Zoom is the best technology available to meet our training, distance learning and meeting needs for a good reason. One of them is the way the service allows us to break the main meeting into separate sessions or sub-meetings, called Breakout Rooms.
This option is very useful, especially used for academic purposes or workshops; when we want to create smaller groups during a videoconference for more interaction between participants.
The benefits of using Zoom Breakout Rooms during a videoconference
- Change the pace of the meeting: A great way to ensure that a meeting of an hour or more does not become monotonous by changing its pace.
- Increase participation: It is often very difficult for all participants to take part in the discussion during a meeting involving a large group. Breakout Rooms allow participants to have more opportunities to share their ideas and opinions on a specific topic.
- Provide a safe space for discussions: Breakout Rooms provide participants with a safer space to discuss material without feeling judged.
- Allow for department-specific discussions: After the main meeting is over, team members within a department may want a brief summary of any changes that affect them. Using a small group meeting immediately after a large meeting can serve as a wrap-up point for teams; participants can ask questions and seek more details about the information presented.
- Increase remote meeting productivity: No need to take everyone’s time on every topic
8 Tips for Effectively Using Zoom’s Breakout Rooms
1. Lay the groundwork
It’s very important that your attendees understand how to navigate Zoom and how Breakout Rooms work before you begin. You can’t assume everyone knows where all the commands are or how to use them. It is therefore a good idea to provide them with an explanatory document (why not ask Motilde for it?) before the start of the meeting. While this may be redundant information for some, you can bet there will be a few people who will appreciate you taking the time and effort to show them the basics.
2. Chat option in Breakout rooms
The chat is only visible in your chat room. It won’t follow you to other rooms, so if there’s any information or link you need… don’t forget to copy and paste it where you can find it.
3. Invite participants to turn on their microphone and camera
Telling attendees when and how to turn on their mic and camera will ensure everyone’s participation to create an engaging and productive experience.
4. Provide clear instructions
Assign a clear task to complete before dividing participants into different rooms, such as brainstorming, taking a stand on a set of questions, etc.
It takes a bit of planning, but if you can also choose group representatives that you can give instructions to in advance.
5. Use the ‘Ask for help’ option
Explain to participants how to ask for help after joining their rooms. Let them know about the “Ask for help” button at the bottom of the window. This will let the host know that someone needs more information or special attention in that room.
6. Work on timing
Small group work always takes longer than we think – walking into the room, spending a few moments chatting or figuring out the task at hand… The length of your breakout rooms depends on a few factors, including: 1 ) the complexity of the tasks you assign, 2) the level of detail required by the deliverable, and 3) the familiarity of the participants and the processes you follow.
7. Plan ahead
How many rooms would you like to have? How many participants do you want in each room? Do you prefer to manually assign participants to rooms or let Zoom assign rooms randomly? Think about all these questions beforehand in order to make the most of this feature.
8. Be careful to use the correct contact details of your participants
If you need to pre-assign your rooms, make sure the email addresses you upload to Zoom are the ones your attendees will use to log into the Zoom meeting. Otherwise, participants will not be properly dispatched to the rooms provided.
Zoom Breakout Rooms: Getting Started
Before you can try this feature, you will need to enable it as it is disabled by default. Visit your Zoom “In Meeting (Advanced)” settings page to enable it. Then :
- From your meeting controls, click on Breakout Rooms
- Select how many rooms you want to create and how you want to assign your attendees to those rooms (automatically or manually).
- Then click Create Rooms.
Your Breakout Room(s) are ready, but will not start automatically.
Zoom Rooms, H.323, and SIP devices cannot participate in breakout rooms. However, the main room can be used as an alternate session for these users.
Motilde offers a complete Zoom videoconferencing ecosystem: desktop licenses, Zoom rooms, dedicated videoconferencing internet access, etc. We are your single point of contact for maximum simplicity and efficiency.
We can meet all your videoconferencing needs based on an analysis of the uses you expect from this technology. Do not hesitate to contact us !