This page contains information about the following
Quick info on using Breakout Rooms:
Start by reading this Zoom Help Page about breakout rooms. The short video gives a good overview
- You can send students to breakout rooms, move them around, enter any of the rooms, and you can broadcast messages to people in the rooms.
- Anyone not assigned to a room will remain in the "Main Room" in which the meeting started.
- Students cannot enter breakout rooms themselves, but they can leave on their own and they can ask you for help using a button in the room.
- You can also return students to their breakout rooms manually or based on an automatic timer in the breakout rooms options. See more below.
- Co-hosts, like a TA, CANNOT start breakout rooms or move students from one room to another.
Once inside the rooms, students can talk and screen share without disturbing anyone else. You can’t hear what people are saying in the rooms unless you enter the rooms with them.
Breakout rooms are not recorded unless someone who is allowed to record (co-host or host) is in the room and records.
Video Demo of "Breakouts" Feature
- How to access breakouts feature
- How to create 1 or many breakout groups
- Breakout group features
- Starting and ending breakouts
- How to jump into a group breakout
Assigning Students to Breakout Rooms
You can easily assign students Automatically (randomly) or Manually to breakout rooms
To Assign Students to Breakout Rooms
- First select Breakout Rooms from your Zoom controller bar at the bottom of the Zoom panel
- Note: When you are sharing your screen Breakout Rooms is located under the “… More” tab of the controller bar
- You then have the option of assigning students automatically or manually
To Assign Students Automatically
- Click Automatically assign. You can change the number of rooms and thus the group size
To Assign Students Manually
- Click Manually assign. You will be presented with options for creating rooms and a list of student names available to be placed in rooms
You have a lot of control over your breakout rooms. As a host you can:
- Manually send students to breakout rooms
- Let students move on their own once you set up room assignments for them
- Move students from room to room
- Enter the rooms
- Broadcast messages to people in the rooms
- Meeting participants will be invited to join breakout rooms by a screen prompt
- Once inside the rooms, students can talk, chat, and screen share without disturbing anyone else. You can’t hear what people are saying in the rooms unless you enter the rooms with them
- Students can leave breakout rooms on their own and they can ask you for help using a Help button in the room if you enable it
- Breakout rooms are not recorded unless someone who is allowed to record (co-host or host) is in the room and records
- Breakout rooms cannot be used from the Zoom mobile app
Additional Breakout Room Controls
You can return students to their breakout rooms. You can also change breakout rooms mid class, but you will have to do it manually (unless you want to do random assignments again), so this is something that you should coordinate with a helper or TA who you can make host for a while you give instructions to the class. Also, it is critical that your helper TA not leave the Zoom classroom before you are done with the breakout rooms that he or she created because that will cause those rooms to disappear.
Experiment before you try this with a class!
Preassigned Breakout Rooms
In order to create preassigned breakout rooms in a Zoom Canvas class, two things need to be set up. First, be sure that breakout rooms are enabled for your specific class (done through Canvas) and second, edit the class in utexas.zoom.us so that preassigned Zoom breakout rooms are allowed.
- Create your class in Canvas in the normal way
- Next, edit it in utexas.zoom.us (not Canvas) and add the Breakout Room pre-assign option.
- The easiest way to do this is to upload a csv file with all of your students’ Zoom UT EID email addresses. NOTE: When selecting the meeting you want to add your .csv file to you must select ‘edit all meetings’ in order for the function to be available for use.
Verify that the email addresses are in the format <YOUR_EID>@eid.utexas.edu. For example, if the student’s EID is bevo, enter firstname.lastname@example.org. This Zoom help article explains more about pre-assigning students to breakout rooms. It also contains a sample csv file. Download and edit the file provided. Save it without changing its file type and do not add any columns!
- Note: Students must be logged in to Zoom via Canvas for the account names work correctly for pre-assigned breakout rooms. If a few people are not logged in via Canvas, they can be manually added to breakout rooms, but encourage your students to log in to Zoom via Canvas to make things easier.
Recover Students to Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms
If a meeting host has pre-assigned breakout rooms using a .csv file and the host clicks on the “Breakout Rooms” button prior to everyone joining the meeting, they will need to use the “Recover to pre-assigned rooms” feature to get students back into their pre-assigned rooms.
If this occurs, the host will need to:
- Click on the dropdown button “Recreate” that is in the bottom left corner of the “Breakout Rooms” pop-up window and then select “Recover to pre-assigned rooms”
- Now everyone who was pre-assigned to a breakout room will be assigned to their room
Late Student Addition to Breakout Rooms
If any student/participant joins a meeting after Breakout Rooms have been created you need to do the following to add them to a room:
- Click on “Add A Room” then assign the new student to the new breakout room
- Then move the student to the room that you want them in
- If all of your students are in your meeting when you create the breakout rooms you will not have to do the steps above. Once you create the breakout rooms, those breakout room will remain as assigned for the remainder of the meeting. You can start and stop the breakout rooms as often as you like.
Allow Participants to Choose Breakout Room
Setup This Feature
- To enable ‘Allow participants to choose room’, you must first have your meeting started as a Host
- Once you have Zoom open, and your meeting running as Host, click on the Breakout Rooms button at the bottom of the Window
- Clicks ‘options’ in the next window that opens, and within that window check the ‘Allow participants to choose room’ feature
- This feature will allow participants to choose their own Breakout rooms once they are assigned, and/or allow them to switch between rooms already in progress.
Student Joining Meeting Late
- For a participant to use this feature they can click on the Breakout Rooms button and select the ‘Choose Breakout Room’ option. This is useful if a student joins the meeting late and needs to join a Breakout Room, or if student’s need to create their own Breakout Rooms on the fly.
Move Yourself to Different Breakout Room
- This feature allows participants to move around to different Breakout Rooms once they have already been started by the Host
- When a participant wants to change rooms on their own, open up the Participants Window, hover your mouse over the room name or number that you want to join, and click ‘Yes’
- This will move you to that room. You can do this as many times as needed as long as the Host has Breakout Rooms open
Set a Timer for Participants in a Breakout Room Indicating When the Room Will End
Once you have begun a meeting, click the Breakout Room button on the control bar at the bottom of your meeting window. You can assign students to Breakout Rooms from there. If you click Options it will allow you to pre-determine how long your students will be in the breakout rooms. it will also give you the option to send an automated message warning all of the students that the break it is going to end. Here are the options available for a Breakout Room:
Once the Breakout Rooms begin there is a button in the bottom left corner of the Breakout Rooms window that allows you to “Broadcast a message to all” if you would prefer to let the students know yourself.
Pre-Assign Breakout Rooms in a Zoom Canvas Class
Before you pre-assign students to breakouts, you have to make sure your Breakout Room setting under "In Meeting (Advanced)" on https://utexas.zoom.us/profile/setting is toggled on and that the "Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling" feature is also checked. see below.
In order to create preassigned breakout rooms in a Zoom Canvas class, you need to first schedule your class in Canvas in the normal way
NOTE: You then have to edit that meeting through your profile on the UT Zoom site: https://utexas.zoom.us/meeting. That means the "Breakout Room pre-assign" feature is NOT accessible when editing the meeting through Canvas.
The easiest way to do this is to upload a .csv file with all of your students’ Zoom EIDs in it. NOTE: When selecting the meeting you want to add your .csv file to you must select ‘edit all meetings’ in order for the function to be available for use.
This Zoom help article explains more about pre-assigning students to breakout rooms. It also contains a sample .csv file. Download and edit the file provided. Save it without changing its file type and do not add any columns!
Students must be logged in to Zoom via Canvas for the account names to work correctly for pre-assigned breakout rooms. If a few people are not logged in via Canvas, they can be manually added to breakout rooms, but encourage your students to log in to Zoom via Canvas to make things easier
Additional Zoom Resource Links on "Breakout Rooms" Features
- Getting Started with Breakout Rooms
- Managing Breakout Rooms
- Pre-Assigning Participants to Breakout Rooms
Still need help?
For McCombs faculty, please contact Media Services via email or phone:
- Email VC-Trouble@mccombs.utexas.edu
- Call 512-232-6679 (GSB/CBA) and 512-232-4646 (RRH)
For all other UT faculty, please contact your respective college or school