Zoom: Setting Up Breakout Rooms in Zoom Pro (Canvas)

This service is for faculty, staff, and students.

Zoom hosts and co-hosts can divide participants into breakout rooms for group discussions. You can either pre-assign into groups or use one of several methods to sort participants into groups once the meeting begins. The new feature that allows participants to "let participants choose room" may oftentimes be an easier option than pre-assign.

To Assign Participants to Breakout Rooms (Once Meeting Begins)

Participants may be assigned to breakout rooms randomly or manually by the host or co-hosts, or participants can pick their own breakout room.

If you would like to allow students to self-select their breakout rooms: 

  • The host or co-host selects the Breakout Room icon on the Zoom control panel
  • Then select “let participants choose room”
  • Select “create.”

For more details visit self-select breakout rooms.

Important: Participants can only self-select breakout rooms if the host/co-host/students have all updated to the updated to the latest version of Zoom.

To Pre-assign Participants to Breakout Rooms (Ahead of Meeting Start)

To pre-assign participants to breakouts before the meeting begins, visit the Zoom documentation for Pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms using the web portal (stthomas.zoom.us) and follow the steps that are outlined.

If you have set up a recurring meeting in Zoom Pro, you will need to create breakout rooms or edit breakout rooms that will impact all meetings. However, if you ever decided later in the semester to go change the assignments you could still enter the recurring meeting in the main Zoom web portal and edit your pre-assigned groups. It's just that any change in pre-assigning will apply to any meeting in a series but you can still revise/change for the future. 

Before you can pre-assign breakout rooms, ALL students in the class have to first log into https://stthomas.zoom.us with their St. Thomas username and password to claim their Zoom account. They only need to do so one time. If a student does not do this, they will not show up available to the professor to pre-assign to Breakout Rooms.

  • First schedule the meeting in Canvas Zoom Pro (and click whatever security features you want) as well as the date(s) if a recurring meeting. 
  • Then, go to the main St Thomas Zoom web portal: stthomas.zoom.us and edit the meeting because Breakout Room pre-assignment is currently not available in Zoom Pro in Canvas. 
  • Select the meeting(s) you already created when in Zoom Pro and select Edit meeting. 
  • Follow the remaining steps to pre-assign breakout rooms by either the create room or import a CSV file option. This Zoom documentation shows the full steps to pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms using the web portal. 

Important Tips Using the Pre-assigning Breakout Method:

  • Prior to your first class, send students this request: "Please log into the main St. Thomas account at  https://stthomas.zoom.us to ensure that you have activated your St. Thomas Zoom account (not another version of Zoom). Also we suggest making sure that you are updated to the latest version of Zoom." 
  • If you use the CSV file option, make sure that you change the file to a CSV type before uploading. Also checking to ensure your file does not have extra spaces and also use the correct emails that are the official UST and not vanity emails. 
  • Limiting the meeting to "only authenticated users may join" can help pre-assigned breakout rooms go more smoothly. 
  • If you have a guest speaker or closed captioner who does not have a St. Thomas account, do not select authenticated users only in your meeting set up. Instead use the passcode and/or waiting room for security features. 
To report a problem or receive additional troubleshooting, please contact the Tech Desk
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Article ID: 125054
Thu 1/21/21 10:39 PM
Fri 10/14/22 11:15 AM

Related Services / Offerings (1)

St. Thomas offers Zoom and Microsoft Teams that allow you to host virtual audio/video meetings.