Online Class Support

VisArts is proud to offer online learning to our community. Our online classes are taught by the same instructors who teach onsite with us in our studios. Classes are held live through Zoom and are designed to be friendly to students who will be attending class from their homes.

Having trouble accessing your class?  VisArts staff is accessible to support students with technical issues. Please submit a support request on our website and an on-call member of our team will reach out to help.

SUBMIT A SUPPORT REQUEST

Online CLass FaQs

What can I expect to happen during an online class?

Online classes are held through Zoom, a free online conferencing program that allows teachers and students to see and speak to each other. Our online classes are designed to be engaging, interactive and as similar as possible to the classes you may have taken before in our studios. VisArts teachers have worked hard to create engaging content like demonstrations, guided step-by-step projects, discussions, presentations and critiques. A few classes are lecture or demonstration-based, and this is noted in the special notes section of the class listing online.

How do I join my online class?

When your class is confirmed, you will receive a confirmation email which will include a Zoom URL and a password. This link will take you to your classroom during the scheduled class times. You’ll use the same link for all sessions of the class if you are enrolled in a multi-week class. You can bookmark this link on your internet browser and click on it each week when it’s time for class. This link will only work after your teacher has started the meeting, so please don’t join early. Make sure that the Zoom application is installed, and double check your audio and video settings before the beginning of your class. You will be prompted to install the application when you click the meeting link if you have not already done so. During the scheduled time of your class, simply click the provided URL: a browser window will open and ask permission to open Zoom. Approve the request, enter your password when prompted, enable video and audio when prompted, then you will be taken directly to your class.

What do I do if my child is taking an online class?

Classes for youth and family audiences will require an adult to help gather materials, log in to the class and help the student signoff and clean up materials.

Will I have one-on-one time with the teacher?

Class structure is dependent on the pedagogy of the teacherSome teachers may have more critique-oriented classes, while others may be demonstration based. Respect the teacher’s decision, and respect your fellow classmates if the teacher organizes one-on-one conversations by muting your audio.

Is my teacher available outside of class?

Our teachers are only available during their scheduled Zoom meeting class times. Please ask any questions that you have during this timeand respect the teacher’s boundaries. Teachers are not expected to set up additional meetings outside of their scheduled classand are not able to do so on their VisArts Zoom accounts.

What do I do if I lose my internet connection in the middle of a class?

If you experience an internet problem in the middle of your class, you may ask your teacher or the VisArts education team for a copy of the recording of the class. If you are able to solve your internet functionality issue, you may rejoin the class at any point using the same Zoom link.

What do I do if I’m late to a class?

If you enter a Zoom meeting late, please be conscientious of your fellow students and remain muted until you are called on to speak. Zoom meeting may be joined at any time as long as they are running, but do your best not to disrupt the class.

Are classes recorded?

All online classes are recorded for quality purposes. If you miss a class, you may request a class recording from [email protected] Class recordings will be made available up to 14 days after the session concludes. Class recordings are not always available, due to possible technical difficulties. Neither the instructor, students nor VisArts are permitted to monetize online class recordings in any way. Please do not share class recordings on social media or other websites.

I have problems with my computer that are unrelated to Zoom: can VisArts help?

If you have a technical issue which is not addressed in the questions above, or if your issue relates to your system infrastructure and is not related to the Zoom platform, our VisArts tech support staff will be happy to help.  Please fill out the form on our online class support page. . VisArts is not liable for user-side issues and will not offer refunds or compensation for issues related to the student’s personal device or internet connection.


About Zoom

What is Zoom and how does it work? Zoom is one of the most ubiquitous video conferencing services online and many educational institutions use this platforms for classes.

Video Tutorial: Joining a Meeting

Zoom FAQs

Do I need a Zoom account?

You will not need a Zoom account to join your classes: our meeting rooms do not require authorization to access them. You willneed to have the Zoom app installed on your PC, smart phone, or device of choice for the best performance.

Why is my browser launching if I have the desktop application installed?

Zoom meetings are identified by URLs, the link provided with your class confirmation. As you are joining a meeting via this link, Zoom will need to open a web browser to identify the meeting before joining it via your desktop application.

Can I run Zoom without downloading the application?

Yes, you can join Zoom via a web browser. When loading the meeting URL, a page will appear in your browser with the option to join via web browser. This feature is only available for the most recent updates of all common web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.), and only Google Chrome is able to transmit your audio. While this is an option, running Zoom through the desktop application is recommended.

Drat, I lost the email with my Zoom link and password!

Never fear, simply  fill out the form on our online class support page to be provided with all of the information necessary to join your class. VisArts tech support will be on call during all  online classes, so you will receive a prompt reply.

 What do I do if I have trouble joining my class?

In all cases, submit a tech support form on our online class support page. . If the issue is more serious than a lost link, the problem may lie in your internet connection, computer permissionsor Zoom settings. Send a detailed description of the specifics of your problem, including any error codes, to [email protected], and a staff member will help you troubleshoot the situation.

Who do I contact if I’m having problems with Zoom?

For immediate help, email [email protected]. VisArts staff will be on call at this email address during all classes to help with problems. If your issue is systematic, does not require immediate attention, or is cosmetic, we may be unable to help, but will do our best to ensure that you are able to join your class. Zoom’s support website (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us) also has a bevy of useful tutorials and training if you need help with the software.

How do I set up my audio?

Zoom works within the existing audio and video settings on your computer or internet enabled device; the built-in microphone and speakers of your device, headset or speakers. Before modifying audio settings from the Zoom menu, ensure that these settings are functioning on your computer or smart phone first by checking the settings or preferences menus for ‘sound’. You will see options for input (microphone) and output (speakers): ensure that both  are working and receiving or outputting audio correctly. Once everything is set on the device level, open the Zoom application and check to make sure that its audio settings are the same. Select your account icon, select “settings” from the drop-down menu, then select “audio.” These same audio settings can also be accessed during the meeting by clicking on the drop-down arrow to the left of the microphone symbol on your meeting screen. Upon accessing this menu, you will be shown a similar menu to your device’s settings detailing input and outputCheck and test the settings for your speakers and microphone. Below the speaker and microphone sliders, you will see a series of options for audio control. You may check these boxes to automatically approve computer audio when joining a meeting to remove the prompt, automatically mute your microphone when joining a meetingand change other preferences. Once everything has been set, you’re all ready to go. These checks can be performed at any time via the settings menu in the Zoom application. It is best to confirm that everything is working before your class begins.

How do I set up my video?

Zoom works within the existing audio and video settings on your computer or internet enabled device. It useshe webcam or camera of your device, or an external webcam that is on Zoom’s approved devices list. Before modifying video settings from the Zoom menu, ensure that these devices are functioning on your computer or smart phone first by checking your computer’ssettings or preferences menus for ”camera”. You will see a menu detailing which camera your device is using, and which applications have permissions to access that camera. Make sure that Zoom is approvedand that your integrated or external camera is functioning. Once everything is set on the device level, open the Zoom application and check make sure that its video settings are the same. Select your account icon and select “settings” from the drop-down menu, then select “video.” These same video settings can also be accessed during the meeting by clicking on the drop-down arrow to the left of the camera symbol on your meeting screen. Upon accessing this menu, you will be shown a test view from your webcam. Ensure that your camera is working. Below the camera view, you will see a series of options: you may check these boxes to adjust your camera ratio, mirror your video, automatically turn off your camera upon joining a meeting, and change other preferences. Once everything has been set, you’re all ready to go. These checks can be performed at any time via the settings menu in the Zoom application, and it is best to confirm that everything is working before your class begins.

 Can I turn off my audio or video and still be in the class?

You are not required to transmit audio or video while you are in your class. Audio and video can be disabled via the zoom meeting screen by clicking on the camera and microphone symbols at any time, or by setting your audio and video to be automatically disabled upon joining a meeting the settings menu.

What’s the difference between gallery and speaker view?

You can switch between gallery or speaker view at any time during a class by clicking on the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­”view button to toggle between the two. Gallery view displays all he participants, teacher and students, in equal scale, while speaker view prioritizes the user actively transmitting audio in a larger window. Teachers may ask you to switch to a particular viewing mode depending on the content of their class. In the case that teachers want to cement which camera is active they may “spotlight” a particular participant, which pins that particular camera to everyone’s screen.

How do I know who’s talking?

In gallery view, the active speaker’s window is outlined with a yellow and green border, indicating that they are talking, while a smaller bar will appear below any user’s window who is transmitting audio. In speaker view, the screen will automatically shift to the active speaker.

How do I know when to talk?

Depending on the teacher’s class structure, students may be asked to mute their audio unless they are actively speaking or called upon. This is to reduce echo, ensure that the teacher has the attention of all students, and allow the teacher to selectively respond to questions and input.Speaking order and participation is at the discretion of the teacher, but it is best to mute your audio unless you are actively speaking to ensure that the class runs smoothly. Audio can be muted and un-muted at any time by clicking on the microphone icon on your device.

How do I get the teacher’s attention?

Zoom includes a ­­­reactions feature, which can place a representation of a raised hand or other gesture over your video window by clicking the smiley face button at the bottom of your screen. If you are unsure whether or not your teacher is comfortable with general conversation, simply display this icon, and it will inform them that you have a question or contribution.

 What is the chat function?

The chat function allows users to communicate via text in the Zoom app without using audio. This can be a good way to ask questions of the teacher without disturbing the class. General chat messages will be seen by all participants in the class. Click on the speech bubble icon on the bottom of your screen to bring up the chat bar and send a message to the room.

Can I send private messages to other participants?

Zoom offers private messages between participants as an extension of the chat function. However, VisArts has disabled this function for its digital classrooms. Please use the general chat for all messaging.

Am I being recorded?

VisArts has mandated that all digital classes be recorded. This is both to help our teachers improve their digital pedagogy, and to provide students who are unable to attend classes with a record of the class they missed. You are always welcome to disable your audio and video as detailed above if you have any concerns.

How do I share my screen?

The share screen function allows users to display one of their device’s windows to the rest of the classroom. Select the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­green screen share button at the bottom of your Zoom screen to enable this function, then select the window you would like to share. This is a great way to show photos for critique, demonstrate a process in progress, or ask for a live walkthrough from your teacher. However, as shared screens are broadcast to the entire classroom, please ask for your teacher’s permission before doing so.

What’s the best place to call in from?

Try to call in from a well-lit and quiet space where others can see and hear you clearly without other audio or visual interruptions. If you are unable to distance yourself from external noise, please ensure that your audio is muted when you are not speaking as detailed above.

Everybody in my class has a funny background! How do I do that?

If you want to be wacky with the best of them, you can add a virtual background to your webcam image by going to “settings” in the Zoom app, and selecting “virtual background.” You may add any image saved on your computer to broadcast behind you. This can also be changed at any point in a meeting by accessing the “video settings” drop-down menu next to the camera icon. This feature works best with a flat colored wall behind you, or a green screen if you’re really dedicated.

What are we doing to keep our Zoom meetings safe?

We take the security of our students seriously and have taken the necessary steps to prevent “Zoom bombing” or other unwanted guests from entering your classroom. All links are accompanied with a randomly generated password unique to your class. You will also be directed to a waiting room upon joining the meeting. From there, your instructor can allow authorized students to enter the classroom. Please do not share your link or password with others. In the event that somebody manages to get through these measures, your teacher does have the ability to remove that person from the classroom.