I may almost a doctor*, but I don't understand Zoom. Halp?
April 22, 2020 6:44 PM   Subscribe

*not that kind of doctor. I'm trying to figure out if I can host a meeting on Zoom (or another video platform) while also participating in another meeting. This is for my dissertation defense, so I'd really like it to work. Can anyone help?

I'm going to try playing around with this tonight, but the situation is thus:

- My advisor will initiate a meeting, which will consist of me and my committee members. I'll join from his invitation. This allows him to kick me out during the committee's deliberations.
- I would like to host the public side (which will mostly be my friends and family, with potentially some other people in my department).
- I would want screen sharing on both, so that they can see my slides, as well as being able to hear me speak.

I'm unclear if this is possible with Zoom - from this site, it looks like you can only join multiple meetings, but it doesn't say anything about hosting them.

Some other options I can try:
- Using a separate client for the public part (like BlueJeans?). Not sure how well two platforms will play together at the same time.
- Having my partner host the public one. He could screen share to a separate computer and follow along with my slides, and my voice could be the only one unmuted on his meeting.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as my brain is mush from thesis writing.
posted by Paper rabies to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have not been able to do two Zooms, but I have used Zoom to screenshare other hosts' GoToMeeting or Webex and it worked fine. You'll want to test first, of course.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:52 PM on April 22, 2020

Best answer: You can stream a Zoom meeting on YouTube Live. That might be better for your non-panel participants.
posted by fedward at 7:02 PM on April 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

The gym I go to is able to stream their Zoom meeting (actually a workout) on Facebook live. I do not know how, however.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:05 PM on April 22, 2020

My large org pays a lot of money to Zoom, so I’m not sure what level of plan is what. But the best I’ve seen anyone be able to do is host one meeting and join another. He can only screen share and/or be on video at one at a time however. It took a few days of back and forth with our zoom admins to get this properly setup.

Basically, in our new WFH setup he keeps his “come chat anytime” room open day for people to “drop in” but steps in and out of his regular zoom meetings (of which his paricuipation varies widely) as his schedule dictates. However our average user does not have this capability without engaging our admins.

I have not tried this and therefore can not speak to the how well it works myself.
posted by cgg at 7:11 PM on April 22, 2020

The best solution that I can see is that you create a meeting that everyone joins.

From there you can place people into “breakout rooms.” So one would be your committee members and the other would be friends and family. People can’t see what’s going on in the other one.

When you are actually presenting you can have everyone in one “room.”

I haven’t been in the hosting side of this but I know my TA has been using this function. Ask university friends who are TAing for more details but I think this may work for your needs
posted by raccoon409 at 7:20 PM on April 22, 2020

Does your committee have a suggestion? My institution has announced that family members can zoom in for the MS level candidates and I'm under the impression this is via a shared link and the host admits all from the lobby (to control for zoom bombers) and asks all non-committee members to leave the meeting at the end and reviews the remaining members for appropriateness prior to further discussion.
posted by beaning at 7:33 PM on April 22, 2020

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like you may be overcomplicating things. I'm not sure why you couldn't do all the things you want to in one Zoom meeting. If your advisor makes you a co-host, you should be able to invite others. Then, your advisor could ask everyone other than the committee to leave at the end and lock the meeting so people can't rejoin (and, as the host, can always kick people out if they lag in leaving the meeting).
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:35 PM on April 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have not been able to do two Zooms, but I have used Zoom to screenshare other hosts' GoToMeeting or Webex and it worked fine. You'll want to test first, of course.

I did this just this week. I used GoToMeeting (a paid work account) to screenshare a Zoom webinar. I couldn’t get the sound to pick up in the GTM so the people in the GTM had to dial into the Zoom audio on their phones.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:52 PM on April 22, 2020

Response by poster: For Reasons, my advisor wants to control the meeting with my committee. I'm so close to finishing, I don't want to die on that hill.
posted by Paper rabies at 7:54 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mac or Windows? On Mac I can see being able to use Loopback to manage the audio and deal with the problem ThePinkSuperhero ran into. I haven’t tried this myself but I have done similar things.
posted by dttocs at 8:26 PM on April 22, 2020

Best answer: If you don't find a better option, one brute-force idea is to get another device (cell-phone? old laptop or roomate's computer?), host your family meeting on that, and point it at your monitor and or you. It'd not elegant, but it takes a few minutes and is unlikely to fail when the time comes. Best of luck, and congratulations!
posted by eotvos at 8:38 PM on April 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

For Reasons, my advisor wants to control the meeting with my committee. I'm so close to finishing, I don't want to die on that hill.

Are you saying you don't want to ask your professor to give the link out (they still control!) or that they want to be absolutely sure no one accidentally gets in the committee meeting?

In any case why don't you practice this setup beforehand at least. From what I'm understanding is that you want to simulcast 4, 1080p HD broadcasts (one for the screen x 2, one for the camera x 2). That could easily kill your bandwidth, computer, or both. Make sure it works beyond what Zoom will allow you to do.
posted by geoff. at 9:30 PM on April 22, 2020

Best answer: The usual way to do this is for the host (your advisor, if they like) to run one zoom meeting that everyone is invited to. Then, during the time with just you and the committee, the host puts you and the committee into a breakout room, leaving everyone else in the main room. When they are done asking you questions they kick you back out to the main room, and stay in the breakout room to deliberate. Then they bring you back in to discuss the result, and then you can all go back out to the breakout room.

The meeting can be set up with automute for newly joining participants, and to only allow screen share if the host approves.

If your advisor is the host, then they will have control over the meeting. If they agree to breakout rooms then I suggest making sure you try it out with them and at least one other person ahead of time so they know how to run all the settings.

And congrats! Get yourself some nice celebratory treat, you deserve it!
posted by nat at 1:11 AM on April 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Update: my advisor ended up hosting the meeting for everything, it went well, I'm a doctor now! Yay!
posted by Paper rabies at 8:43 PM on May 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

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