Online Learning

Links to online Zoom classes will be emailed to you in the OLLI Weekly email the Friday before the class. Links will not be posted on the OLLI website.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that is highly recommended by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes National Resource Center and the University of Nevada, Reno. It provides high definition video collaboration and telephone conferencing for online meetings. To learn more about Zoom or to download the application, visit

Equipment Needed:

At the most basic level, all you need to use Zoom is a telephone, either a smartphone or landline, to call into a Zoom class and use audio only. However, if you have access to a computer or mobile device you can use the full capabilities of Zoom to see and hear others and participate in class discussion. The following equipment will enhance your experience but is not necessary:

  • Web camera: A camera will increase your connection with the presenter/facilitator by allowing you to see each other face-to-face. If you do not have access to a web camera you will still be able to see the presenter/facilitator.
  • Headset or a microphone: Most often, the microphone on your computer will work just fine. But, if you want to hear and be heard more clearly a microphone will help. This does not need to be fancy equipment. It can be the same as the headphones you might use with your phone.
  • Charger: Charging your device during class will ensure that you do not have an unexpected power outage interrupting your learning.

How to Join a Zoom Class:

Each class will have a Zoom link listed in the OLLI Weekly email. You will click on the link or copy and paste it into your web browser. Most links will take you to a registration page. Upon registering, you will get a confirmation email with a link that takes you to the Zoom classroom. Click on the link in the confirmation email just before class starts. You will also be able to save the class information onto your calendar from that email. For some classes, like Tech Help, the link in the OLLI Weekly will take you directly into the class with no pre-registration.

A Zoom account isn’t required to attend a class. Anyone can attend a session using their laptop or desktop (Windows or Mac), tablet, or smartphone (iPhone or Android).

  • If you haven’t used Zoom before, leave about 5 minutes to set it up before your first use.
  • If you are planning on using a laptop or desktop, the first time you click on the link it will download a free and secure program to your computer.
  • If you are planning on using a tablet or smartphone, you’ll want to download the free and secure Zoom application from your application store. Click here for a 1 minute video about joining Zoom.

Check Your Audio and Video Before Joining:

Here are the top three challenges of using Zoom, and how you can address them before they happen:

Is There a Training Session I can Attend?

Zoom hosts daily training webinars – see what options are available and register for them.

Zoom also has many resources on their website. View zoom resources.

Looking for some more advanced Zoom instructions? Check out “Zoom Tips and Tricks” from OLLI at Arizona State University.

OLLI at the University of Nevada, Reno is here to assist you. Email us at

Zoom Best Practices

  • Be aware of your background and lighting. If possible, try to have light in front of you, rather than behind you, which can strain the eyes of anyone looking at you through your camera.
  • Try to have a neutral, calm background. Keep it clear of distractions.
  • Turn your microphone off until you would like to speak. Background noise can be distracting.
  • Make sure to turn off your cell phone, just like you would during a face-to-face class.