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Breakout rooms allow you to split your students into their discussion groups. The Host can split them automatically or manually.

  • Host can split them automatically or manually.
  • There can be up to 50 Breakout Rooms per meeting, maximum of 200 per room
  • Breakout Room participants have full audio, video and screen share capabilities
  • Hosts can move between Breakout Rooms
  • While in a Breakout Room, participants can request help from a host

You can also share Participating in Breakout Rooms with your students for some information on using breakout rooms as a participant.

Launch Breakout Rooms from the Host Controls during a meeting

  1. Start an instant or scheduled meeting.
  2. Click Breakout Rooms.
  3. Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms
    • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room
  4. Click Create Breakout Rooms.
  5. Your rooms will be created, but will not start automatically. You can manage the rooms prior to starting them by following the instructions below.

Options for Breakout Rooms

  1. After creating the breakout rooms, click Options to view additional Breakout Rooms options.
  2. Check any options that you would like to use for your breakout rooms.
    • Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically: Checking this option will move all participants into the breakout rooms automatically. If this option is unchecked, the participants will need to click Join to be added to the breakout room.
    • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: If this option is checked, the participants can move back to the main session from their meeting controls. If this is disabled, they need to wait for the host to end the breakout rooms.
    • Breakout rooms close automatically after x minutes: If this option is checked, the breakout rooms will automatically end after the configured time.
    • Notify me when the time is up: If this option is checked, the host will be notified when the breakout room time is up.
    • Countdown after closing breakout rooms: If this option is checked, the participants will be given a countdown of how much time they have left before being returned to the main room.
  3. Follow the steps below to assign participants to rooms or click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

Assigning Participants to Rooms

To 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.

Managing Breakout Rooms in Progress

Once the Breakout Rooms have been started, the participants will be asked to join the Breakout Session. The host will stay in the main meeting until joining a session manually. If a participant has not joined the session yet, it will be noted by (not joined) next to their name.

  • Join: Join the breakout room.
  • Leave: Leave the room and return to the main meeting (only shows when in a breakout room).
  • Close All Rooms: Stops all rooms after a 60 second countdown, shown to the host and participants, and returns all participants back to the main meeting.

Ask for Help

Participants in breakout rooms can request that the meeting host join their meeting by clicking Ask for Help.

The host will be prompted to join the room where the request originated from. Click Join Breakout Room to join the room.

Broadcasting a Message to All Breakout Rooms

The host can broadcast a message to all breakout rooms to share information with all participants.

  1. Click Breakout Rooms in the meeting controls.
  2. Click Broadcast a message to all, enter your message and click Broadcast.
  3. The message will now appear for all participants in Breakout Rooms.

Preassigning Breakout Rooms

  • Zoom provides a pre-assign Breakout Room.
  • You will have to upload a .csv file with the students friendly email address and group name.
  • Email address is captured by Zoom Client sign in

Pre-assigning participants to breakouts rooms using a CSV file

  1. Sign in to the NUS Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Meetings and schedule a meeting or edit a previously scheduled meeting.
  3. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Import from CSV.
  4. Click download to download a sample CSV file you can fill out.
  5. Open the CSV file with spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel.
  6. Fill in the Pre-assign Room Name column with the breakout room name, and the Email Address column with the assigned participant's email address. 
    • You should NOT use students' email address in LumiNUS for the csv file. Students' Zoom account might be using their friendly email address.
    • You may want to ask students to provide you with their Zoom account email address, at the start of the semester.
  7. Save the file.
  8. Drag and drop the file in the web portal.
    Zoom will verify that the email address has a Zoom account.
  9. Remind students to Sign in with SSO to their Zoom client or App.

If you do not want to do the above, you can still use manual breakout during the meeting.

Ask the students to rename themselves before they join the Zoom session.
E.g., G1_Adam or Gp1-Adam.