Quizzes work so well on Zoom because they8217;re social, while not needing people to shout across the top of each other all the time. Essentially, it8217;s a way of getting a group of people together, engaged in an activity, without having to take turns in talking.
First of all you need your questions. As you8217;re going to be running this over Zoom, instead of reading all your questions and struggling with people not being able to hear, make a presentation.
That can be in PowerPoint, Keynote, Slides or anything else 8211; and we think Slides works really well, with the advantage of being free. The key thing here is to make a presentation that makes your quiz pop 8211; because everyone else is going to see this. As always practice, practise, practise, get your transitions or effects organised, so you know what you8217;re doing.
The advantage of using a presentation is that you can embed everything in that presentation 8211; a picture round, quotes to complete, music round, whatever you like. Put it into 8220;present8221; and/or full screen mode, so those on the presentation can8217;t see the rest of your desktop.
Prepare your computer and network
It8217;s worth shutting down everything else you don8217;t need 8211; so quit and exit Skype, Word, Photoshop 8211; anything that could be running in the background that you don8217;t actually need, as Zoom is a demanding app.
A great way to make your quiz easier is to use an answer sheet. Sure, people can just write answers on a bit of paper, but preparing an answer sheet means people know where they are, how many questions to expect and you can make the structure of your quiz a little more complicated 8211; for example with two part answers, picture rounds and so on.
Remember that as the host, people are likely to be looking at, and listening to you more than any other participant, so think about what you have in the background, and what noise there is around you.
Silence your phone to avoid those annoying bings and bongs, and don8217;t sit next to your fridge or washing machine on the spin cycle. Also don8217;t sit with your back to a window or patio doors, because you8217;ll be silhouetted. A nice plain background is simple; a studious-looking bookcase is very much on trend right now, or you can pick a Zoom background.
Zoom, as a tool for businesses first and foremost, has a collection of features that are useful when presenting your quiz 8211; and the main one here is the ability to share your screen, so you can show off that presentation and people can get involved with a professional experience.
Zoom meetings can be scheduled, or you can just go in and start a meeting and get others to join. For something organised like a quiz, it8217;s great to schedule it for the time you want it to take place, sharing the meeting ID and password via whatever means you want. If scheduling a meeting, those ID and passwords are on the scheduling page for you.
Zoom has a 40-minute time limit on meetings unless you pay for the Pro level ($14.99/£11.99/$13.99 a month). If you8217;re doing a lot of Zooming it be worth paying for a few months until you8217;re released back into the real world 8211; you can cancel at any time.
But Zoom has also relaxed the rules a little around this 40 minute restriction. You might be offered the chance to avoid the time limit if you schedule your next Zoom meeting, so that8217;s worth considering. If not, and if you don8217;t want to pay, be prepared to end and restart at an opportune moment. That also allows toilet breaks and drink refreshes 8211; and you can always share multiple meeting IDs in advance.
Once you8217;re up and running with your meeting, you need to share your presentation. This is really easy and something that Zoom is really good at, which is why it8217;s perfect for quizzes. Just hit the big Share Screen button in the Zoom toolbar and select what it is you want to share 8211; your presentation.
When you go into the screen sharing option you8217;ll find some advanced settings, including the option to limit screen sharing to just you, the host. You8217;ll want to check this option, so no one else can disrupt things and start presenting something else from their end.
Zoom allows annotations by default, allowing participants to add annotations to screens that are shared. That means anyone in your quiz can draw on your presentation 8211; but you can turn this off.
Unfortunately, these are in the advanced options of your Zoom account accessed via Zoom8217;s web portal. If you open up the preferences for the Zoom app you can get to these by heading into profile, then 8220;view advanced features8221;. This opens the web page for your account and down that page you8217;ll find 8220;annotation8221; with the option to switch off access for participants.
Once your quiz is underway, you8217;ll need to keep control of the rabble. People will probably mute themselves if they want to discuss as a team, but you8217;ll also have the power as the host to mute the entire quiz. You8217;ll find this option in participants in the toolbar 8211; where you can mute and unmute everyone. There8217;s the option for people to unmute themselves 8211; which you can also turn off if you want to.
Importantly, muting will mean that people can hear what you8217;re saying. If you have to explain the rules of a round or give any pointers, definitely mute the rabble 8211; and you8217;ll want to mute all for the music round too, if you have one.
But don8217;t leave things muted all the time, as this will then dampen the social feeling to the quiz 8211; people will still want to talk, laugh and interact. As you8217;re using a presentation people can read the questions themselves so a little noise isn8217;t going to spoil things.
Having a music round makes for a great quiz and there8217;s nothing to stop you doing that via Zoom too. There8217;s a range of options for using music, basically an easy way and a more complicated way.
The simplest is to use the microphone on your computer to play that to those on your quiz.
You can even play this from your computer (from Spotify or wherever) because once you8217;re sharing your full-screen presentation, those 8220;watching8221; on the meeting will stay looking at that when you navigate away 8211; because Zoom then pauses screen sharing until you return to that app.
So, you can switch to Spotify and play those tracks from a pre-assembled playlist, knowing that those doing the quiz aren8217;t looking at your screen, they8217;re looking at your presentation still.
If you want to integrate this into your own quiz it8217;s easy enough to do. If you have audio (or video) embedded into your presentation, then you can do this:
- Hit the 8220;share screen8221; option in the Zoom toolbar.
- Click the 8220;share computer sound8221; option, but stick with the same presentation file you8217;re using.
- Then 8220;share screen8221; and then play your music.
That will share the music straight from your presentation to the viewers and sound a lot better than using your microphone. Remember to hide the icon for the music when presenting, so it looks nice and clean.
While this is happening, your own mic is still on, so you can still talk, if you need to. Once you8217;ve finished with the music round, you can return to normal screen sharing. Zoom lets you change these audio options during a call, if you want to enable and disable computer sound during the quiz.
However, different computer setups work in different ways, and some external speakers might stop playing the audio, meaning you can8217;t hear the music. Some might have the option to monitor audio separately 8211; for example through a set of headphones connected to their microphone 8211; but definitely test whether this works on your computer before you attempt to do it in a live quiz.
Sharing audio only in Zoom
There8217;s a third option which is to share audio only. This means you8217;re not sharing your screen 8211; so you effectively put your presentation to one side for the music round.
- Hit 8220;share screen8221; (or 8220;new share8221; if already sharing your screen) on the Zoom toolbar.
- Select the 8220;Advanced8221; tab.
- Choose 8220;Music or Computer Sound only8221;.
- Play your music.
As above, most people will probably find this works fine, but in some computer setups the speakers might stop playing so you can8217;t hear the music. Again, test before you do this live.
Finally you need to know who has won and the easy way to do this is to have everyone write their score on their sheet and hold it up to their camera.
When someone holds up writing to the camera, in their own preview picture the writing will be backwards to them 8211; but it will be forwards to everyone else. That8217;s to do with camera mirroring, which makes it a lot easier to see what you8217;re doing on the screen, because your preview video matches your own movements.