Educational Technology User GuidesZoomUsing Breakout RoomsHow do I create pre-assigned breakout rooms?

How do I create pre-assigned breakout rooms?

Zoom allows the option to create breakout rooms in your meeting settings, before the meeting begins, and pre-assign participants to those rooms.

If you are creating the meeting in Canvas Zoom, go ahead and schedule and save, then navigate to Tufts Zoom to add the pre-assigned breakout rooms. The option for pre-assigned breakout rooms is not available in Canvas Zoom, so it must be done as an additional step.

NOTE: Zoom can only place participants in pre-assigned breakout rooms if you have entered their Zoom username correctly when setting up the breakout rooms in advance, AND if they are logged in as that user. 

Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls with this approach:

  • Users often join Zoom meetings without logging in at all
  • Users often log into Zoom with another non-Tufts account, without keeping track of which account they are using
  • Users have multiple email aliases at Tufts which they use for email, but only one is their Tufts Zoom username

For these reasons, it is very likely that even if you do the pre-assignment correctly, you will still need to manually assign some users to breakout rooms once the meeting is in underway. 

You may want to consider using another method for creating your breakout rooms. See: How do I use breakout room s for teaching in Zoom?

If you do decide to create pre-assigned breakout rooms, follow these steps:

Log into Tufts Zoom on a web browser to access your Zoom settings

In the "Settings" tab click on "In Meeting (Advanced)"

Look for the "Breakout room" setting, turn it on, and check "Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling"

Next, navigate to the "Meetings" tab, and click "Edit" to the right of the name of the meeting you're setting up

Scroll down to the "Security" settings for the meeting, check "Require authentication to join" and keep "Tufts University" in the text box

NOTE: We recommend that you keep "Tufts University" in the text box for this setting.

If you select Tufts University, only users who have a Tufts username and password can attend. This is the most restrictive, but will ensure that your participants log in as the user whose username you used to pre-assign breakout rooms.

If participants in your meeting do not have Tufts credentials, we still recommended that you require everyone to log in to Zoom.  While this will not ensure they log in with the username you expect, it will reduce the number of participants needing to be manually assigned to the breakout rooms once the meeting is in session.

Scroll down to the "Meeting Options" settings and check "Breakout Room pre-assign"

Assign Participants either in the "Create Rooms" (Breakout Room Assignment) window, or by uploading a .CSV file

In the Breakout Room Assignment window use the "+" to add new rooms. You can rename the rooms if you choose.

Use the "Participants" field to type in a few letters of a name and find it in the drop-down menu

NOTE: We recommend that you type in and select participant names from the drop-down menu. This will ensure that each Zoom username is correct. If you simply paste in users' email addresses, the system will not check if each is a valid user in the Tufts system.

Alternatively, you can import participant usernames from a .CSV file to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms

NOTE: The Zoom username format is very specific. In order to create a list of students that Zoom will recognize you will have to follow these instructions: How to Create the Breakout Room .CSV

If you enter a Zoom username that is incorrect, you will not get any feedback from Zoom. 

When done pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms, click "Save"

Let your students know how to access the pre-assigned breakout rooms by logging into Zoom correctly, and with their Tufts username

Adapt the following message to send to your students —

For our upcoming session on __DATE AND TIME__, we will be using breakout rooms for group activities.

To join this meeting you will need to be logged into your official Tufts Zoom account. Follow these instructions to access your account: How do I log into Zoom?

When you see the Zoom login screen be sure to choose "Sign in with SSO" if you have a Tufts username and password.

NOTE: If you create this meeting in, a Canvas calendar invite will not be automatically created for students. If your students typically keep track of Zoom class meetings in their Canvas calendar, you may want to create a Canvas calendar invitation manually, being sure to include the above information in it.

Alternatively, you can create the Zoom class meeting in Canvas and then log in to afterwards, to set up your pre-assigned breakout rooms.  

To learn more about managing a Zoom class meeting with breakout rooms see: For Hosts: Managing Pre-Assigned breakout rooms during the session