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How to use breakout rooms in Zoom?

What is a breakout room in Zoom?

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions, which is great for facilitating group work online as the participants/students who would be in the same group could interact and collaborate with each other on a task that was given during your Zoom meeting.

The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically, manually or beforehand with pre-assigned members, and can switch between these sessions at any time. It also allows the participants to select their own sessions/rooms if you would not like to define it on their behalf.

To learn the basics of breakout rooms, please visit their Learning Center website.

How to enable, manage and use breakout rooms in Zoom?

Before you can use this feature in Zoom, you need to make sure it is enabled under your account. For more information about this process, please visit the following Zoom help material.

Once you enabled this feature, you can then:

For any further questions, please contact Digital Education.

Things to note before you start

To create or use breakout rooms you must be the Host; either because you scheduled the meeting yourself, it was scheduled for you or the original host has made you host. Please note that co-hosts and alternate hosts do not have the ability to create or interact with breakout rooms other than as a participant.

If you are recording the meeting, it will only record the main room, not any of the breakouts. If you wish to record the breakout rooms, please allow at least one participant in each room to record and remind them to do so! You can allow recording by hovering over their name in the participants list, clicking ’More’ and then ‘Allow Recording’. For more information about the process, please visit the following Zoom help material.

To pre-assign a student, you will use their university e-mail address, meaning that must join using their e-mail for them to be recognised and for this to be effective, please set the meeting to ‘Authenticated users only’. This will prevent anyone outside the University from joining. Please note that this feature is only available on the web version of Zoom.

Collaboration tools

Recommended tools for student collaboration change depending the task at hand. Options range from a discussion with someone writing notes, to a shared screen to create a Powerpoint, to collaborative tools such as the Zoom whiteboard, Miro, Onenote or many others.

We will discuss these features in separate articles.

Updated on August 31, 2022

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