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Tutor Tip

A Zoom tip for just about everyone: chat and reactions features

August 2022
Remote Teaching

Despite many adult education programs getting back to in-person learning, lots of learning centers are still offering virtual classes and tutoring sessions via Zoom. And while Zoom has likely been a part of your life in one way or another for the past several months, I know many of you reading this tip may still feel like novices, while others of you may feel like pros. Either way, this five-minute video about the chat and reactions features in Zoom has something new for everyone. I myself learned that the coffee cup reaction icon means you are away from the meeting for a moment–now that could come in handy!

The video demonstrates how to do the following, from the most basic to fairly advanced:

  • Open the chat box
  • Send a chat message to everyone in the meeting
  • Send a private chat message to one person in the meeting
  • Add an emoji to a chat message
  • Send an attachment via chat
  • Open a file via chat
  • Save a chat transcript
  • Use reactions like thumbs up, heart and laughing emojis
  • Raise a hand
  • Change the chat and reactions settings for your meeting participants if you are the host

If you are on the novice end of the spectrum, here are a few tips regarding this video:

  • Watch it 2-3 times, pausing when needed.
  • Don’t get in the weeds with the information that is not pertinent to you, for example, saving a chat log and changing chat settings in the Zoom meeting portal are skills in the video you can ignore if you are using Zoom in an educational setting as a volunteer.
  • Set up a practice session with other volunteers, colleagues, friends or family members to practice the skills you learn from the video.
  • Ensure you are very comfortable with the Zoom chat or reactions feature you have learned before teaching learners how to use it. 

As much as you may want it to, it appears Zoom as a teaching platform is not going away. Take five minutes today to add a Zoom tool to your toolbox.

For questions or comments about this tutor tip, please contact Literacy Minnesota’s Tutor Training Coordinator, Meghan Boyle, at

Photo by Anna Shvets: 

a person is looking at a laptop displaying a virtual meeting with three other participants

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