Many people at the University of Toronto (U of T) have been using the Zoom video-conferencing solution for several years. However, starting in 2022, the University has entered a new partnership with Zoom to enhance the experience for members of the U of T community — something we are calling the new U of T Zoom experience. U of T staff, faculty and students are welcome to set up an official Zoom account. Members of the community can then choose to use Microsoft Teams Video or Zoom for classes, events and meetings as appropriate. For advice on which system to use, please consult with your divisional Ed Tech group first.
Over the past few years, U of T has had two video-conferencing solutions to provide some choice and flexibility for the community: Microsoft (MS) Teams and Collaborate Ultra. Although interchangeable in core functionality, MS Teams has had more of a focus on administrative and integrated collaboration needs. Collaborate Ultra had been more popular in teaching contexts, although Teams has also grown in use in teaching and event contexts. The contract for Collaborate expired in 2021. In order to maintain the two-choice approach, the University engaged in an open and public procurement process for its second solution. Zoom was the successful proponent, as it met the needs and requirements specified in the procurement process.
At its core, every eligible U of T member can log into the U of T Zoom portal with their UTORid to claim a Zoom education license for their University work at no cost to the individual. The Zoom Education License includes the following features:
- The ability to schedule as many meetings as they require, without the 40-minute meeting limit of a basic (or free) Zoom account
- Meetings with a participant capacity of 300 (including the host)
- 365-day retention update on Zoom recordings video-conferencing and webinar service
Beyond the basics
While not yet available, over the coming months, we are rolling out additional features and special add-on licenses that may include features such as:
- Integration with M365 via Outlook
- Integration with Quercus
- Distributed administrative rights for Divisions
- Increased attendee limits for large meetings (on a limited basis)
Please stay tuned for more details on the extra feature road-map.
We recognize that there may be times when an individual or department may want to have a Zoom license outside of the U of T Zoom portal. For example, if a research group has participants from multiple institutions who are serving as co-hosts. In those cases, we recommend the individual or department buy their own Zoom license directly from Zoom with a credit card, and not use the U of T Zoom portal. To discuss this option, please contact your divisional IT unit.
U of T Zoom accounts should only be used for University business and activities (online classes, events and meetings). To set up an account and create meetings, go to utoronto.zoom.us and click login (UTORid access is required to access the U of T Zoom site). We have included some resources to get you started.
- Creating and accessing your Zoom account
- Additional tips on using U of T Zoom are available on the Zoom KB index
- Switch Zoom account from zoom.us to utoronto.zoom.us
- Zoom desktop applications vs Zoom Web Portal (utoronto.zoom.us)
Please read the following scenarios carefully, as each person’s specific circumstances may vary. If you have any uncertainty about which scenario applies to you, do not experiment but instead, contact your divisional IT department for assistance first!
Scenario I: University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) Community Members
Members of the UTM community should continue to use the U of T Zoom Portal (https://utoronto.zoom.us) as they always have – there is no change for you.
Scenario II: Zoom Accounts Supplied by Departments/Divisions
We know that several departments and even some full divisions, such as OISE, Medicine, U of T Scarborough, etc. have paid for, supply, and/or manage Zoom accounts for their instructors and staff. If your Zoom account was given to you by your department, it is imperative that you do NOT access the U of T Zoom Portal without first checking with your local or divisional IT unit. If you are not sure, please contact your local or divisional IT unit first.
Scenario III: No Previous Zoom Account (or accounts not associated with a U of T email)
For individuals who have never had a Zoom account, or for individuals who have a Zoom account that is not associated with their U of T email address, simply go to the U of T Zoom Portal (https://utoronto.zoom.us), and log in with your UTORid and password, and claim your personal Zoom Education license.
Scenario IV: Existing Free Zoom Account using U of T email
For individuals who have a Free Zoom account that is associated with their U of T email address, and who wish to upgrade at no personal cost to a full Zoom Education account, simply go to the U of T Zoom Portal (https://utoronto.zoom.us), and log in with your UTORid and password, and claim your personal Zoom Education license. It will take about 24 to 48 hours to transfer your existing Free Zoom account to our provisional Zoom Education Licenses.
Scenario V: Existing Standard Pro Account using U of T email
For individuals who already have a paid Standard Pro Zoom account associated with their U of T email address, a choice will have to be made – do they want to transfer their account into the new U of T Portal, or remain autonomous?
If your current Zoom account may have been supplied to you by your local or divisional IT unit, then it is imperative that you check with them first, (see above in Scenario II).
If the individual would like to turn their paid account into a no-cost Zoom Education license, then they can submit a request ticket via Enterprise Service Centre (https://uoft.me/esc) to start the transition process and request a pro-rated refund for their paid account. Their account would then be subject to the security controls and features for all accounts within the Portal. For more on the current managed settings, please see: https://uoft.service-now.com/utm_iits?id=kb_article&sysparm_article=KB0011884(UTORid login required to view).
If the individual does not want to transfer their account into the University portal and remain autonomous, then they would not log in through the University Portal, and instead log in through the main Zoom website – https://zoom.us (note the absence of ‘utoronto’ in the URL) – and continue on as they always have, assuming individual responsibility for any costs and security settings.
Scenario VI: Webinar, Large Class, Extra Cloud Storage and Room Connectors
The new Zoom experience only covers Zoom Education accounts for individual instructors and staff. It does not cover other services from Zoom such as Webinar, Large Class, Extra Cloud Storage or physical Room Connectors, etc.
Departments that have already arranged for those products should continue to operate autonomously (https://zoom.us) and not via the University Zoom Portal – it is very important that users who are operating autonomously NOT use the “SSO” (Single Sign-On) option for logging in. They would continue to be responsible for any costs and security settings. Attempting you use the University Zoom Portal for your Webinar or other special license, may result in losing access to the service. If you are unsure of your circumstances, please contact your divisional IT department before doing anything.
In some cases, an individual may have purchased one of these extra services, and associated that service with their U of T email address. If that individual wants to have both an individual no-cost Zoom Education license (300 participant regular Zoom experience), and have their own enhanced service, then we advise them to contact their divisional IT group for assistance (their divisional IT group will make the necessary arrangements with our local Zoom support team).