Host Roles

Here’s a quick breakdown of the host, co-host, and alternative host roles:

  • Host: A single person who is in charge of a meeting and has more permissions than any other attendees. They’re the only participants who can create and manage breakout rooms, give others permission to record locally, make a participant host or co-host, or enable waiting room.
  • Co-Host: This can be any number of people who have more permissions than regular participants, but not as many permissions as the host. Once assigned to a breakout room by the host, a co-host can move from room to room, to the main room and back to the most recent breakout room from the main room. They can help to manage participants.
  • Alternative hosts: A preset pool of people listed as possible hosts for a meeting; the first one of these people to join a meeting session will be the Host. Others listed as alternative hosts who join the meeting become Co-Hosts when they join. When a host leaves a meeting, Host moves to one of the Co-Hosts.

If someone listed as an alternative host doesn’t join a meeting where they are listed as an alternative host, they’re able to join other meetings without issues. If someone is the only Host for the meeting, or if they’re the Host of a meeting and leave without assigning the Host role to someone else, that is where Zoom will start to cause problems and won’t let you into another meeting. One important (and good) thing to note about this: if a Host leaves a meeting where there were multiple alternative hosts listed, the Host role automatically moves to another alternative host.

Managing Meeting Security

Locate the Security button on Zoom’s toolbar for settings that are useful for protecting your meetings from wayward participants. This includes features like locking a meeting after it’s started, turning on a waiting room, and limiting who can share their screen or send chats. Our guide to the security button (gdoc) contains detailed information on these features.

Managing Participants

During meetings, hosts and co-hosts control a number of features from the Participants panel. Locate the toolbar on the bottom of the Zoom screen and click Participants

Participants features controlled by hosts and co-hosts

  • You
  • The host (If you’re not the host)
  • Participants with their hands raised
  • Phone numbers with no names 
  • Unmuted participants (sorted alphabetically)
  • Muted participants (sorted alphabetically)

If you hover over the name of a participant, you’ll see a blue button that allows you to Mute or Unmute their audio. The blue More button opens a menu where you can:

  • Open a direct/private chat to a participant
  • Stop video for a participant, or ask them to turn their video on
  • Make them host or co-host of the meeting
  • Rename a participant
  • Place participants in waiting room or admit/remove participants from the waiting room (if it’s been enabled)

At the very bottom of the participants list/panel, you have a few more gray buttons that allow you to invite new participants to the meeting, and mute or unmute all participants currently in the meeting. You’ll also find a gray “More” button that opens a menu where you can toggle global options for the meeting:

  • Mute participants on entry
  • Allow participants to unmute themselves
  • Allow participants rename themselves
  • Choose to play an enter or exit chime
  • Lock the meeting to prevent anyone new from joining

Managing Chat

The “Chat” panel (opened via bottom meeting menu button) also has an extended menu, labeled … , where the host can control participants’ abilities to chat. These options, which can be changed at any point, include:

  • No one: Disables in-meeting chat.
  • Host only: Only the host can send messages to everyone, though participants can still send private messages to the host.
  • Everyone publicly: Participants can only send public messages, though participants can still send private messages to the host.
  • Everyone publicly and privately: Participants can send public or private messages. 

This extended menu also is where the host can save the chat transcript. Clicking this captures conversation from the point the host joined the meeting until the point the button is clicked in a text file. Note: If saved locally, this transcript will include any private chats that the host sent or received.

Recording Meetings

As host, you can recording a meeting with the Record button on the bottom menu bar.

When you click to start, Zoom prompts for where to save it: to your local or the cloud. Local recordings are saved to your computer’s hard drive. Cloud recordings are saved to Zoom’s cloud storage and can be accessed via the Zoom Web Client on any computer. We recommend local recordings, as Macalester’s zoom cloud storage is limited.

Once you select your storage option, Zoom begins to capture all participant audio and video from the meeting, including anything introduced using the screen sharing feature. Zoom will indicate that recording is in progress to both host and participants with a small icon on the top left of the Zoom window.

Recording… controls also appear here, and where the record button usually is. Clicking pause temporarily halts recording, so that you can resume later and continue writing to the same file. Clicking stop halts recording permanently. Using the stop button, multiple shorter recordings can be made in one meeting. Leaving the meeting also ends the recording, and will begin the processing of any recorded video. Zoom recordings always generate a video recording (mp4), an audio-only recording (mp3) and the transcript from the public chats.

For long recordings, video processing can take time; if you’re recording locally, you will have to wait to close your Zoom application until it’s complete. Zoom will notify you once your video is finished, either by opening the directory your video files are stored in, if you’re recording locally, or via email, if the video was recorded to the cloud.

Where local recordings are saved can be changed in the meeting settings in the Zoom Client:

Cloud recordings can be accessed via the Zoom Web Interface:

From the Recordings area of the web interface, you can download or share a link to the meeting recording.

By default, only the host is allowed to record a meeting. However, recording privileges can be given to participants. To do so, mouse over a participant’s name in the participants list and click “more”. Then, click “allow to record.” Note: be sure to ask all participants’ permission before allowing anyone to record.

You can use a service called to automatically create text transcriptions of recorded meetings. You simply record a meeting to the cloud, download the audio only version, and upload that audio to The help document has more detailed instructions.

Meeting Polling

Polling allows the host to ask participants multiple choice questions during meetings. This feature has to be enabled for the host’s account in order to even see the Polling menu option, and questions have to be added to polls before the scheduled meeting begins. If you configure your Zoom meetings to require participant registration, hosts can also collect the results of those polls and view them after class. This guide to polling (gdoc) walks you through enabling polling, and setting up and conducting your own polls.