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Topics Map > Services > Teaching, Learning and Classrooms > Video/Media Options
Zoom - Breakout Rooms
Breakout rooms can be used to split up a larger Zoom meeting into smaller groups for discussions, problem-solving and multiple speakers in a conference session.
Up to 50 separate breakout rooms can be created. The meeting host can choose to move the participants into these separate sessions automatically, manually or self-selected. Participants can have a variety of options enabling, including joining different breakout rooms at any time.
Breakout rooms can be created in Zoom during your class session. There is also the option available to create breakout rooms before the session and pre-assign participants to each breakout room. These pre-assigned rooms can be kept throughout the semester or changes, as needed.
Breakout Rooms must, first, be enabled in your NDSU Zoom portal by clicking on the Meeting tab - Meeting (advanced) - click Breakout room toggle to enable.
- Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms
- Creating Breakout Rooms during live Zoom class session
- Managing Breakout Rooms
- Tips on what to do in Breakout Rooms
Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms
The pre-assign Breakout Room tool is only available to authenticated users.
Note: Students MUST log into the NDSU Zoom portal to authenticate their account if you want to use Zoom in the course. It is a good idea to send them a message about using Zoom and provide instructions to log in.
Sample Message: If you are new to using Zoom at NDSU you will need to authenticate your NDSU Zoom account. I recommend you do this prior to the first day of class. When ready you will find the Zoom class link by clicking on the Blackboard course menu item called Zoom meetings.
To check on whether you are using your NDSU Zoom account check out this article Zoom - Switch Between Accounts
- Sign into the NDSU Zoom web portal.
- Go to Settings > In Meeting (Advanced)
- Make sure Break room is enabled and Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling is checked
- Go to Meetings in the side menu
- Find the meeting you would like to pre-assign breakout rooms
- Click on the Topic (title) of the session
- You are now in the Manage “title of your session” page
- Scroll to the bottom and select Edit This Meeting
- If you set up your meetings as recurring you will see this message, edit only this meeting or all? Select which is best. If you choose all the student breakout room assignments will stay for the semester.
- Scroll down to middle of page, Meeting Options, and check Breakout Room pre-assign.
- Before pre-assigning Breakout rooms check to make sure all students have logged into NDSU Zoom to authenticate their accounts.
Two options Available to Create Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms
- Option 1: Click on the Create Rooms (you can edit the room names later).
- Add participants manually or by uploading a CSV file with the Room Name and student’s NDSU Email address. There is a CSV template to use in listing the names.
- Make sure you Save
- Option 2: Create rooms and assign names using the CSV spreadsheet
- Download the CSV file available in the bottom left part of the window
- Fill in with breakout room name and student assigned per the format listed in the file
- Make sure to use the student's accurate NDSU email account
- Save as CSV (comma delimited) file
- Upload to Zoom via drag and drop or browse
- Refer students to NDSU.Zoom.us to log in.
- If they don't do this, they may not be logged into Zoom in a way that it can identify them to put them into the right room\
Creating Breakout Rooms during a Zoom Session
- Click on the Breakout Room icon in the menu bar. A pop-up window will appear.
- If you have not created rooms and pre-assigned participants, you will see the Create Rooms window. You can create the number of rooms you need, manually assign or automatically. While creating the rooms you can hover over the name and select rename or trash.
- If you have created rooms already, the window will show a list of rooms and allow you to assign additional students or continue with what was pre-assigned and Open All Rooms.
- Hover over a participant's name to see options to move them to another room or remove them from the current room. Click Save when you are done.
Managing Breakout Rooms
- Click on Options to manage the settings. You can allow students to return to the main session at any time (recommended), automatically close rooms after a set amount of time, notify you when the time is up and students return to the main room, and include a countdown that shows students how much longer they have in their breakout rooms. Adding a timer to the breakout session is personal preference; you'll always be able to manually end the breakout session by clicking Close All Rooms at any time.
- Click Open All Rooms when you are ready to start the breakout session. Once you've confirmed, the students will be automatically prompted to join their breakout room.
- The students (and the host when manually joining a room) will see the following message shown when joining the breakout room.
- Now that the breakout rooms are in progress you will see a window listing student who have not joined the breakout room yet. Click Join next to breakout room to enter it and participate in the conversation. You can also send a message to all by clicking Broadcast a message to all if you wanted to add another discussion prompt or give a five-minute warning.
- Click Close All Rooms to end the breakout session (or allow the rooms to time out if you specified a time limit). Once the rooms are closed, Zoom provides one minute for students to leave breakout rooms and come back to the main room.
Tips on What to do in Breakout Rooms
- Put students in smaller groups (3-4), which are easier for everyone to talk. Ask them to introduce themselves to each other when they arrive in their breakout rooms.
- Remind students that expectations for professionalism and good netiquette apply in the breakout rooms as well. Students should always be allowed to return to the main room or request that the instructor (the meeting host) join their breakout room if needed. Zoom provides a button for students to do this easily.
- Explain the purpose of the breakout room activity, connecting it to the course and lesson outcomes.
- Ask for feedback after the students come back to the main room. Randomly ask for a comments or summary (may be a specific question each breakout room worked on) from the groups to share with the class.
- Create a Blackboard Discussion Forum for groups to post their summaries during or after the session.
- If you assign Groups in Blackboard to the same students in the Breakout room, they can post information in Blackboard while in the Breakout room. This way they won’t lose their work when the breakout closes.
- Students can record their own Breakout rooms and save to their computers. This might be an activity if the instructor does not have time to visit each room. Group recorder could submit the recording in Blackboard as a Group Assignment, along with notes.
- Consider your asynchronous students. If you have set up the Blackboard groups, asynchronous students could review the work posted in the group (and recorded breakout activity is that is part of the assignment). The Host cannot record the breakout rooms, only students to their own computers.
- Develop an activity for asynchronous students to complete that could have the same outcomes as the synchronous students. We all just don’t know when the unexpected will happen. It is helpful to have alternative assignments ready.