Pre-Assigning Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Zoom provides the option to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms, which can save time in-meeting and keep groups consistent over several meetings. 

Limitations of Pre-Assigning Students to Breakout Rooms 

Pre-assigning students to breakout rooms has the following limitations: 

  • Only students with a basic Zoom account linked to their U oG/GH email address can be pre-assigned to a breakout room. If the breakout pre-assign is important for your course, we recommend that you request students sign up for a Zoom Basic account with their U oG/GH email address. If a student joins the meeting without signing in, they will not be pre-assigned to a breakout room and will have to be assigned manually during the meeting.
  • A maximum of 1000 participants can be pre-assigned to breakout rooms.
  • A maximum of 100 breakout rooms can be created. 

Create Student Email CSV 

Before pre-assigning breakout rooms in Zoom, you need a .csv file of student email addresses from Courselink. The simplest way to do this is by exporting the information from the Grades section of your course. 

1. Go to your course on CourseLink and navigate to the Grades tool. 

2. Select Enter Grades, and then Export. 

instructional screen capture

3. Under User details, select Last NameFirst Name, and Email. 

4. Since we do not need students’ grades, ensure that a grade item is not selected. 

5. Select Export to CSV. After processing is completed, download the file. 

instructional screen capture

6. Open the file to see all the email addresses of students who are in the class. 

instructional screen capture

Create Breakout Room CSV 

Now that you have a list of student email addresses, you can format it into a file to input into Zoom. 

1. Download the breakout room pre-assign template to your device. 

instructional screen capture

2. Go to the .csv file from Courselink. Highlight the list of student email addresses and copy them.  

3. Under the Email Address column, paste the email addresses that you’ve just downloaded into the template.

4. Once the email addresses are pasted into the breakout room template, you can assign them into a maximum of 50 rooms by typing room label into the Pre-assign column. Repeated room names should match exactly.

instructional screen capture 

5. When you are finished assigning a room to each email address, save the file.  

Create Meeting and Upload CSV

Please note that Zoom meetings are limited to no more than 100 pre-assigned breakout rooms with no more than 1,000 total participants. If uploading a file with more than 100 breakout rooms/1,000 participants, only the first 100 rooms will be created/first 1,000 participants will be assigned.

1. Now that you have your students’ email addresses, create a Zoom meeting through Courselink. 

2. Go to Zoom, log in, and select My Account. 

3. Select Meetings and go to the meeting that you would like to pre-assign breakout groups to. Scroll down and select Edit this Meeting. 

instructional screen capture

4. Under Meeting Options, select Breakout Room pre-assign, and then Import from CSV 

instructional screen capture

5. Drag and drop the breakout room template file here. 

6. Once the file has been uploaded, you will be able to see a list of the breakout rooms. You can also select a room to view its member, as well as move students around if needed.  

instructional screen capture

7. Select Save and you’re done! 

You have now pre-assigned students to breakout rooms for your meeting. You can use the same breakout room template in the future if you would like to assign students to the same rooms or alter the document if you’d like to change the rooms. If you schedule the meeting as recurring, Zoom will use the same breakout rooms for each meeting.