How to Split Your Zoom Call into Small Groups (Zoom Breakout Rooms)

Zoom Breakout Rooms: How to Split Your Zoom Call into Small Groups

Zoom has been a disclosure in these testing times and regardless of spoilers and a few concerns, it’s adapting admirably to the invasion of clients urgent for approaches to stay in contact in a group.

Primarily a business tool, Zoom’s success has forced rivals into rethinking how they’re catering for video-thirsty users. Google Meet is free for a bit, WhatsApp has had to boost its group video calling feature and Skype has had to shout about all the Zoom-like features it had already.

One of Zoom’s business-orientated features is also one of its best – Breakout Rooms. This feature can split a Zoom with stacks of people into small groups of a few people where it’s easier to communicate. Indeed, the app supports up to 50 small sessions.

This obviously has a use in business, but we’ve heard of church and community groups that are using it as well. As the host of the meeting you can create assign people to the groups or do it randomly. You can also bring people back together after the small groups have taken place.

Breakout Groups needs to be enabled in your Zoom web portal – see below. And if you’re hosting the meeting, you need to be on the Windows or Mac Zoom app during your meeting to start off the Breakout Groups. Basically, you can only participate in a group but not set them up if you’re on the mobile app.

Joining a Breakout Group

If you’re in a meeting hosted by someone else, they will need to manage the Breakout Room groups (unless they assign you to be host). You’ll see a pop-up request to join a Breakout Room unless your host has made it mandatory. You can choose to join Later, in which case you’ll stay in the main meeting.

If you’re in the Breakout Group yo can either then leave the Breakout Group back to the main meeting or leave the meeting entirely.

Click Join Breakout Room.

Setting Zoom up so you can manage Breakout Groups
Firstly, if you’re going to be changing this setting you need to have the ability to manage your account (so you either need to be an admin or have your own account).

In the navigation menu in the Zoom web portal, click Account Management then Account Settings. Go to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and check that the setting is enabled. Be warned – this page has huge numbers of options so you might have to hunt around for it. You also might have to confirm your choice – see above.

READ MORE: Zoom 5.0 Launched With Improved Security And Other Features

You can also click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.

You can also click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.

Enabling Breakout Groups for a group

You can also choose to enable this for a specific group.

In the navigation menu on the Zoom web portal, click User Management then Group Management. Click the name of the group, then click the Settings tab.

Navigate to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.

Starting Breakout Groups

When you’re in a meeting click Breakout Rooms. Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms – they can be done:

Automatically – Zoom will split participants up evenly into each of the rooms.
Manually – Choose which participants you would like in each room. You will need to click Assign on each room when created and add people using the checkboxes.
We’ve done it automatically before and it actually worked really well.

Then Click Create breakout rooms. Your rooms will be created but participants won’t join them until you are ready.

In Options, you can choose to move everyone into breakout rooms automatically and even set a time limit for the breakout meetings.

Clicking Open all rooms will then give all users a prompt to join their Breakout Groups unless you have made them mandatory.

Pre-assigning people to Breakout Groups

Breakout Groups are random unless you pre-assign people – here’s how to do this before the meeting starts. You can only do this if the participants have a Zoom account.

Sign in to the Zoom web portal. Click Meetings and schedule a meeting or edit an existing one. Make sure you have enabled Join before host.

Then in the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Create Rooms. You can then assign people.



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