Understanding Zoom Bombing
Teaching synchronously online requires instructors being very thoughtful in their consideration and choice of an appropriate web conferencing tool. In addition to the features of the tool, instructors must also be mindful of the potential for individuals, sometimes referred to as “trolls”, who intentionally disrupt video conferences. This practice of malicious disruption is referred to as Zoom Bombing.
There are many potential goals for Zoom Bombing, but it is often intended to present lewd and inappropriate content, resulting in the session being shut down. Violence Prevention Avalon East has prepared a resource called “What is Zoom Bombing and How Can I Avoid It?” that provides a definition along with some helpful advice to minimize the risk. This resource is a summary of that document, written for the instructional context.
Teaching Synchronously at Memorial
There are two tools available and supported by Memorial University for instructors who wish to teach synchronously (real-time via the web). Using a tool that is integrated within Brightspace provides an additional layer of authentication that makes the session less susceptible to activity like Zoom Bombing.
More information regarding these tools may be found at the links below:
- Online Rooms: https://blog.citl.mun.ca/technologyresources/online-rooms/
- WebEx: https://blog.citl.mun.ca/technologyresources/other-edtech/webex-getting-started/
These tools have been vetted by Memorial’s privacy office, have gone through IT Governance for approval, and are/can be embedded within Brightspace (the University’s Learning Management System). Instructors are encouraged to explore these tools before adopting others, as institutional support is available for both of these tools.
Note: Some academic units may have other tools available for instructional use that are not institutionally supported. In such cases, support may be provided at the unit level.
Now let’s take a look at ways to protect your synchronous session.