Tip | Using Zoom

U3A Port Phillip is providing access to Zoom as a platform for remote delivery of our courses.

Zoom is a video-conferencing app, a bit like Skype or FaceTime, but better for larger numbers of people.

Getting started

If you have enrolled in a course that is planning to use Zoom, this is what you need to do:

  1. Find a device that has a camera and a microphone, preferably built-in.
    • Most laptops have a camera and a microphone built in, as do many modern desktops.
    • You can also use an iPad or other tablet, or an iPhone or other smart phone, but you may not see all the other course members on one screen.
    • If you have an older desktop, you may have a microphone and/or camera you can plug in. Such devices can be purchased if you don't already have them, and you haven't got any other suitable device.
    • If you haven't got a camera or microphone, you can still join in, but will only be able to listen and view, not be seen or heard.
    • On whatever device you are using, check that your microphone and speaker(s) are working before you try to attend your first meeting.
  2. Download and install Zoom on the device you are going to use:
    • For an iPad or iPhone, download the Zoom app from Appstore.
    • For a Mac, click on this link to follow the instructions provided by  Zoom.
    • For an Android tablet or phone (eg Samsung devices, most smartphones that are not an iPhone), download the Zoom app from Playstore.
    • On a desktop computer or laptop which is not a Mac:
      • Click on this link, zoom.us, to open Zoom in your browser.
      • In the top right of the screen, click on RESOURCES and select "Download Zoom Client" from the drop-down menu.
      • On the next screen, click on the first blue Download button, under the heading "Zoom Client for Meetings".  The Zoom website is sometimes overloaded and the download may not work.  Simply wait a while and try again.
      • follow the usual steps to install the app. If you are unfamiliar with installing software, seek help from a grandchild or other tech-savvy person.
  3. Sign up for a Zoom account (optional - if you are only using Zoom for U3A, you don't need to):
    • On the Zoom.us website, click on the orange "Sign up, it's free" at the top right, enter your email address (the one you use for U3APP) and follow the prompts to create your account.
      • Please put your full name in when you sign up, as this will appear during the Zoom meeting and will help the tutor identify you.
      • Make a note of the password you choose!

We recommend using Zoom's training videos. Click here to go to the Zoom Support page, where you can find out how to test your setup, join a test meeting etc.

We also recommend keeping your Zoom software up to date, for security reasons.  Instructions on how to do so are available here.

Joining a Zoom meeting for your course

Each U3APP course has its own unique link. The link contains the meeting ID and passcode. These links are listed in course code order on this special members-only page On-line Course Links.

When the time arrives for your course each week/fortnight/month

  1. Find the device you are going to use. Make sure the Zoom app is not already open (or you may two copies of it at step 3 below).
  2. Log on to the U3APP website.
  3. Go to the Online Course Links page and click on the link for your course to join the meeting.
  4. Zoom will open in a browser window in which it will ask you if you want to launch the on-line app - click to launch the Zoom app.
  5. If you have a camera and a microphone, click when prompted to enable video and audio.
  6. If you are using a tablet or a smart phone, turn it sideways so you don't appear in a narrow box on the screen.


  • Everyone in the meeting will see whatever your camera is pointing at:  ideally your face in full and in good light, without anything too distracting or personal in the background. Adjust your position and the position of the camera to suit.
  • The first Zoom class may take some time before everyone is connected. Please be patient and polite while this happens.

How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

  • Login to the U3APP.org.au website.
  • Go to the Courses & Enrolling page.
  • Scroll down to find the course that you are interested in.
  • Does the course have spaces available?
    • Click on the course name to go to the booking page.
    • Click on “Book for this course or event”.
    • You will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
  • OR is the course shown as FULL?
    • Click on WAITLIST.

Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester

  • Obtain a paper Enrolment Form either from the Office or by printing an online copy available here.
  • Complete the paper Enrolment Form and submit it to the Office.

The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.

If your enrolment is unsuccessful,  you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.

Via the Office: after bookings have opened

  • Contact the office in person, or by email or phone.