Use breakout rooms in a Zoom meeting
Use breakout rooms in a Zoom meeting to open up to 50 additional Zoom sessions to accompany the main meeting session. Meeting participants can be assigned to rooms by Zoom automatically or manually by the host. Once participants are assigned to breakout rooms and the host opens the rooms, participants can either join their assigned room themselves or the host can move participants to their rooms automatically. Participants then leave the main meeting room and join their breakout room. The host can move from room to room and participants can call a host to their room as needed. The host can recall participants back to the main meeting session or participants can return themselves anytime.
Hosts can create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single Zoom meeting session. Rooms can be created and attendees assigned during the meeting or in advance. Only the meeting host can create breakout rooms and assign attendees.
During the meeting
- Select the Breakout Rooms button at the bottom of the meeting window. You may need to select the More button to find it. If you don't have any breakout rooms created, this will open the Create Breakout Rooms window.
- Enter the desired number of rooms (1). You can add or delete rooms later if needed.
- Determine whether to let Zoom assign participants to rooms automatically or assign them yourself, manually (2).
- Select the Create Rooms button (3). This will not open the rooms, so nothing will happen on your participants' screens.
Breakout rooms can be created in advance by editing the meeting settings in the host web portal. The meeting host can upload a list of room names, using the spreadsheet template provided.
The breakout room control panel
Once breakout rooms have been created, either in advance or in the meeting, the host can select the Breakout Rooms button at the bottom of the meeting window. Select the More button if the Breakout Rooms button is not listed on the toolbar. This will open your breakout rooms control panel. Use this control panel to manage room options, assign participants to rooms, move from one room to another, and close all rooms.
Set room options
In the meeting, select the Breakout Rooms button at the bottom of the meeting window. You may need to select the More button to find it. This will open your breakout rooms control panel. Select the Options button and set the meeting options as needed (Fig 2).
- Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically. All participants will be moved into their assigned rooms as soon as the host opens all rooms.
- Allow participants to return to the main session at any time. Participant will have a Leave Breakout Room button on their toolbar at the bottom of the breakout room meeting screen that they can use to return to the main meeting session or leave the meeting on their own.
- Breakout rooms close automatically after. Define a time in minutes, after which all breakout rooms will close automatically.
- Notify me when the time is up. This option is only available if you have set a time limit on rooms.
- Countdown after closing breakout rooms. Define a grace period in minutes that breakout rooms will remain open after you close them or the time limit expires (e.g., allowing participants to finish their work)
Add a room
In the meeting, select the Breakout Rooms button at the bottom of the meeting window. You may need to select the More button to find it. Select the Add a Room button. A new room will be added with the name Breakout Room and a number suffix.
Rename or delete a room
Open the breakout room control panel and hover your cursor over the name of a room. A Rename and Delete button will appear.
Make room assignments
During the meeting
If you haven't pre-assigned attendees to rooms:
- Open the breakout room control panel
- Select Assign to the left of the room name
- Select attendees from the list to assign them to the room
Room assignments can be made in advance by editing the meeting settings in the host web portal. The meeting host can upload a room assignments, using the spreadsheet template provided. This requires a list of attendees' email addresses. Anyone not on the list will enter the main meeting session unassigned to a breakout room and will need to be assigned by the host manually during the meeting. Combine this method with the the meeting option that only allows participants who sign in with their StarID credentials to join for better control. Even breakout rooms created in advance will need to be opened during the meeting before participants will be able to join them.
While the rooms are closed, open the breakout room control panel, hover your cursor over the participant's name, and select Move to (Fig 5) to move a single attendee or Exchange (Fig 6) to swap one attendee with another across two rooms. Select the room or person, respectively.
Open and close rooms
Once you create your breakout rooms and have at least one person assigned to a room, you can open all rooms. If you have multiple breakout rooms, you cannot open and close one room at a time. You must open and close all rooms at once.
Select the Open All Rooms button on the breakout rooms control panel. Participants will receive a message on their main meeting screen. Depending on how the host configured the rooms, participants will either be informed that they are being sent to their assigned breakout room automatically or they will be presented with a choice to join the room now or wait until later. Participants given this choice will have a Breakout Rooms button on the bottom of their main meeting window that they can select to join their assigned breakout room at any time.
Open the breakout rooms control panel and select the Close All Rooms button. Participants will receive a message on their breakout room meeting screen indicating that their room will close after a certain grace period, after which they will be moved back to the main meeting session automatically. They can either wait (e.g., if they are finishing some work) or choose to leave immediately.
In rooms with a time limit, participants will receive a message on their breakout room screen that their room will close after a certain grace period, after which they will be moved back to the main meeting session automatically. They can either wait (e.g., if they are finishing some work) or choose to leave immediately.
Recreate breakout rooms
The Recreate button on the breakout room control panel will remove all room assignments and bring up the Create Breakout Rooms window, allowing you to replace all existing breakout rooms during the meeting. This will override any pre-assigned rooms and assignments.
- Create Zoom breakout rooms in advance
- Join a zoom meeting as a participant
- Schedule a Zoom meeting
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