Information Services Division


Breakout rooms in Zoom

Breakout rooms allow attendees of a meeting to split out in to a number of other separate virtual spaces within the meeting, just like separating into smaller groups in a face to face meeting.

You can have up to 50 breakout rooms within your Zoom meeting. Once the meeting has started, click on the breakout room button on the bottom menu bar in order to set up your breakout rooms. Hosts can assign attendees to rooms automatically, manually or let them choose a room.

Breakout rooms have access to all meeting tools like the whiteboard, however any activity such as use of the whiteboard or chat, remains solely within this room.

The host can join any of the breakout rooms at any time to check on the meeting attendees; they can also broadcast a message to the attendees in the breakout rooms, for example to let them know that they have a certain number of minutes remaining before they need to return to the main room.

There are a number of options available regarding the set-up of your breakout rooms. As well as moving participants automatically as mentioned above, you can also choose to set the following:

  • allow or prevent participants returning to the main session at any time
  • closing the breakout room after a set number of minutes (and, if set, notifying the host when the breakout rooms are closed); and
  • showing a countdown timer after closing the breakout room, to return to the main room.

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