How to do breakout rooms in Zoom
Breakout rooms are an excellent tool that allow teams, colleagues, or peers to connect, collaborate, and converse online. In a world that continues to embrace online solutions, improving your breakout experience is now more important than ever. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Zoom breakout rooms. In addition, we’ll dive into expert tips and tricks for managing your next breakout room with ease.
What is a Zoom breakout room?
Breakout rooms are sessions or micro meetings that break off from the overarching Zoom meeting that allow participants to meet in smaller groups. These groups are completely isolated from one another and have their own audio and video. While Zoom meetings are excellent resources that can be used to discuss topics at a high-level, breakout rooms allow participants to get granular and host more intimate conversations.
How do Zoom breakout rooms work?
Breakout rooms make it possible for you as the meeting host to split your Zoom meeting into smaller groups, allowing users to separate participants into a maximum of 50 separate sessions. As the meeting host, you can choose to split meeting participants into separate sessions automatically or manually meaning you have the ability to curate who breaks off into each group. Additionally, you can also allow participants to select and enter breakout sessions as they please. These features are known as automatic vs. manual room creation. Selecting automatic room creation will create your breakout rooms automatically and will place meeting participants into rooms pre-assigned or random rooms. Selecting manual room creation will allow you to create each room on the fly so you can assign participants to each room individually in real time.
The maximum number of participants in a single breakout room will vary and largely depends on the meeting capacity, the number of breakout rooms created, and whether participants are assigned to breakout rooms during the meeting or before the meeting. If you wish to have more control over who attends which breakout room, you will want to make sure to assign attendees to specific breakout rooms prior to the meeting.
In the meeting toolbar, the host or the meeting co-host can select the breakout rooms icon and access a variety of features including automatic vs. manual room creation, move participants, delete room, and recreate. These features make it possible for you to host effective breakout rooms without losing control over meeting participants.
Who can facilitate Zoom breakout rooms?
In order to facilitate a breakout room, you must be the meeting organizer. If you don’t see the option to facilitate a Zoom breakout room, it’s because you are not the meeting host. Meeting attendees or presenters will not see the breakout room option and therefore will not have the ability to facilitate breakout rooms. In addition to the meeting host, the meeting co-host will also have the ability to facilitate breakout rooms.
How do I enable Zoom breakout rooms?
Before you can begin, you must first enable Zoom breakout rooms. You can enable zoom breakout rooms for your individual account or administrators can enable them for the whole organization. To enable breakouts as the administrator, simply navigate to the Zoom web portal in your browser, select account management, followed by account settings. Next, you will want to navigate to the meeting tab and enable the breakout room toggle.
How can I manage Zoom breakout rooms?
Luckily, Zoom houses a variety of features that make it possible for you to manage your breakout rooms with ease. Breakout room features include but aren’t limited to:
- Enable self-selection during your meeting
As the meeting host, you can create breakout rooms prior to the meeting and then give meeting participants the ability to select which room they would like to join so you don’t need to intervene as the host. This function is particularly useful if you don’t need to curate your breakout rooms and wish to empower meeting participants to choose their own.
- Opt for a co-host when hosting a breakout room
Having the ability to co-host breakout rooms is a relatively new feature in Zoom that makes it possible for a secondary member to assign, start, and end breakout rooms. Additionally, the co-host has the ability to broadcast messages to all members of a specific breakout room while also having the power to move from one breakout room to another. This feature is especially useful if you plan to host multiple breakout rooms and don’t have the capacity to check-in and manage them all on your own.
- Align attendees by broadcasting a message
Being able to communicate with meeting participants at all times is extremely important. Luckily, the broadcast features make it possible for you to send a message to every breakout room. This feature is especially useful if you wish to convey a general message to all participants. You may want to use this feature when you wish to inform participants that their time limit is coming to an end.
- Respond to help requests to ensure everyone is on the same page
As the meeting host or facilitator, it’s your responsibility to make sure meeting participants have everything they need. If breakout room participants need help, they can select the “Ask for Help” icon that will then make it possible for you to join their unique breakout room. As the host, you will receive a notification when someone selects this feature. It's important that you make meeting participants aware of this feature before joining their respective breakout rooms. This will ensure they know they can reach out for help or clarity should something come up during their session.
- Close all breakout rooms when you’re ready to wrap things up
In contrast to what many believe, Zoom makes it possible for you to close all breakout rooms at once by selecting the “Close Rooms” feature. This feature is especially useful if you wish to prompt all meeting participants to rejoin the main session.
- Send participants back to breakout rooms if there’s more to discuss
After you’ve closed your breakout rooms, you can still choose to send participants back to a breakout room. This feature is useful for longer meetings or sessions where you wish to enable participants to attend different breakout rooms. If you want all participants to rejoin the initial meeting and discuss what they’ve learned but have additional time for more in-depth conversations afterwards, this feature is perfect.
Is Zoom the solution you're searching for?
Zoom breakout rooms offer an excellent opportunity to foster connections and host in-depth conversations; however, they lack in creating networking opportunities that allow for genuine human-to-human connections.
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