Tip Sheet: Using Zoom Waiting Room for Office Hours

Creating Zoom sessions within your Canvas course makes it easy to hold virtual office hours. What many faculty don’t know, however, is that you can use the “waiting room” feature to increase the privacy of these office hours, allowing you to simulate the experience of meeting with one student while others wait just outside the room. 

If you haven’t already, create the Zoom Session that you will be using for your office hours. Use these instructions for creating and managing zoom sessions from within your Canvas course.

Enabling the “Waiting Room” for your Office Hours session

Locate the Zoom Session for which you want to enable the waiting room. When you hover your mouse over that session, click on the “edit” button.

Make sure that the option for “enable waiting room” is selected, then click “submit”.

When joining your Office Hours Zoom session, your students will now automatically join a “waiting room” area, ready for you to admit them into the actual Zoom meeting one at a time. 

Once you are in the meeting, as the meeting host, click “Manage Participants”

Click the blue “Admit” button to allow students who are waiting into the meeting. You may admit one at a time—the other students will remain in the waiting room until admitted.

For more detailed instructions on using this feature, visit the official Zoom Documentation on using the “Waiting Room”