What Is Zoom and Who Can Use It?

Zoom is a software for virtual meetings and can be used by all employees of the University of Mannheim. “Virtual rooms” make it possible for staff members to hold interactive lectures or digital meetings with externals. To this end, they can make use of various options such as video and audio transmission or screen sharing.

In our series of video tutorials, we show you how you can use Zoom for courses: Zoom video tutorials

Please observe the Terms of Use and the Data protection policy for using Zoom.

  • How do I book a Zoom room?

    You can book virtual rooms in the same way you book physical rooms at the university. All room bookings are possible via Portal².

    Starting in the fall semester 2021 you can book individual zoom meetings for your courses without having to request and wait for a confirmation of a room.

    Up to 300 participants can join a meeting in the virtual rooms which are named ZOOM-Lehre-001 (numbered 001 to 150).

    If you are organizing an event with up to 1,000 participants, you can book the Audimax Zoom rooms:

    General instructions on booking rooms are available in
    Portal² (in German)

  • How can I test Zoom?

    To familiarize yourself with Zoom and find out how it works, you can make use of test courses. For each school or department, we have set up a course in Portal² that is independent from the semester. These test courses are called “ZOOM Testveranstaltung” and carry the abbreviation of the respective school or department.

  • What do I need to keep in mind when inviting others to join a meeting?

    Members of the University of Mannheim should access the Zoom meeting via Portal². External participants need the zoom.us link and the password or need to be invited during the meeting in the virtual room.

    Members of the University of Mannheim should get the access information directly from Prtoal². If you access the link via Portal² or the host shares the link specified in Portal² with you, you do not need to enter a Zoom password. However, you need to agree to the terms of use.

    Non-members of the university need the link and the password to join a Zoom meeting. The link is made up of uni-mannheim.zoom.us/j/ and a 10-digit combination. This information is specific for each room and can be found in the room details in Portal².

    Please also read Where do I find the information required to participate in a meeting?

    If required, the Zoom link can also be included as a web link on ILIAS or shared via the ILIAS mailing feature. You will find instructions on how to use the mailing feature in ILIAS.

    Please note:

    • Please disclose information on the meeting only to the participants and do not publish the data on the Internet.
    • Non-members of the university who join the meeting have to have access to the terms of use.
    • For more information on this, please see the information on hosting a meeting.
  • Where do I find the information required to participate in a meeting?

    During the meeting you will find the link and the password required to participate in a meeting under “Invite”. 

    You will find the information required to participate in the meeting in the event details section on Portal²: If you open the course details and go to the tab “Parallelgroups / Appointments”, you can click on “Show meeting-links”.

    An overlay will open that shows all course appointments. After consenting to the terms of use you can see the zoom meeting-links on the overlay next to each appointment. Please note that the host- wzoom-link will only be visible 60 minutes before the meeting.

    If there are changes to the series of meetings, you can find all details in the information shown for a specific meeting.

    More information on the room details page in Portal² can be found in the Portal² Documentation.

    The details on the virtual room can also be viewed during the meeting under “Invite” in the participants panel. You have the option to e-mail other participants directly or to call up the link (“Copy invitation URL” or “Copy invitation”).

  • How do I participate in virtual meetings?

    If you are a member of the University of Mannheim, you will find the information required to join a virtual meeting in Portal². You will find more information on Where do I find the information required to participate in a meeting?

    If you open the course details and go to the tab “Parallelgroups / Appointments”, you can click on “Show meeting-links”. An overlay will open and show the zoom meeting-links 60 minutes before the scheduled start of the course session. The links will only be shown after you have agreed to the terms of use. Please read these terms of use carefully and select “I agree” or “I revoke my consent”.

    You only need to agree to the Terms of Use once. After you have agreed, you can revoke your consent anytime.

    Please note: Directly opening the link to join the Zoom meeting constitutes acceptance of the terms of use.

    After you have agreed to the Terms of Use, you can join the meeting. In your browser, you will be forwarded to the meeting.
    In case you have already installed Zoom, you can open the link directly with the application.

    Please do also follow the recommendations for participating in Zoom meetings

    You can now join the meeting.

    For interactive participation in the lecture, please activate your audio device via “Unmute”.
    Activate your camera by clicking “Start Video”.

    If you click on the “Chat” button, a group chat window will appear on the right, which will allow you to exchange messages with the participants.

    To exit the meeting, select “Leave” at the bottom right.

    For more information, please visit the website of the software company: https://support.zoom.us/hc/de/articles/201362193-Wie-nehme-ich-an-einem-Meeting-teil-


  • How do I log in as a host?

    To log in as a host you need the host meeting-link (“Start ZOOM meeting as host”). You can find it in the course details, of courses you were assigned to as an instructor (or administrator), under the tab “Parallelgroups / Appointments” by clicking on “Show meeting-links”.

    If you have trouble using the host meeting link you can enter the zoom meeting with the regular participation link and claim the host with a six-digit host key. The host key can either be requested from the Premium Support team or the regular IT Support, or alternatively looked up on ILIAS.

    If there is no host yet in the virtual room, you can obtain the hosting privileges by entering your host key. This option is called “Claim Host” and can be found in the menu under “Participants” at the bottom right.

    If a host is already logged in, only he or she has the possibility to determine additional hosts.

  • How do I host a virtual meeting?

    Please see the information on hosting a meeting on Zoom.

    The host can use the following features:

    • Start and end you audio and video transmission:
    • Share your screen:
    • Under “participants”

    you can perform various actions, including removing participants from the meeting and assigning rights to individual participants:

    as well as mute all participants:

    • The chat feature allows you to exchange messages with the participants as a group or individual participants:

    Participants who have been removed are prevented from re-entering the room and need to be given access rights by UNIT.

    In addition, you can adjust the general settings for the meeting:

    Please find more information on breakout rooms here: How do I use breakout rooms?

  • How do I record a Zoom meeting?

    Please observe the requirements specified in the terms of use as well as the information on hosting a meeting on Zoom.

    Please note that the recording can be saved only locally with a resolution of 720p. After the meeting has ended, you will receive an MP4 file, which will be saved in a separate Zoom folder on your computer by default.

    Prepare recording
    Before you start recording, please inform the participants of the following:

    • This meeting will be recorded
    • If participants do not want to be recorded, they have to disable their camera and microphone
    • If participants say something, they will become part of the recording

    If participants send you messages in the chat, please make sure that you do not mention their names, because otherwise these participants become part of the recording without having given their consent.

    Please use the “share screen” feature to select the application you want to share. Then you adjust the camera view of the participants so that the participants only see the video of the person who is currently speaking.

    You can start recording in the menu at the top of the screen. If you have started the recording, you will find the option to pause or stop the recording in this menu. The option “Pause recording” will pause the recording and you can continue recording at a later point in time. The option “Stop recording” will end and save the recording.

    If you end the Zoom meeting, you will see the options for saving and you can select the location where the recording should be saved. Please note that it may take awhile for this dialog to appear, depending on the length of your recording. More information on how to handle the recordings of lectures can be found in the information on hosting a meeting in the section “Recording a Zoom meeting“.

    To end the meeting, select “Leave Meeting” at the bottom right.

    For more information, please visit the website of the software company: https://support.zoom.us/hc/de/categories/201146643

  • How do I change rooms during a course?

    An explanation on how to change rooms for a course is provided in Portal².

  • How do I install Zoom?

    You can generally use Zoom in your web browser. However, you cannot use all features there, which is why we recommend installing the application. Zoom is responsible for the data traffic on its website. If you use Zoom in your web browser, the connection is unencrypted.

    When joining a meeting, you will be given the option to install Zoom as an application. Alternatively, you can download the app here:

    If you install the desktop application, you can use all features. We recommend the installation if you want to host a meeting.

    On the Zoom website, you will find more information on the differences between the versions: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360027397692-Desktop-client-and-mobile-app-comparison

    The IT Support is happy to help you installing Zoom on devices provided by the university.

  • How do I use Breakout Rooms?

    Breakout Rooms allow you to split your class into separate groups. You can divide up the course participants either automatically or manually and switch between the sessions at any time.

    To do so, use the button “Breakout Session” in your meeting toolbar.

    Clicking this button will start the division of your class. A window will open in which you can adjust the breakup settings.You also have the option to reassign the participants to different sessions or to interrupt or terminate the breakup.

    For more information, please visit the website of the software company.

  • Information on the centrally procured Zoom licenses at the University of Mannheim

    In the last few days, several cases of security breaches concerning the use of Zoom have been reported. We are following this issue very closely and, as usual, making every effort to ensure that user data are only used to a minimal extent. We would like to reassure you that the Education solution employed by us is different from the free version that has recently been criticized, for instance in terms of the following:

    • In order to prevent that user data are transmitted to Zoom, we have designed the virtual classrooms in a way that does not require users to verify their identity directly within the Zoom system. Zoom only recognizes the generic, standardized IDs of these virtual rooms.
    • In addition, we have disabled the option to save recordings to the cloud so that teachers have control over the contents of their recordings at all times.
    • Saving chat histories in Zoom is not possible either as we have deactivated the data transfer via Zoom as well.
    • Instead, data are processed via ILIAS.
    • In our virtual classrooms, cameras and microphones are deactivated by default so that users can actively decide whether or not to transmit their audio and video data.

    Here is some information about the security flaws that were reported by the media:

    Data center in Europe:
    The centrally procured Zoom licenses now allow for the selection of specific data centers for data in transit. The University of Mannheim selected servers in the European Economic Area for data in transit meaning that connection data and meeting traffic stay within the EU.

    End-to-end encryption:
    Zoom video conferences use a combination of TCP and UDP. TCP connections are established via TLS, whereas UDP connections are AES-encrypted using a key negotiated via a TLS connection. This is ensured as long as you use the client and not the web application. Zoom guarantees to handle any data transmitted there with care and does not store any recordings. [6] The decryption of the video stream is only performed on your terminal. Nonetheless, as always, it is advisable not to share any sensitive data such as passwords via Zoom.

    Zoom stopped all data transmission to Facebook shortly after the security issue became public. [1]

    Hosts have the option to remove unwanted participants. They are then prevented from re-entering the room and need to be given access rights by the University IT. (see „How do I host a virtual meeting?“)

    Zoom Mac Client:
    The reported problem has been fixed with the client version 4.6.9 (19273.0402). The changelog can be viewed here: [7]

    UNC hyperlinks:
    The reported problem has been fixed with the client version 4.6.9 (19253.0401). The changelog can be viewed here: [8]

    The software company Zoom has now introduced a “Feature Freeze”, which allows all developers to contribute to data protection. Just like us, Zoom takes this matter very seriously. A blog post referencing these issues was published on 1 April 2020. [9]

    [1] https://www.heise.de/mac-and-i/meldung/Zoom-beendet-Datenweitergabe-der-iOS-App-an-Facebook-4692815.html

    [2] https://zoom.us/docs/doc/FERPA%20Guide.pdf

    [3] https://zoom.us/gdpr

    [4] https://zoom.us/privacy

    [5] https://www.heise.de/security/meldung/Videokonferenz-Software-Ist-Zoom-ein-Sicherheitsalptraum-4695000.html?wt_mc=nl.red.ho.ho-nl-daily.2020–04-03.link.link

    [6] https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/29/zoom-privacy-policy/

    [7] https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201361963-New-Updates-for-macOS

    [8] https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201361953-New-Updates-for-Windows

    [9] https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/

Live Zoom-Support

Our live Zoom support is available on workdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.: The best and the fastest way to contact the support team is calling the hotline -2000 (if you are not on campus: +49 621 181–2000). You can also write an e-mail to itsupport uni-mannheim.de – please note that this way, re-ceiving an answer takes longer compared to calling the hotline.