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Using Breakout Rooms


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Use breakout rooms to break students into small groups during class meetings. You can open and close rooms more than once during a session or move participants between rooms. Only meeting organizers can create and manage Breakout Rooms.  You must be the meeting organizer in order to create and manage breakout rooms. 

Here is a handy video made by Kevin Stratvert, who has many helpful teams videos

Create Breakout Rooms

Assign Participants to Rooms

Rename Rooms

Set a Time Limit for Breakout Sessions

Start Breakout Rooms

Join Breakout Room

Send an Announcement to Breakout Rooms

Reassign Participants 

Chat with Participants 

Add or Delete a Breakout Room

Close Breakout Rooms

Save Files, Recordings and notes from Rooms

Edit Breakout Rooms Settings

Recreate rooms from Scratch 

Create breakout rooms 

Join your meeting at its scheduled time and wait for your students to join. Your meeting will open in its own window.

2. When your students have joined and you are ready, select Breakout rooms from your meeting controls.

3. Choose how many rooms you'd like to create from the dropdown

4. Choose whether you'd like Teams to assign students to rooms Automatically or Manually if you'd prefer to assign students to rooms yourself.

5. Select Create Rooms

Assign participants to rooms

If you chose Automatically, participants will already be assigned to different breakout rooms.

To manually add participants to rooms:

1. Expand the list under Assign participants.

2. Hover over student names until checkboxes appear. Choose students by selecting the checkboxes.

3. Select More options More options button and choose a room from the list.

4. Repeat this process until all students have been assigned to rooms.

5. To view the participants assigned to a Breakout Room, expand the arrow next to the room's name.

Rename rooms

Name your breakout rooms to reflect small student groups or projects.

1. Select More options More options button next to the room, then Rename room.

2. Type in the new name and select Rename room.

Note: These room and room assignments will be available for the next time this class meets

Set a time limit for breakout session

You can set a timer that will be visible in all the breakout rooms. When the time is up the rooms will close and the students will be returned to the  main meeting

1. Select More Options at the top of the breakout rooms pane, then Room settings

2. Select Set a time limit, then select the down arrow to choose a session length 

3. Select Settings to return to the Breakout pane

Start breakout rooms

To start rooms individually:

Select More options More options button next to the room, then Open room.

To start rooms all at once:

Select Open rooms.

You'll know rooms have successfully opened when their status changes to Open

Join a breakout room

To join a room and check on in on its progress:

  1. Select More options More options button next to the room, then Join room.

  2. Select Return when you're ready to leave the Breakout Room and return to the main meeting

Send Announcement to Breakout Rooms

Once breakout rooms have started, send announcements to give time updates or share prompts

  1. Select More options More options button > Make an announcement.

  2. Type in your announcement and then select Send.

  3. Students will receive a notification in their meeting chat to check for your announcement.

    Reassign participants

    Move participants to different breakout rooms individually.

    Note: Currently, you can only move participants when breakout rooms are closed.

    To move participants individually:

    1. Expand the list of participants under a Breakout Room.

    2. Hover over a student's name and select the checkbox that appears.

    3. Select More options More options button and then the Breakout Room you'd like to move the student to.

Chat with participants in a breakout room

Each breakout room will have its own chat. You and students will be able to access it from your chats list and from Chat  Open chat button  in the breakout room, just like regular meetings.

  • Students will only be added to a breakout room chat when you start the room. They will be removed as soon as the room is closed.

  • You will have access to all breakout room chats.

    Students can still see the chat history and any files shared after the breakout room is closed.

    Add or delete a breakout room

    To add an additional breakout room: 

    • Select Add room. Give your new room a name and confirm.

    • Add participants to the room using the instructions above.

    To delete a breakout room:

    • Select More options More options button next to the room, then Delete room.

    Close Breakout Rooms

    To close rooms individually:

    • Select More options More options button next to the room, then Close room.

    To close rooms all at once:

    • Select Close rooms.

    You'll know rooms have successfully closed when their status changes to Closed.

    • Select Resume when everyone is back from their breakout rooms and you're ready to meet as a larger group again

      Save Files, Recordings and Notes from Breakout Rooms

      Files, recordings, and notes from a breakout room can be accessed in its chat. You and your students will be able to access these materials after the room has closed, but students will not be able to chat or add additional materials.

    Edit breakout room settings

    By default, breakout rooms will be set to automatically move students into opened rooms. If you'd like to change this setting:

    1. Select More options More options button > Rooms settings.

    2. De-select the checkbox for Automatically move people into opened rooms.

    When the automatic setting is turned off, students will receive a message asking them to join a breakout room. They will need to select Join room before being moved.

    Recreate rooms from scratch

    Return to the beginning of the breakout rooms process to start over and reconfigure your rooms and assignments.

    1. Select More options More options button > Recreate rooms.

    2. Follow the steps to create new breakout rooms and assign students.

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