What are Breakout Rooms?

Zoom Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time. Please see Zoom's support article for more information on creating and managing Breakout Rooms

Please note: Student permissions in breakout rooms mirror permissions from the main room. If you want students to be able to share their screens in breakout rooms, be sure to add the permission under the security menu in the main room:

You can also set your Zoom settings to always allow participant screen sharing. Navigate to the Zoom web portal ( and click "Settings." Then navigate to "In Meeting (Basic)"

Set the "Who Can Share?" to "All Participants." It is recommended that you set "who can start sharing when someone else is sharing" to "host only."

Facilitating Small Group Discussions in Breakout Rooms

Once students are assigned to the Breakout rooms, the host can move between the Breakout rooms to facilitate small group discussions by clicking the "Join" option associate with the group.

Broadcasting a Message to all Groups

Hosts can broadcast a message to students during the Breakout Rooms using the "Broadcast a message to all" option. This is a great way to warn students when time is running low or if you need to provide further instruction or clarification to all groups. 

The message you send with display to students at the top of the their Zoom window:

Students Requesting Help

Students can request the host's assistance while they are in their Breakout Rooms. Each Breakout Room will have a "Ask for Help" option in the Zoom toolbar.

When students click "Ask for Help," they'll be given the option to "Invite Host" to their Breakout Room for Assistance. 

As the host, you will receive a notification that a participant in a Breakout session is requesting your assistance and be presented the option to join the session or ignore the request ("Later").

If you ignore the request because you are currently helping another Breakout session, the requesting student will be presented a message informing them that you are currently helping others and to try again later.

Allow Students to Return to the Main Session

If you don't plan on visiting the Breakout Rooms during the small group collaboration, you can also request that students return to the main room to "visit" you if they have a question or need clarification. In this case, you'll want to ensure you have the Breakout setting "allow participants to return to the main session at any time" enabled.

Bringing Students Back to the Main Session

When it's time to bring students back to the main session, click "Close all rooms."

Students will be given a warning that they will be automatically returned to the main session automatically in 60 seconds. They also have the option to return to the main session immediately.