A few weeks ago, Mike Smith, the Manager of the Office of Academic Technology, came across an article written by D’Arcy Norman entitled “Zoom Features Wishlist.” In the blog post, Norman details a “wishlist” of new features and enhancements for Zoom, based on experience using the platform. The original blog post can be reviewed here:
Norman’s article elicited excited conversation here in the Office of Academic Technology. Here are some of our thoughts on this Zoom Wishlist, which are clipped from an email thread.
Russ Gregg: “TLDR… HAHAHAHA!!! Seriously, though, Mike, this is fantastic information. I actually agree with most, if not all. Thanks so much for sending.”
Mike Smith: “The panic button he describes is spot on. There should be a way for a meeting host to kill all participant audio and video at once. You can do the audio but you can’t kill the video except user by user. And that is not conducive in a panic mode!
Not sure about the notification piece- it wouldn’t need to be automated, but maybe optional pop up after “panic” button is done.”
Russ Gregg: ““PANIC (DON’T PANIC) BUTTON”
It’s funny you should mention the “panic button.” I am shopping for VPNs right now, and I have only this week heard of a “panic button.” Of course, with a VPN, a panic button has a very different function than it would in a Zoom meeting. During all of this, I have anecdotally heard of WAY too many “Zoom Bombings” for which there was no remedy.
Essentially, what D’Arcy is asking for here is “sticky chats.” For YouTube, yes! For Zoom, I am not certain this would be good. Imagine a Zoom meeting in which there were 10 sticky chats with 10 links. Well, then, chat would become invalid. The participant would never see the live chat. Chat within a Zoom meeting is one of the greatest features, as it is with YouSeeU, for that matter. The better solution is a moderator who continuously reposts the information for new arrivals. D’Arcy also contradicts herself about, “clearing the chat.” No, the chat should never be cleared. It should only be permitted or denied. The better solution would be moderation, greater control over individual deletion from a moderator. I would reframe her argument in terms of “better moderator functionality.” A time-limited sticky chat might work on Zoom, as it does with YouTube SuperChats.
“BETTER PRESENTATION OF VIDEO CONTENT”
“CONTROL THE HORIZONAL (AND MAYBE THE VERTICAL)
It is so funny D’Arcy says this… I have literally lost sense of space in two different Zoom meetings this week. Too correct!
“BREAKOUT THE BREAKOUT ROOMS”
I get her, truly; but that is a BIG ask. Nonetheless, she is correct about better functionality within Breakout Rooms. Petra (Strassberg, our colleague in OAT) and I tested this feature this week. Once Breakout Rooms are created, the Host cannot even access those rooms, she can only cancel them. At least, in our D2L test this week, that was how it worked.
“REBUILDING SAFETY AND TRUST”
Well, D’Arcy, welcome to 2020… LOL!
Overall, VERY insightful and well-thought. My exceptions are minor quibbles.
Mike Smith: “Instead of sticky chat they need a separate window/pod called “notes” like Adobe Connect. That’s where you’d put persistent information, completely separate from the chat. Although the ability to pin a few chat comments within the actual chat window could augment the ability to ‘harvest” those chat comments into said “note” window. (But maybe you could only pin like up to 5 comments, forcing a host to port these over into Notes window if needed. Below is a good visual of the Adobe Connect “pods” options, with notes in the bottom right: