You can provide your students with live group sessions by scheduling a Live Lesson via Zoom Meetings or Zoom Webinars, directly from within Thinkific.
In this article:
About This Feature
Live Lessons with Zoom provides a new, engaging way to educate your audience. You can use Live Lessons to provide your students with classes, group coaching sessions, and more — plus, you can host live webinars.
How It Works
Our Live Lesson type integrates directly with Zoom. You can create multiple Live Lessons in your course to schedule as many live sessions as you would like!
As the host, you will require a Zoom account to get started. Then you can create a Live Lesson in Thinkific and simply login to the Zoom account you would like to connect. You can set the date, time and duration for your Zoom Meeting or Webinar directly within your Live Lesson settings.
The schedule will be visible to students directly within the lesson and once the live session starts, students can simply click the Join Meeting in Zoom button which will open Zoom in a new tab for students to join your meeting or webinar.
- Live Lessons are currently restricted to a maximum of 100 students.
- Zoom does not currently support Safari. If your student is using Safari, they will be prompted to use Chrome, Firefox, or Edge Chromium.
- Due to different security standards, we do not currently support Zoom for Government. If you'd like to include Zoom in your course, we suggest including the join link in a Text Lesson with instructions on how to join your Zoom meeting or webinar.
Zoom Account Requirements
- A Free Zoom account is required in order to schedule a Zoom Meeting. Note that the Free Zoom plan has a meeting limit of 40 minutes. If you require more time, check out Zoom's Pro plan.
- For Zoom Webinars, you will need a Pro Zoom account and the Zoom Video Webinar plan, which is purchased separately as an add-on plan option in Zoom.
- Zoom Meetings are designed for more interactive smaller group sessions and Zoom Webinars are ideal for large lecture-type events. You can check out the difference between Zoom Meetings and Webinars here.
Thinkific Account Requirements
- A Zoom account can only be connected to a single Thinkific account. You cannot connect the same Zoom account to multiple Thinkific accounts.
Zoom Password Settings
- Zoom will require a password when scheduling new meetings (see details in the FAQ below)
- By default, Zoom requires attendees to log in to their personal Zoom account or create a Zoom account when joining a meeting or webinar. This can be disabled if desired (more details here).
How to Connect with Zoom
Before you can start creating your own Live Lessons, you will need to connect your Thinkific account with a Zoom account. This is a two-step process that starts with installing the Zoom app from the Thinkific App store.
Check out our article on Connecting Live Lessons with Zoom for full instructions on how to connect, disconnect, and reconnect your Zoom account.
How to Add a Live Lesson
Once you have installed the Zoom app and connected your account, the Live Lesson lesson type will be available to add to any of your courses.
Read our article on Creating a Live Lesson with Zoom for detailed instructions about adding and deleting Live Lessons, including an explanation of the different available setting options.
Students will be able to join the meeting from within the Live Lesson. They can select Join Meeting in Zoom to join the meeting from the Zoom app, which is supported on many devices, and can be accessed from Zoom's Download Center. Please note that while students will be joining Zoom from within the Live Lesson, Zoom will open outside of the Thinkific Course Player in a new tab via the Zoom app.
If you email the meeting link to your students, they can also log in through that link as well. If they attend through the link, it just means that they won't be accessing the course, or viewing the meeting in the Zoom lesson within your Thinkific course.
Students may also see an option to Open in browser. Clicking on this option will not work and show a message to update their Zoom account. This message can be hidden with CSS, or you can simply advise students to click the Join Meeting in Zoom button only.
If the meeting has not yet started, the student will still have the option to join it, but will be brought to a page indicating the meeting has not started yet. They can click Retry to try joining again or OK to return to the Course Player.
If you would like to provide early meeting access, or facilitate a more customized experience, you can make these changes within your Meeting Options. For example, this is what a student will see if you allow them to join before host:
Time zones are an option for Admins while creating the Live Lesson but will not be visible to students. We recommend that you add a timezone to the title and the description so it's clear when the Live Lesson begins.
We recommend creating a test student account if you would like to preview the lesson from the student perspective. If you preview your course as a student while logged in as an admin, the system will recognize that you are an admin and simply prompt your Zoom app to open.
Starting Your Meeting
There are two places within Thinkific where you will be able to start the Live Lesson. When you select either of the options below, you will be navigated to a new tab within your browser that contains the Zoom meeting.
- One option is to select the Start Meeting button at the top of the Live Lesson within the Course Builder:
- The other option is to select the Start Meeting in Zoom option, displayed within your Course Player Preview:
If you are logged in as the Site Owner or Site Admin, the Zoom app will open to manage the meeting. However, the meeting will also be viewable in the browser for your students to access.
Recording Your Live Lesson
You can choose to automatically record your Zoom meeting within your lesson settings, or you can manually start recording once your meeting is live. This can be done within the Zoom meeting by hitting the record button in the admin controls. You can learn more about Zoom's record function in their guide on recording.
If you would like students to have access to previously recorded sessions, you can upload your Zoom video to the Video Library or directly to a Video Lesson.
How to Cancel a Zoom Meeting
If you need to cancel a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, you will need to do so within your Zoom account. Deleting your Live Lesson in Thinkific will not automatically cancel your Zoom session. You can see how to make edits to your meeting in Zoom here: How do I update a scheduled meeting?
How to Disconnect Your Zoom Account From Thinkific
You can disconnect your Zoom account from Thinkific directly within Zoom.
Check out our article on Connecting Live Lessons with Zoom for full details on how to disconnect (and reconnect) your account.
When disconnecting Zoom, previously published Live Lessons will automatically be set to Draft and you will need to connect to Zoom again if you want to create new Live Lessons in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Zoom's password requirements?
All Zoom Basic and Paid accounts require a meeting password when scheduling new meetings (which also applies to webinars). These settings are designed to prevent unwanted participants from joining your meeting or webinar. These settings cannot be turned off. Students accessing your Zoom Meeting or Webinar through the Course Player will not need to enter this password, it will be auto-applied for them.
Can I duplicate a Live Lesson? What happens when I duplicate a course?
We don't currently have the ability to duplicate Live Lessons. If you would like a Live Lesson in another course, you'll just need to create a new lesson in that course!
Can I report on Live Lessons?
Yes! Live Lessons will appear as a lesson type in Advanced Reporting. You'll see the progress and completion rates in your Student Engagement Report.
Are email reminders sent to students before a webinar starts?
Email reminders are not automatically sent to students before a webinar starts. You will need to add your enrolled students to a separate calendar invite outside of Thinkific in order for them to be alerted to upcoming and newly scheduled Live Lessons.
Since this integration does not require students to register to join a Zoom meeting, you cannot use Zoom's built in meeting reminders.
Can I run more than one Live Lesson or use multiple Zoom accounts at the same time?
For now, only one Zoom account can be integrated with your Thinkific site. This means any teachers (course admins or site admins/owners) must all use the same Zoom account to create their Live Lessons, so you cannot run more than one Live Lesson simultaneously.
Please let us know if this is a feature that you need and we will let our Product team know!
Can I host a larger virtual event using live lessons?
If you're interested in hosting a larger event using the Thinkific platform, please book a call with our solutions team to discuss your event needs!
Looking for some other helpful tricks when using Zoom? Check out 10 Tips and Tricks from Zapier here!