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Breakout rooms in Zoom (Host only)

If you are on a Mac and have the Catalina OS or newer and will need to screenshare in Zoom or BigBlueButton, please follow the steps in this video to enable screensharing.

This article only applies to Zoom accounts that are managed by Online Learning.

If your class meets virtually—but your meeting links are not sent by VCL@ciis.edu—then the settings for your Zoom meetings may be different.

For questions about Zoom meetings that aren’t managed by Online Learning, please contact the Zoom account owner (possibly your program) or CIIS IT at support@uswired.com.

This guide describes using the Zoom desktop client on a computer (Macintosh or Windows).

For details about other devices, as well as the latest information, please see the Zoom Help Center.

What can I do in advance?
It is recommended to download and install Zoom on your device if you haven’t already. If using a web browser, please use Chrome only. Verify that your browser is up-to-date. For more information, see the Canvas Community article here.

Please check your Chrome settings to allow webcam and microphone access. Make sure that blindsidenetworks and Zoom don’t appear in the “Blocked” category for Mic. Do the same for Webcam.
Additionally, if you are on a Mac and have the Catalina OS or newer, please follow the steps in this video to enable screensharing.

If you encounter audio issues, check that Bluetooth headphones are not inadvertently connected (e.g. AirPods). For a demonstration of testing your audio, watch this Zoom support video (end at 1:09).

If you have a presentation file to share you may wish to save it as a PDF (File > Save as Adobe PDF in Windows or File > Save As > PDF > Save on Mac). Email it to the class in advance in case they need to open it on their end. (If you don’t have everyone’s email address handy, you can use the Canvas Inbox feature and attach it to a message to your entire class.) Presentations that are saved as a PDF won’t include dynamic transitions, video, etc (only text, hyperlinks, and static images such as photos).

If you will be showing a Youtube video, PDF, or other media, you can have it open and ready before you present.

Important note
Virtualized courses are not recorded based on university policy and federal (HHS HIPAA & FERPA) and state regulations. Virtualized courses are for synchronous (simultaneous) attendance only. Student attendance is required, and the university’s attendance policy applies.

For immediate assistance during a virtual course meeting, please visit www.vclhub.com.

Table of contents:

  1. Create Breakout Rooms while you are in a meeting

  2. Create Breakout Rooms automatically (recommended)

  3. Create Breakout Rooms manually

  4. Let participants choose Breakout Rooms

  5. Managing Breakout Rooms

    1. Move a participant into a different breakout room

    2. Join a Breakout Room after the rooms have been opened

    3. Broadcast a message to all rooms

    4. Delete a Breakout Room

    5. Close the Breakout Rooms early

Create Breakout Rooms while you are in a meeting

Only the meeting Host or Co-Host can create Breakout Rooms.

Instructors should either:

  • ask the Liaison to make them Host then create the rooms themselves using the instructions below
    OR
  • have the Liaison create the Breakout Rooms for you:
    • If your Liaison will create them for you, please tell them what time you will need the Breakout Rooms, and whether the room assignment can be random (recommended).
    • If room assignments must be manual (e.g. students must be in a group with specific classmates) then please email a list of the room assignments to your Liaison in advance if possible.

Watch this overview video on breakout rooms from Zoom.The breakout rooms button on the button tool bar in Zoom.  Text above reading, Note: to do this you must be the Host. If you are a Participant, you will not be able to do this.

The Host or Co-Host can:

  • have Zoom automatically assign participants into breakout rooms (recommended)
  • manually assign participants into specific rooms
  • or let Participants choose rooms.
  1. In the black toolbar along the bottom of your Zoom session, the Host can click Breakout Rooms:The breakout rooms button

    (If you do not see it immediately, click More then select Breakout Rooms.)

  2. A dialog box will appear.
    1. Select the number of rooms
    2. Select Assign automatically to have Zoom automatically distribute the participants evenly across rooms
    3. Then click Create. Your rooms will be created, but will not start immediately.The the field for selecting the number of breakout rooms, the Assign Automatically radio button option, and the Create button in the Create Breakout Rooms pup-up menu
    4. (optional) Set the duration. Click Options (Windows) or the gear icon (Mac) then enter the number of minutes:The options button labeled number 1, and the field for entering the breakout room duration time in minutes in the Options pop-up menu, labeled number 2
      1. It is best to over-estimate since you can always end the breakout rooms early.
      2. Your selections will auto-save–no need to press a “save” button.
      3. By default, rooms will auto-close after 15 minutes.
  3. When you’re ready, click Open All Rooms:The open all rooms button
  4. Participants will receive an invitation to join their Breakout Room. Each Participant will need to click Join:
    The join button as it will appear for participants
    Participant view
  5. The Host can close the breakout rooms early.
    1. Open the Breakout Room Manager again (in the black toolbar along the bottom of Zoom, click Breakout Rooms):The breakout rooms button
    2. In the Breakout Room Manager that opens, click Close All Rooms:The close all rooms button
    3. Participants will receive a notification saying they have 60 seconds to finish their discussion before they’re returned to the main meeting.
Create Breakout Rooms manually
  1. In the black toolbar along the bottom of your Zoom session, the Host can click Breakout Rooms:The breakout rooms button

    (If you do not see it immediately, click More then select Breakout Rooms.)

  2. A dialog box will appear.
    1. Select the number of rooms.
    2. Select Assign manually to assign Participants into rooms.
    3. Then click Create. Your rooms will be created, but will not start immediately.The the field for selecting the number of breakout rooms, the Assign manually radio button option, and the Create button in the Create Breakout Rooms pup-up menu
  3. Your Breakout Room Manager box will open.
    1. To manually assign a Participant, select Assign next to a Breakout Room, then checkmark the Participant you wish to assign. Repeat this step for any other Participants.The assign button, and a the check-box to assign participant
    2. (optional) Set the duration. Click Options (Windows) or the gear icon (Mac) then enter the number of minutes:The options button labeled number 1, and the field for entering the breakout room duration time in minutes in the Options pop-up menu, labeled number 2
      1. It is best to over-estimate since you can always end the breakout rooms early.
      2. Your selections will auto-save–no need to press a “save” button.
      3. By default, rooms will auto-close after 15 minutes.
  4. When you are ready, click Open All Rooms.
  5. Participants will receive the following prompt to join the room:The join breakout room pop-up that participants will seeParticipant View
  6. When Participants click Join, they will enter their respective rooms. The Host will see the number of Participants dwindle from the Main Room.
  7. The Host can close the breakout rooms early.
    1. Open the Breakout Room Manager again (in the black toolbar along the bottom of Zoom, click Breakout Rooms):The breakout rooms button
    2. In the Breakout Room Manager that opens, click Close All Rooms:The close all rooms button
    3. Participants will receive a notification saying they have 60 seconds to finish their discussion before they’re returned to the main meeting.
Let participants choose Breakout Rooms

In the black toolbar along the bottom of your Zoom session, click Breakout Rooms:The breakout rooms button

  1. In the dialog box that opens, select the number of rooms, then select Let participants choose room. Then click Create:The the field for selecting the number of breakout rooms, the Let participants choose room radio button option, and the Create button in the Create Breakout Rooms pup-up menu
  2. Your Breakout Room Manager box will open.
    1. (optional) Here, you can manually assign one or some Participants to rooms if you wish. These selections can later be overridden by each Participant.
      1. To manually assign a Participant, select Assign next to a Breakout Room, then checkmark the Participant you wish to assign. Repeat for any other Participants.The assign button, and a the check-box to assign participant
  3. (optional) Set the duration. Click Options (Windows) or the gear icon (Mac) then enter the number of minutes:The options button labeled number 1, and the field for entering the breakout room duration time in minutes in the Options pop-up menu, labeled number 2
    1. It is best to over-estimate since you can always end the breakout rooms early.
    2. Your selections will auto-save–no need to press a “save” button.
    3. By default, rooms will auto-close after 15 minutes.
  4. When you are ready, click Open All Rooms. Participants will now be able to see a Breakout Rooms button in the black toolbar of Zoom. 
    Also, they will briefly see a notification that says Join a breakout room above it:Breakout room button with a notification above it reading, Join a breakout roomParticipant view
    1. Please note that if you had optionally assigned some Participants to rooms in the previous step, they will instead receive the following prompt to join the room:The join breakout room pop-up that participants will seeParticipant view

      They can either click Join or select Not Now to override your assignment.

      If they select Not Now, they can select a different room by following the steps below.

  5. Participants will now be able to see the Breakout Rooms button in their black Zoom toolbar. Each Participant will need to click it:The breakout rooms button
  6. In the Breakout Rooms menu that will appear, each Participant can choose their room by selecting the Join link next to the room they wish to enter. (Please note they may need to hover over the blue number first, which will change to a Join link). They must click Yes to confirm their choice.

    If you had previously assigned some Participants to rooms, in this step they can override your assignment.The join button in the participant view of breakout rooms

    Participant view. A Participant can hover over the blue number next to a room until it turns into a Join link. They can select Join to enter that room, then click Yes.

  7. When Participants click Join, they will enter their respective rooms. The Host will see the number of Participants dwindle from the Main Room.
  8. The Host can close the breakout rooms early.
    1. Open the Breakout Room Manager again (in the black toolbar along the bottom of Zoom, click Breakout Rooms):The breakout rooms button
    2. In the Breakout Room Manager that opens, click Close All Rooms:The close all rooms button
    3. Participants will receive a notification saying they have 60 seconds to finish their discussion before they’re returned to the main meeting.
Managing Breakout Rooms
Move a participant into a different breakout room
  1. The Host can click Breakout Rooms in the black toolbar:The breakout rooms button
  2. The Breakout Rooms Manager will open. Hover over the person’s name to see options to move them to another room or remove them from the current room:A breakout room participant with the Move to button to the right of the participant name
     
Join a Breakout Room after the rooms have been opened
  1. The Host can click Breakout Rooms in the black toolbar:The breakout rooms button
  2. In the Breakout Rooms Manager that opens, click Join next to the room you wish to join. Confirm by clicking Yes:The join button for a specific breakout room, and the Yes button for joining that breakout room
  3. To leave the Breakout room, click Leave Room:The leave room buttonYou can choose to return to the main room, leave the meeting, or end the meeting for all.

Broadcast a message to all rooms

It will appear in written form as a blue banner at the top of all breakout rooms. Messages cannot be broadcast to specific rooms only.

  1. The Host can open the Breakout Room Manager (in the black toolbar along the bottom of Zoom, click Breakout Rooms).
  2. Click Broadcast a message to all:The broadcast message to all button
  3. Type your message and click Broadcast
  4. Your message will post immediately as a banner at the top of each breakout room:A broadcast message as it will appear in the breakout rooms
Delete a Breakout Room

The Host can hover over the room name in the Breakout Room Manager and click the Delete:The button to delete a specific breakout room

Close the Breakout Rooms early
  1. The Host can open the Breakout Room Manager (in the black toolbar along the bottom of Zoom, click Breakout Rooms).
  2. Click Close All Rooms.
  3. Participants will receive a notification saying they have 60 seconds to finish their discussion before they’re returned to the main meeting.The close all rooms button

Updated on May 12, 2021

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