Tool Reviews



Watch overview videoZoom Overview (2:04)


Despite the availability of enterprise-level “telepresence” systems for decades now, they were initially both cost-inefficient and exceedingly inconvenient from a user perspective (LaFollette, 2018, p. 76). Zoom was designed “from the ground up” in response to increasing demands for platforms that are capable with respect to performance, stability, and features (LaFollette, 2018, p.76). Zoom is an enterprise video conferencing tool with several real-time messaging and content sharing capabilities. Zoom facilitates the processes of starting, joining, and collaborating with others across various devices through its comprehensive communications platform. Zoom’s integrated messaging features effectively streamline workspace collaboration, leading to perceptible increases in performance, trust, and engagement.

Justification for Using this Tool

A well-designed web-based learning tool (WBLT) often incorporates elements from one or more web-based technological tools as part of the effort to support learning in an environment focused on interaction and knowledge acquisition. The process of knowledge retention and eventual transference is both expedited and reinforced through the development of a social community of learners, a notion that is supported by the theoretical framework of constructivism. This model describes the learning process as “an active development of personal meaning through the interaction of current conceptions and ongoing experiences,” in which learners are active participants collaborating in the construction of knowledge (Yakimovicz & Murphy, 1995, p. 203). When learning takes place within a community, even the continual introduction of newcomers enhances the learning process (Lim, 2010). The newcomers not only have access to the knowledge that veterans possess, but their inexperience also encourages reflection (Lim, 2010), which is particularly valuable in virtual learning communities (Clark & Mayer, 2011).

Furthermore, introducing elements characteristic of problem solving can promote further collaboration among learners in such communities (Jahng, 2012). Problem-based learning (PBL) comprises a type of collaborative instruction, whereby groups are tasked with defining and researching issues based on given case problems (Clark & Mayer, 2011). Zoom’s platform is inclusive of these elements, and as such, its integration within a WBLT is significantly beneficial. Zoom’s convenient web interface and apps are not only convenient to use, but are ideal for videoconferencing, demos, webinars, online courses, and even training (LaFollette, 2018). The dynamism afforded through Zoom’s high-quality audio, video, screen-sharing, and recording functionalities are also conducive to group collaboration (LaFollette, 2018). In particular, this platform allows users to share text, image, or audio files to group members instantaneously, who can then annotate shared files (LaFollete, 2018). Users are able to clearly indicate when they have a question or comment, and taking turns is a relatively easy process (Moore, 2018).

Strategies for Use

Strategy 1 – Using Zoom as a Tool for Collaboration

Watch overview videoUsing Zoom as a Tool for Collaboration (1:52)

Learners can use Zoom as a way to remotely collaborate with colleagues and/or peers in real-time. They can utilize the platform’s capabilities, including the sharing of text, image, or audio files, in the process of gathering input from one another.

Strategy 2 – Using Zoom for Problem-Based Learning

Watch overview videoUsing Zoom for Problem-Based Learning (1:40)

A contextualized, real-world problem or issue can be presented to learners, who are then able to capitalize on Zoom’s various features conducive to promoting collaboration as they search for a solution.

Helpful Resources

Resource 1 – Zoom How-To Videos

Zoom has created a Resource Center with links to quick how-to videos on using this tool. These videos are structured on a per topic basis, so users are easily able to find the video relating to the feature and/or functionality they wish to learn more about.

Resource 2 – Zoom For Education

This webpage outlines how Zoom’s video communications capabilities are beneficial in an educational environment, particularly with respect to enriching teaching and learning, maximizing school resources, improving learner outcomes.

Resource 3 – Using Video Conferencing to Improve Remote Collaboration

This article examines the extent to which video conferencing works to improve collaboration, and also identifies remaining impediments for such tools. The conditions and factors necessary for remote collaboration to succeed are also highlighted.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R.E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Jahng, N. (2012). An investigation of collaboration processes in an online course: How do small groups develop over time? The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(4), 1. doi:10.19173/irrodl.v13i4.1211

Karis, D., Wildman, D., & Mané, A. (2016). Improving Remote Collaboration With Video Conferencing and Video Portals. Human-Computer Interaction, 31(1), 1–58.

Lafollette, G. (2018). Expanding your apptitude. Journal of Accountancy, 226(1), 76–76. Retrieved from

Lim, J. (2010). Jazz up your curriculum: the Jazz Workshop offers a unique blend of collaboration and constructivist learning using videoconferencing and Web 2.0. Learning & Leading with Technology, 38(1).

Moore, J. (2018). Exploring Five Online Collaboration Tools to Facilitate a Professional Learning Community. TechTrends, 62(6), 612–617.

Yakimovicz, A. D., & Murphy, K. L. (1995). Constructivism and collaboration on the internet: Case study of a graduate class experience. Computers & Education, 24(3), 203-209. doi: 10.1016/0360-1315(95)00015-E


Submitted by: Zahra Harbi
Bio: Zahra Harbi is a current Masters student at the Faculty of Education, Ontario Tech University. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include translanguaging, technology-assisted language acquisition, eLearning and in particular mobile-assisted language learning.


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E-Learning Essentials 2020 Copyright © 2020 by Power Learning Solutions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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