.

Instructor Experience

When navigating to the Zoom menu item, the instructor sees four tabs for Upcoming Meetings, Previous Meetings, Personal Meeting Room, and Cloud Recordings. These tabs differ from the Meetings menu item in the Zoom web client by replacing Meeting Templates with Cloud Recordings.

Instructors can publish cloud recordings from any Canvas course. Note that while instructors may publish Zoom recordings from any Canvas course, only recordings scheduled in Canvas course X will appear in the Cloud Recordings tab in Canvas course X, even if they are published in Canvas course Y.

Student Experience

Students can navigate to the Zoom menu item to find all the Upcoming Meetings, Previous Meetings, and published Cloud Recordings that have been scheduled through the Canvas course. Students do not have access to download recordings. They have the option to watch the Speaker View video or listen to an audio-only file.

When You Need More than the Zoom Canvas Interface

In-meeting controls

While the Zoom Canvas interface offers many meeting settings, some initial meeting set-up and controls are absent from the Canvas integration. If you want to enable in-meeting functions like reactions, nonverbal feedback, polls, and breakout rooms, you need to use the web client and navigate to Settings > Meeting and find the feature you wish to enable or disable.

For a step-by-step exhaustive list of all recommended Zoom settings explained, please see this Zoom Meeting Checklist.

Polls and breakout rooms

Features like polling and breakout rooms may be easier to set up in the web client. Polls created in the Canvas client must be imported as an Excel CSV file. If you wish to enter or edit polls without deleting and re-uploading a CSV file, you must use the web client.

Breakout rooms may be automatically or randomly assigned via the Canvas client. To pre-assign breakout rooms, you must use the web client.

Cloud recordings

The web client only records two files: Speaker View and an audio file. Speaker View will record the Active Speaker, which is whoever is speaking or making noise. Speaker View will not record the grid of participants present in Gallery View. If a speaker is spotlighted, Zoom will record that speaker for the duration of the spotlight. Visit Zoom support for Spotlighting participants’ videos.

If someone screen shares in Speaker View, the screen share will take up the entire screen and place the Active Speaker in the top right corner over a small portion of the screen in the recording. Please be mindful of what information is contained in the top right section of your screen as you prepare presentations and screen share.