The George Washington University added Zoom to GW’s menu of web and video conferencing tools at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. Throughout the fall, GW IT worked with each individual school to migrate faculty accounts to the platform, and at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester Zoom accounts were made available to all GW community members.

Zoom has joined GW's supported web conferencing tools, which include Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Blackboard Collaborate.

Click on the Zoom button below to login.

Zoom Logo

The university-licensed Zoom accounts provide enhanced features, including:

  • Video conferencing with high-definition (HD) video, audio and wireless screen-sharing
  • Meeting capacity of 300 web/audio/video attendees
  • Up to 49 participants/users shown on screen simultaneously in gallery view
  • Breakout rooms, view breakout limits here
  • Log in through Single Sign-On (SSO) using your GW NetID and password
  • Ability to record and store recordings
If you already have a personal Zoom account using your GW email address
  • If you previously created a free, personal Zoom account with your @gwu.edu account you will receive an email from “Zoom Administrator” on how to complete your migration to a GW licensed account. Click the “Approve the Request” button to get started. Additional instructions can be found here. Your existing meetings and recordings will be transferred. No other action will be required on your part. 
  • If you previously created a free, personal Zoom account using your @email.gwu.edu or @gwmail.gwu.edu email address, you will need to sign into zoom.us and update your account to @gwu.edu . Instructions can be found here on Zoom’s website. If you have changed your email address to @gwu.edu, please contact the IT Support Center to get a migration link. 
  • If you are using a paid Zoom account with a GW email address, GW IT will contact you to assist with migrating your account at a later date.


Why is GW adding a licensed version of Zoom?

The switch to online learning and telecommuting provides opportunities for GW to enhance options for tools used by students, faculty and staff. Many faculty members expressed a desire to add Zoom as an option for instructional web conferencing, and some are already actively using it on personal accounts. 

An analysis of individual Zoom accounts charged to the University showed that GW could actually save money by entering into an enterprise license agreement. In addition, officially licensed accounts provide an added level of security for users and data not readily available with free and individual accounts. These factors were instrumental in the decision to add Zoom as a video conferencing option.

Are Zoom Meetings Secure?

Yes, when configured properly Zoom meetings are secure. To prevent uninvited guests from entering your Zoom meeting, you can follow these helpful tips from Zoom.

Zoom will soon start requiring that all meetings have a passcode or a waiting room enabled. This additional safety measure is being mandated by Zoom in response to concerns about “zoom-bombing” or "zoom-raiding," which is an unwanted interruption from uninvited members or internet hackers.  Read more about Waiting Room and Passcode Requirements to learn more.

Ways to Manage Zoom Interruptions

Zoom-bombing or zoom-raiding is when an unintended person joins a Zoom meeting and causes an interruption. Generally, these are not people from our own community, but are people that intentionally take advantage of misconfigured settings or information that has been shared publicly. Zoom-bombers' primary goal is to disrupt, embarrass, shock, display offensive images and other unacceptable behaviors.

Here are the 5 potential Zoom interruptions, and ways to manage each of them:

  1. Audio interruptions - unmuting and speaking to the class. Solution: Press Participants, then Mute All. On the pop-up, uncheck "Allow participants to unmute themselves"
  2. Video interruptions - showing inappropriate video or gestures in a live or virtual background. Solution: When detected, press Participants, select the individual, press Stop Video.
  3. Chat interruptions - typing something inappropriate or using private chat to harass other students. Solution: Press Chat then the menu (...) on bottom right to manage chat settings.
  4. Screen share interruptions - sharing inappropriate content with all attendees. Solution: The default is to only allow the host to share. If a non-host needs to share screen, temporarily make them a co-host then remove the privilege when done sharing.
  5. Annotation interruptions - drawing something inappropriate on the screen during a screen share. Solution: If Annotations are enabled during a screen share, under the Security button, uncheck Annotate on Shared Content.

In open or closed "presentation" meetings, these settings work well. In open "discussion" meetings, some of these settings are challenging to implement. Knowing how to quickly stop an interruption is essential for Hosts and very often overlooked until after an incident occurs.

For events where you are inviting the public, GW's Zoom subscription offers a premium Webinar feature. For public-facing webinars, we recommend requesting this feature because it allows for better security. You can request webinar features for specific events here. Please view this Video for more information on Webinars.

Does Zoom replace Webex and other web conferencing applications at GW?

No, Zoom is an addition to GW’s offerings. The University is committed to providing technology options for students, faculty and staff to meet their needs and preferences – basically providing the right technology tools, for the right use/preference, at the right time. Zoom joins these GW-supported web conferencing tools:

  • Webex is a collaborative meeting tool that allows for secure, real-time meeting and sharing computer content over the web and continues to be GW’s preferred general use web conferencing application. New features will launch in mid-September.
  • Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that allows faculty to add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact with students.
  • Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Microsoft 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged.

Special Note To GW Course Instructors About Blackboard Collaborate

For GW's all-online Spring 2021 semester, most faculty will be running synchronous sessions rather than on-campus/in-person classes. GW’s Instructional Core recommends instructors continue to use Blackboard Collaborate for the following reasons:

  • it keeps your course navigation all in Blackboard, which means fewer clicks for you and your students;
  • it automatically saves any recordings you make and posts them to your online course;
  • it tracks attendance (when set up) to make participation easier to manage. 

If Blackboard Collaborate does not meet your needs, GW supports other tools to run sync sessions including Webex, Echo360, and now Zoom. Please remember, Zoom, or any other web conferencing tool, cannot replace the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS). You should still use Blackboard as your course shell, where you house your readings, documents, assignments, other media, syllabi, etc. 

For faculty support in setting up a course or using Blackboard Collaborate or Echo360, please contact the Instructional Core at [email protected], or visit the faculty guides page.

Student Guide IconZoom Training Resources

To become more familiar with Zoom, explore the links to self-paced resources below. Additional resources will be added, so check back for updates.

Support Icon Button Support

Questions about technology at GW? You can always count on the GW IT Support Center, including 24/7 assistance through Martha Chat, or email at [email protected], or online at go.gwu.edu/itsupport

Prefer to talk to a Help Desk support technologist? Call 202-994-GWIT (4948) weekdays from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

In-person support - GW IT Walk-in Support Center located at Rome Hall B102, Foggy Bottom Campus. GW IT Support Center currently provides in-person technology support only through scheduled appointments. Please contact the IT Support Center at 202-994-4948 to schedule an appointment with a technology specialist or go to https://go.gwu.edu/gwiz and click the "Make an Appointment" button at the bottom of the page.