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.

Are you worried about using Zoom?

Would you like to join us for a "try it and see" Zoom session?  You can have a chat with other U3APP members in the session and see how it all works.  For more information, click here.

Getting started

If you have enrolled in a course that is planning to use Zoom for delivery, 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 (although they are in short supply as a result of the virus), 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, 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 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
      • 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 page, 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 - if this happens you can download the Windows Zoom client by clicking here.
      • 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 "Sign up, it's free", 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.  Zoom will let you know when updates are available and ask you to install them.

Joining a Zoom meeting for your course

Your tutor will send you an invitation to attend your Zoom course meeting, which will tell you when the meeting is to be held, and give you a link to click on to join the meeting.

When the time arrives

  1. Find the device you are going to use. Make sure the Zoom app is NOT already open (or you will get two copies of it at step 3 below).
  2. Find the email from your tutor and click on the link to join the meeting.
  3. 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.
  4. If your tutor hasn't started the meeting when you try to join, you will just get a message in Zoom asking you to wait. You can use the waiting time to test your audio.
  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 narrow box on the screen.


  • Everyone in the meeting will see whatever your camera is pointing at. Ideally your face in full, without anything too distracting in the background. Adjust your position and the position of the camera to suit.
  • You don't need to worry about exceeding your broadband data limit. Telstra and Optus have made all broadband plans unlimited until 30 April. If you use another provider, check their website.
  • The first Zoom class will probably take some time before everyone is connected. Please be patient and polite while this happens.

If you are somewhere that doesn't have an internet connection, you can join a Zoom meeting by phone. You will be heard, but not seen at the meeting. To join by phone:

  1. Dial the appropriate phone number in the invitation (If you are in Victoria, that will be the one that starts +61 3. You don't need the +61, you can dial 03 then the number).
  2. When prompted, key in the meeting number in the invitation, followed by the # key, and then the numeric meeting password which is also in the invitation email.

If you can't find the email, the link will also be placed on the Online Course Links page under Courses & Enrolling (provided the tutor has notified the IT team). We will also put links there to any resources that the tutor wants you to read/watch/listen to.