Web conferencing tool at TU Darmstadt

Zoom is a very clearly arranged and easy-to-use tool for web conferences. The cloud service supports different usage scenarios – from virtual teamwork to online presentations and online lectures.

In order to support mobile work and digital teaching, TU Darmstadt acquired a Zoom campus license for events with up to 300 participants.

The future of Zoom and note on the use of video conferencing systems.

Zoom has proven itself as a tool at the TU Darmstadt. The TU will therefore continue to offer the video conferencing system (VCS) in the winter term 2022/2023 as a platform to support teaching and everyday work.

In the context of video conferencing systems, there are – again and again – discussions concerning data protection. The Hessian universities and the Hessian Commissioner for Data Protection and Information Security (HBDI) have therefore jointly developed a concept ('hessisches Konzept') specifically for the use of Zoom in teaching events in 2021/22.
Requirements for the use of Zoom for courses at Hessian universities in accordance with data protection regulations (opens in new tab)

In order to address the additional protection measures required in the concept, the TU Darmstadt will switch to the Zoom X offering from Telekom Deutschland GmbH (Zoom X – Telekom – Conferencing & Collaboration (opens in new tab)) as soon as this is available – probably in the fall of 2022.

With BigBlueButton (BBB), TU users will still have a DSGVO-compliant tool at their disposal. This is operated by Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences on its own servers. BBB is preferable from a data protection perspective.

If more sensitive, personal topics are treated in the conversation, the use of Zoom is not recommended. In this case, BigBlueButton, a telephone call or an appointment in presence are suitable alternatives.

Further information

If you want to read more about data protection in videoconferencing systems, you can find more information on the website of the state of Hesse. The Hessian Commissioner for Data Protection and Information Security (HBDI) has listed some points on its website that should help with system selection and use:

User groups

The Zoom campus license is available for all employees and students of TU Darmstadt.


Zoom offers...

  • Video conference incl. audio (dial-in by telephone also possible)
  • Chat
  • “Raise hand” function
  • Screen sharing (“Screen sharing”)
  • Shared whiteboard
  • Group rooms (so-called “breakout sessions” / “breakout rooms”). Up to 100 breakout rooms can be created in one meeting.
  • Waiting room
  • Recording of the online meeting and MP4 export possible

All features, instructions and help videos for using Zoom can be found in the help center of the manufacturer.

In the current corona situation, the Technical University of Darmstadt has decided to use Zoom in teaching, research and administration. This decision is the result of weighing up factors such as data protection compliance, data security stability, scalability, flexibility of individual settings and license costs.

In the past few weeks, the media coverage of Zoom has referred to security gaps on various occasions. Some of the security gaps can be avoided with the help of individual settings.

To activate your campus license for Zoom, please proceed as follows:

  1. Open https://tu-darmstadt.zoom.us/ and select the “Sign in” button.
  2. On the following page please click on “New at Zoom?” on “Sign up free”.
  3. To verify, enter your date of birth and click “Continue”.
  4. Now enter your work e-mail address.
    • Employees of the TU are requested to enter their central e-mail address, i.e. first name.surname{lfdNr}@tu-darmstadt.de .
    • Students provide the e-mail address first name.surname@stud.tu-darmstadt.de.
    • Guests enter their e-mail address first name.surname@gast.tu-darmstadt.de (see also article “Wie bekomme ich eine E-Mail-Adresse?”).
    • Unfortunately, student assistants who only have an e-mail address name.surname@wihi.tu-darmstadt.de cannot register for the campus license.
    • Lecturers who do not have an @TU address but need Zoom for their work can obtain a guest address from their dean's office.
  5. Finally, click on “Register”.
  6. After your registration, you will receive an email from the Zoom Cloud (…@zoom.us) to activate your account. Please check your email inbox to complete the activation of your account.

Important Note: It is NOT possible to register an e-mail address <name>@<institute>.tu-darmstadt.de! Only e-mail addresses that correspond to the central e-mail address can be registered.

If you already use a Basic license of Zoom and you have registered with your ...@tu-darmstadt.de e-mail address, you will automatically receive a request to switch to the Campus License when you start Zoom via the website (zoom.us/signin).

If you have been using the authentication via Google or Facebook so far, the automatic conversion to the TU Darmstadt campus license is unfortunately not possible. In this case, in order to receive a login via e-mail address and a password, proceed as described here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362343-Can-I-login-with-non-Google-or-Facebook-

The e-learning working group provides detailed information on their websites about online live formats in teaching online live formats in teaching and especially the use of zoom in teaching. The functionalities are described, for which scenarios they are usefully applicable and which corresponding settings should be made in Zoom.

Furthermore, there is a separate compilation of information on Zoom for students.

Due to the concerns and requirements of “ The Hessian Representative for Data Protection and Freedom of Information”, it is not ensured that the Zoom video conferencing platform can continue to be used at TU Darmstadt in the medium term.

In order to keep options open, the HRZ is no longer pursuing the equipping of rooms with video conferencing technology in connection with Zoom. At the moment, equipping appropriate rooms with video conferencing technology, which can be used universally with all possible video conferencing systems as an accessory for laptops, is the only sensible and sustainable option. As an example, among many other similarly powerful systems, Logitech MEETUP for smaller rooms and Logitech GROUP can be mentioned in this context.