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Using Zoom: Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions (50 maximum). These rooms can be useful to facilitate discussions in smaller groups. 

Creating Breakout Rooms In-Meeting 

Breakout rooms can be created while a Zoom meeting is in progress. 

1. Select Breakout Rooms from the bottom toolbar. 

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2. From the resulting pop-up menu, choose how many breakout rooms you would like; then, select how you would like to assign participants to rooms—manually or automatically.

Note: As you change the number of rooms, the number of participants per room will also change. 

3. Once you have chosen the number of rooms and how participants will be assigned to rooms, select Create Rooms. 

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4. You will now see a list of all the breakout rooms.

Note: The breakout rooms have not yet been started. 

5. If you have chosen to automatically assign rooms, you will see how the participants were distributed across the rooms. 

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6. If you have chosen to manually assign participants, the rooms will be empty. Select Assign and you will see a list of participants that have not yet been assigned to a room. Click the box beside their name to add them to a breakout room.  

7. After participants are assigned to a room, you will see Move to and Exchange options when selecting a name. These options allow you to either move one participant to another room or exchange them with another participant in a different room. 

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8. If needed, you can select Add a Room to add additional breakout rooms.  

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9. You can also Rename or Delete rooms after selecting the appropriate Breakout Room header. 

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10. Under the Options menu, you can make the following choices:

  • Permission for participants to join the main room at any time
  • The length of time the breakout rooms will be open
  • The length of the countdown until closing the breakout room

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11. When you are satisfied with the results, you can choose to either Open All Rooms and begin the breakout rooms or just close the breakout room window. Your breakout rooms will be saved for the entire meeting, which allows you to set up the rooms at the beginning of the meeting and open them later.

To open the breakout rooms later, select Breakout Rooms from the bottom toolbar, and then select Open All Rooms. 

Starting a Breakout Room with Pre-Assigning 

If you have pre-assigned participants to breakout rooms, you can bypass the above steps during the meeting. When you open the Breakout Rooms window, participants will have already been assigned to their rooms.  

Note: If a participant joins the meeting without using their University of Guelph Single Sign On, they will not be pre-assigned and you will be required to manually assign them to breakout room. 

1. To begin the breakout rooms, select Breakout Rooms. Your pre-assigned breakout rooms will appear. Any students that are not assigned to a room can be added by clicking on the number by each room. 

2. When you are satisfied that all students are placed in a room, select Open All Rooms. 

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After Breakout Rooms Have Begun 

1. Once breakout rooms have begun, you will be able to see the rooms and who has joined and not joined. As a host, you will not automatically be placed in a breakout room; instead, you can select the Join option beside any of the rooms. Co-hosts can be placed in multiple rooms to allow them to move around. 

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2. While in breakout rooms, students have the option to Ask for Help. Selecting this option will notify you that your assistance is required in that roomWhen this occurs, you can choose to Join Breakout Room, entering the room immediately, or you can select to join Later, dismissing the notification. 

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3. While in their individual rooms, a message can be sent to each participant by selecting Broadcast a message to all and providing the text that you would like to send.  

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4. If you need to end the breakout room early, you can select Close All Rooms. This will close the rooms and force everyone back to the main room after 60 seconds (depending on your settings). If you selected for breakout rooms to be open for a certain amount of time before you opened them, Zoom will still give participants a 60-second warning and then close the rooms after the selected amount of time. 

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