Zoom Breakout Rooms
Posted by Marilyn Wetterer on 09 February 2021 01:29 PM

Zoom Breakout Rooms
Zoom Breakout Rooms allows the host to seamlessly split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions for small group discussions, and then bring those sessions back together to resume the large group meeting. As the meeting host, you can split the participants into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can move between Breakout Rooms as needed, much like you would in a face 2 face classroom. You can enable or disable breakout rooms for meetings in your Zoom Meetings Settings

Breakout Room Features
Breakout rooms are available in meetings only (not webinars)
Up to 50 breakout rooms per meeting
Up to 200 participants per breakout room
Breakout rooms participants have full audio, video, and screen share capabilities
Presentations shared in the main room are not available in the breakout rooms
Each breakout rooms sees their own chat, but not the chat in the other breakout rooms
Hosts and co-hosts can move from breakout rooms to breakout room
Participants can request help from a host while in a breakout room with the Ask for Help button.
Hosts can determine how they assign participants to breakout rooms:
(Pre-assigned breakout rooms are set up in the Zoom webpage, Automatically, Manually, and Let Participants Choose Room is launched from the Zoom desktop client by clicking the breakout room icon in the Zoom toolbar.)

Pre-assign: Create breakout rooms before your meeting
To add someone to a breakout room, add them with their augsburg email address [username]
This setting is found in your meeting settings at

Automatically: Let Zoom split participants evenly into selected number of rooms
Manually: Choose the participant you would like in each room
Let participants choose room: Participants can select and enter rooms on their own.

Here is a short video that helps explain this new feature
Users on Zoom version 5.3.0 or higher can access self-select breakout rooms if the host allows. Learn more about participating in breakout rooms.
For students using the mobile version of Zoom they need to tap their devices screen to see the breakout room prompt. Students using the Zoom desktop app will get a prompt on their screen to click.

Breakout Rooms and Recording
If the meeting is being recorded locally to a computer, the recording will include whatever breakout room the person recording participates in.
Multiple people can record locally if allowed by the host.
The host can designate one person in each breakout room to record locally and then share that file with the host after the meeting.
This way, the host can have a record of what transpired in each breakout room.
To do this Assign Recording Privileges to a Participant in a Zoom Meeting

Best Practices
Practice using breakout rooms before trying it for the first time as a meeting host.
Save time and energy by planning ahead:
How many breakout rooms do you want to have?
How many participants do you want in each room?
Do you prefer to manually assign participants to rooms, have Zoom randomly assign the rooms, or let your participants choose the room they go to?
Give clear instructions to students and set clear expectations for students
Assign roles for group work

Take2 Videos on Zoom
Suzanne Gikas on Building Community in Zoom
Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright on using Google docs to Monitor Zoom Breakout Room Activities
Doug Green on using Zoom Chat for quick feedback and sharing information
Phyllis Kapetanakis on Zoom attendance and Clipping Zoom recordings
If additional security is warranted due to giving participants more permissions, then other options can be considered:

Only allow the host to share screen
Enable a passcode for your meeting
Lock the meeting so that no one else can join (be aware that if someone drops the connection, they will not be able to return to the meeting unless you end the meeting and restart, asking everyone to rejoin)
Not allowing participants to change their name
Not allowing participants to change their picture
Not posting the link for your meeting to a public-facing site

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