Guidelines for a Virtual Defense Using Zoom

The TWU Graduate School, in response to requests for information about how to set up a virtual thesis or dissertation defense, has developed these suggested guidelines. These guidelines are only suggestions and are subject to the policies and practices of the individual academic components.

Setting up the Zoom Meeting

  • The Thesis/Dissertation Chair should be the Zoom Meeting Host.
  • Alternate Host(s) should be an instructor of record at TWU. 
  • Additional settings include:
    • Uncheck “Only authenticated users can join.” to allow for non-TWU participants to join the Zoom Meeting,
    • Check “Mute participants on entry.”

Before the Zoom Meeting Starts

  • The Committee Members should enter the Zoom Meeting with the Candidate 10-15 minutes prior to stated Zoom Meeting time.
  • Confirm with the Candidate whether they want guests to remain for Committee Members' questions.
  • Discuss how the Signature Page will be routed and finalized.
  • The Candidate can be made a Co-Host to allow for screen sharing.
  • Start Recording. When prompted, choose Record to the Cloud so that the video will be saved as a Panopto Recording in your Canvas course.

The Presentation and Questions

  • The Candidate presents for the suggested amount of time (e.g., 30 minutes) and can share their Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.
  • Ask Guests to verbally ask questions or type questions in the Chat Box. Consider setting a time limit of 10 to 20 minutes.
  • After the question and answer allotted time, Guests may be required to Leave the Zoom Meeting.
  • The Committee Members ask the Candidate questions.

After the Presentation and Questions

  • Stop the Zoom Recording.
  • Guests must Leave the Zoom Meeting before the Committee Members confer.
  • The Candidate is manually moved to a Breakout Room by the Host. 
  • The Committee Members confer and makes decisions about the thesis or dissertation. This includes any required revisions and whether or not the thesis or dissertation passes.
  • The Candidate is moved from the Breakout Room to the Main Room by the Host to share the decision and complete the discussion.

Support Options

  1. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School to make suggestions to these guidelines and effective ways to complete a virtual defense with Zoom.
  2. To request technical support, submit a Technology Service Desk email to start a ticket.


Article ID: 131531
Wed 4/14/21 9:18 AM
Wed 4/10/24 3:06 PM