Educational Technology User GuidesZoomUsing Breakout RoomsHow do I use Breakout Rooms for teaching in Zoom?

How do I use Breakout Rooms for teaching in Zoom?

In Zoom, in addition to meeting with participants in the "main" room, the meeting host can create "breakout rooms" which are separate virtual spaces in the Zoom meeting where meeting participants can gather. The audio and video in the breakout rooms are kept separate from one another, so multiple discussions can take place simultaneously.

Visit this Managing Zoom Breakout Rooms guide for an introduction to the basics of breakout rooms, including: assigning students to rooms, managing rooms, broadcasting a message to breakout rooms, and ending a breakout room session.

Breakout Room options for small-group activities

You have several options for organizing your students into small groups using Breakout Rooms —

1: Assign students to breakout rooms from within the Zoom meeting itself.
You can do this manually (one student at a time) or automatically (random assignment). This is fast and easy, and works well for small courses, or where specific group assignments are not necessary. If you can assign students to breakout rooms within the meeting, it is recommended that you do so. To learn how visit: Managing break out rooms

2: Allow students to self-select their Breakout rooms.
You can give your Zoom class participants the option of selecting the breakout room they want to join. For this to work all participants must have an updated version of the Zoom app installed on their device. To learn more visit: For Hosts: Zoom Meetings with Self-Assigned Breakout Rooms

3: Pre-Assigned break out rooms for Members of the Tufts community.
If everyone in your meeting has a Tufts username and password you can set up your Zoom meeting to require the use of the Tufts username and password, and you can pre-assign participants to specific breakout rooms. Requiring their username and password will ensure they can be identified and placed in the correct rooms. To learn more visit: Creating Pre-assigned breakout rooms

4: Pre-Assigned break out rooms which include non-Tufts participants.
For large classes, which cannot use the options outlined above, this method will allow you to set up your breakout rooms, although the host may still have to manually assign some participants. For small classes, this option may create more work both up front, and when it's time to send the students to the breakout rooms. To learn more visit: Creating Pre-assigned breakout rooms

An alternative to using breakout rooms for small group activities is:

Have small group facilitators create links to their individual Zoom rooms.

This is easy for each facilitator, but may not be appropriate if you don't have enough facilitators, or if you want to come together as a whole class at the start or end of your session.