By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
Baylor’s Zoom users were treated to an upgrade when the university purchased an enterprise license for the software. The license gives anyone logged in to the teleconferencing program with their Baylor account increased security and fewer limitations.
First announced by Baylor Information Technology Services Wednesday, Baylor’s adoption of Zoom integrated the program with existing university systems. Zoom accounts were registered for each Baylor email address.
Users with existing accounts tied to their Baylor email were asked to “move [their] Zoom account to the university’s license,” or “change the email and password associated with the account.” Jon Allen, Baylor ITS assistant vice president, said this was done to bring Baylor’s Zoom users enhanced security features like Duo authentication.
“As you have seen in the media it is important to configure these tools securely,” Allen said. “In order to make sure that all users of the Baylor license were configured and authenticated securely we enabled manage domain for baylor.edu accounts. Users are given the option to migrate their personal accounts to another email address or join the Baylor University Zoom instance.”
Other newly-available features include Canvas integration and a removal of the 40-minute limit on sessions. Anyone who chose to migrate their existing Zoom account to Baylor’s license was offered a refund for the unused portion of their subscription.
While Baylor already made use of teleconferencing app Cisco Webex, Zoom has become a widely-used tool amidst the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students, faculty and staff regularly use the program, and it has become a cornerstone of online classes.
Allen said demand from the Baylor community prompted ITS to acquire a license for the software.
“Feedback from faculty indicated it was a preferred platform and was needed to help with the transition to online learning,” Allen said. “The purchase and implementation began several weeks ago. With the move to online courses for summer it was critical even though it took a few weeks to get in place.”
Robinson junior Kaitlyn Gerik has used Zoom for her theatre class. She said the software has helped smooth a difficult transition to online learning, even if the class doesn’t translate particularly well to an online environment.
“I didn’t think that theatre was going to work even over Zoom … even with taking Zoom classes we’re having to do a lot of stuff on our own, but at least we have Zoom to give each other input. It’s still not as good as having theatre in person, but it wasn’t meant to be an online class.” Gerik said. “I guess [in adding Zoom to Baylor’s suite of programs] it shows that they are doing what they can to make it work.”