Communication Group Work/Collaboration Lectures

Use MS Teams Breakout Rooms

Last updated on October 19, 2021

Breakout Rooms is a Microsoft Teams functionality that facilitates small group work in a synchronous virtual setting. Breakout rooms allow the meeting organizer to divide participants into multiple smaller groups. This is handy for those times when you want to have small group discussions within a lecture, allow students synchronous class time for group work, facilitate peer editing, or give feedback to students, just to name a few.


Update Teams Application

  1. Navigate and select your Teams Icon in the Teams app.
  2. Select Check for Updates.

Creating Breakout Rooms

Only the meeting organizer will have a breakout room icon. Breakout rooms are accessible by recurring meetings and using the Meet Now button in the calendar. You cannot access breakout rooms if you make a call in the Calls menu in the Teams app.

  1. Select Breakout Rooms.
    • A Create Breakout Rooms Preview window will appear.
  2. Numerate Room Settings.
    • This is how many break-out rooms you would like to create 
  3. Assign Participants to breakout rooms either Automatically or Manually.
    • Automatically, Teams will assign your participants to rooms. You will be able to reassign participants for breakout rooms
    • Manually, you control the ability to assign and reassign participants to different rooms.

Manage Breakout Rooms Settings

Use the breakout room panel to navigate the different breakout room controls. Before opening breakout rooms you will need to manage your settings. 

  1. Select More Options.
    • A drop-down menu will appear.
  2. Select Rooms Settings
    • Check Automatically Move People into Opened Rooms.
      • By selecting this setting after opening rooms participants are automatically put into breakout rooms.
    • Check Let People Go Back into the Main Room.
      • By selecting this setting participants will have the option to move between the main meeting room and their assigned breakout room. 
  3. Select Recreate Rooms.
    • A pop-up window will appear 
  4. Select Recreate Rooms.
    • Creating Breakout Rooms window will re-appear.

Assigning Participants

  1. Select Assign Participants.
    • A list of all meeting participants (even participants who are not in the meeting) will appear.
  2. Select All Participants.
  3. Select Individual or Groups of Participants.
  4. Select Assign.
  5. Select Room to Assign to.

Manage Rooms

  • Select Add Room.
  • Rename Room.

Opening/Closing Breakout Rooms

  1. Select More Options or Closed icon.
  2. Select Open Room.
    • The Open Button will appear. 
    • Participants will see a pop-up window Join Breakout Room and will need to select the Join Room button to join the breakout room.
  3. Select Close Room.
    • Close room to bring participants back to the main meeting room (this will take 10- 30 seconds).
    • Participants will see a pop-up window that says Breakout Room Has Closed and will need to select Join Main Room to return.

Joining and Communication to Breakout Rooms

  1. Select Join Room.
  2. Select Return or Leave to leave the breakout room.
  3. Select Resume to join.
  4. Use Make an Announcement to communicate to all participants in rooms.
    • Announcements will appear in the meeting chat.