My colleague, who supports Zoom in our administrative group who don't use Canvas, is asking why we should use the Zoom integration with Canvas. He thinks it would be just as effective to create the meeting in the Zoom app or on the Zoom website and then post that link in a Canvas announcement.
What are the advantages to using the Zoom integration in Canvas?
Good morning, felixarthurWelcome to the Canvas Community. Thank you for posting your question. I can think of several advantages of integrating Zoom into your school's Canvas environment. This will assume that you would be using the Zoom LTI Pro integration.
One of the things you can configure during the Zoom LTI Pro setup at the account level is the ability for Canvas to send out messages via the Canvas Inbox any time a Zoom meeting is created/edited/deleted. These messages are sent out to members of the class automatically with no additional work on your part. Once your Zoom meeting has been created/edited/deleted via the Zoom LTI in Canvas, you can see what one of those messages looks like via the "Sent" folder of your Canvas Inbox. In addition, messages are also sent to students automatically once a recording is available.
If you didn't want a message or a calendar entry (see next bullet point) created in Canvas, then you could certainly log in to the Canvas website to create the Zoom meeting room. In my testing, doing it this way does NOT send a message via the Canvas Inbox or add it to the Canvas Calendar (again, see next bullet point).
A second thing you can configure during the Zoom LTI Pro setup is to put that Zoom meeting on your Canvas Calendar. Again, this happens automatically once the meeting is created/edited/deleted.
There are a number of settings that your Zoom administrator can set up for the LTI that would apply for everyone at your school.
A little background, we have an education account through Zoom, and we've purchased over 100 licenses to distribute to our instructors. We ask them to fill out a small form to request a license for us. We then review that request and set up an account for them in our main Zoom account. The instructors then activate their Zoom accounts, and then we provide them with additional instructions on how to enable the "Zoom" button in their Canvas course(s) so they can start scheduling meetings.
Once the LTI is set up for your school, instructors and students can click on the "Zoom" course navigation button to see "Upcoming Meetings", "Previous Meetings", and "Cloud Recordings". Instructors have an additional tab, "Personal Meeting Room" which has a static URL for a Zoom meeting room which will never change as you navigate from course to course.
Within the Zoom LTI interface, you have a link called "All My Zoom Meetings/Recordings"...which is exactly what it sounds like. So, you can see all your meetings scheduled for all your courses...including all your recordings from all courses.
Creating the Zoom meeting via the Zoom app or the Zoom website is fine, and there may be reasons to do that, but it is just as easy to set up the meetings via the LTI...because you are then logged into the course that you are creating the meeting for...so it takes a bit of the "guess work" out of it..."Now, which course was I setting up this meeting for again?"
You can still configure many of your own individual Zoom settings by logging in to Zoom's website (zoom.us), and those settings will apply when you create your Zoom meetings via the LTI app.
I'm sure there may be other advantages as well, but these are the ones that come to mind for me. I hope this information will be of help to you! Take care, stay safe, and be well!
It's been a little bit since I've used the Zoom/Canvas integration, but as far as I know, students cannot schedule Zoom meetings within the Zoom integration of Canvas. They can only see meetings scheduled by the instructor. I realize this video is a couple years old, but there are videos that show a similar interface ... but at the very end of this video it shows what a student would see on his/her end within Canvas using the Zoom integration:
Hopefully this info and video will help to answer your question. Sing out if you have more questions about this.