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Athens State University Knowledge Base

Zoom Breakout Rooms

Using Zoom Breakout Rooms

Breakout Rooms allow you to seamlessly split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions for small group discussion, and then bring those sessions back together to resume the large group meeting. As the meeting host, you can group participants into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.


Step 1: Enable Breakout Rooms in your meeting settings


Step 2: Launch Breakout Rooms from the host controls during a meeting


The basics

  • There can be up to 50 Breakout Rooms per meeting, with up to 200 participants per breakout room
  • Breakout Room participants have full audio, video and screen share capabilities
  • Hosts can move between Breakout Rooms
  • Participants can request help from a host while in a Breakout Room

Note: Participants must be using the Zoom application to join Breakout Rooms, it is not possible to join via a web browser or in-room video conferencing system. As a workaround, these participants can use the main meeting room as their breakout session space. 

Breakout rooms and recording

  • If the meeting is being recorded to the cloud, the recording will only record the main room, regardless of what room the meeting host is in.
  • If the meeting is being recorded to a computer, the recording will include whatever breakout room the person recording participates in. Multiple people can record locally if allowed by the host. The host can designate one person in each Breakout Room to record locally and then share that file with the host after the meeting. This way, the host can have a record of what transpired in each room.

Preassigning Breakout Rooms

  1. Go to your meeting in the Zoom Web Portal. In the Edit Settings menu, scroll down to the Meeting Options area and check the Enable join before host, Only authenticated users can join, and the Breakout Room pre-assign boxes.

There are two options for pre-assigning meeting participants to Breakout Rooms:

  1. If you have less than 20 students in your class, we recommend pre-assigning participants using the web portal.
  2. If you have more than 20 students in your class, and/or you will be using Breakout Rooms several times through the semester and wish your students to be assigned to the same breakout group each time, we recommend you pre-assign breakout rooms with a csv upload to assign them to Breakout Rooms.
  3. You must ALWAYS use the students' email addresses that are listed in Blackboard to populate the csv file (
    • Students can change their preferred email address in Athens State Online (ex: @gmail), so using a list of those email addresses would break the csv upload.
    • Once you have created a csv with students' official email addresses from Blackboard or the Registrar's office, you can pre-assign breakout rooms with a csv upload.

Note: If a student arrives late to class and Breakout Room Sessions have already begun, Zoom does not automatically send them to their assigned Breakout Room. The host must assign the students manually to their Breakout Rooms.


  • Practice using Breakout Rooms before trying it for the first time as a meeting host.
  • Plan ahead:
    • How many Breakout Rooms do you want to have?
    • How many participants do you want in each room?
    • Do you prefer to manually assign participants to rooms, or have Zoom randomly assign the rooms?   


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