Zoom Breakout Rooms

Breakout Rooms allow you to seamlessly split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions for small group discussion, 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 switch between sessions at any time.   

Overview of Breakout Rooms

  • Breakout rooms are available in meetings only (not webinars) 
  • Up to 50 breakout rooms per meeting 
  • Breakout room participants have full audio, video, and screen share capabilities 
  • Breakout rooms do not have their own chat function
  • Hosts can move between breakout rooms
  • Participants only see each other in the breakout room, but won’t be able to see the main screen 
  • Reference materials can be sent via chat 
  • Participants can request help from a host while in a breakout room with the Ask for Help button

Best practice tips 

  • Practice using breakout rooms before trying it for the first time as a meeting host.  
  • Be aware that breakout rooms will take more time than in-class groups. 
  • Plan for students who don't have a webcam or a microphone. Because chat aren't specific to breakout rooms, it may be a good idea to have a group in the main room. This is also useful for students who get disconnected from the meeting and log back in.

While planning ahead, it is important to consider your options. First, how many breakout rooms do you want to have? You will want to be certain of how many breakout rooms you’ll need. Once you set the number of rooms for the meeting, you cannot add more breakout rooms once you create them.  

Next, how many participants do you want in each room? Although you cannot change the amount of breakout rooms once they have been created, you can have differing numbers from room to room. To do so, we recommend creating the largest number of breakout rooms possible. This will also come in handy in case a participant becomes disconnected as they will not be dropped back into their room. 

Finally, do you prefer to manually assign participants to rooms, or have Zoom randomly assign the rooms? This will be an option when you create the breakout rooms. For ease of use, we recommend dispersing participants automatically.

Using Breakout Rooms

Create a Breakout Room

  1. On the command bar, click Breakout Rooms.
  2. In the participant dialog box, select how many rooms you want to create and how many participants you want in each room.
  3. Choose to assign participants either automatically or manually.
  4. Click Create Rooms. A pop up will appear showing where participants are located.
Please Note: The number of breakout rooms you create will be the number you have until you end the meeting. You will be able to shuffle participants between those rooms to reorganize groups, but you will not be able to create additional breakout rooms. Plan to create the largest number you will need.

Assigning Participants to Rooms

If choosing to manually assign participants to your rooms, select Assign next to the room you wish to assign participants to and select participants you want to assign to that room. Repeat this for each room. Once a participant has been assigned (manually or automatically), the number of participants will show in place of the Assign button.

Preparing Breakout Rooms

After manually or automatically assigning participants to rooms, you can rearrange the participants. Participants who are not assigned to breakout sessions will remain in the main meeting when the rooms are started. 

  • Move to (participant): Select a room to move the participant to. 
  • Exchange (participant): Select a participant in another room to swap the selected participant with. 
  • Delete Room: Delete the selected room. 
  • Recreate: Deletes existing breakout rooms and creates new ones. 
  • Add a Room: Add another breakout room. 
  • Open All Rooms: Start the rooms. All participants will be moved to their respective rooms after confirming the prompt to join the breakout room. The host will be left in the main meeting until manually joining one of the rooms. The participants (and the host when manually joining a room) will see the following message shown when joining the breakout room.

To request help related to this article, please see our Service Catalog.


Article ID: 113758
Thu 8/13/20 11:18 AM
Wed 9/22/21 9:09 AM