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Quick info on using Breakout Rooms: 

  • 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 randomly/automatically

  • You can assign students randomly to breakout rooms. Just select "Breakout Rooms" from your Zoom controller bar.  If you are in Sharing mode, it may be under "…More" option

  • While you are in a meeting and click randomly assign. You can change the number of rooms and thus the group size.

  • You can change breakout rooms mid-class, but you will have to do it manually.

  • Please tip is to experiment before you try this with a class!

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

  • 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:  That means the "Breakout Room pre-assign" feature is NOT accessible when editing the meeting through Canvas.

  • Once in your online profile, find your scheduled meeting and click on it.  
  • Scroll down and click the "Edit this Meeting" button edit.
  • At the bottom of the meeting details, you'll see an option to activate the "Breakout Room pre-assign" feature.

  • The easiest way to do this is to upload a csv file with all of your students’ Zoom EIDs in it.  NOTE: This official email that is attached to a UT Zoom account is that person’s UTEID @ The file must have two columns only: Pre-assign Room Name and Email Address.

  • Students must be logged in to Zoom via Canvas for the account names to work correctly for pre-assigned breakout rooms. In the case that 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.

  • 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, but do not add any columns!

 Additional Zoom resources links on "Breakout Rooms" features

Still need help? 

For McCombs faculty, please contact Media Services via email or phone:

For all other UT faculty, please contact your respective college or school

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