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Zoom - Breakout Rooms

One instructors account of using Zoom Breakout Rooms:

"We enable breakrooms for each of our sessions. I have 2 zoom meetings per section, one hosted by the instructor and one hosted by the TA. 
For each section, I downloaded a csv of the students names and emails from moodle -> users (make sure to view students only), and imported that to zoom to automatically create a breakout room for each student. Once the meeting starts, the host opens the breakout room panel and click "Open all Rooms". Then the host can broadcast a message to all telling them to enable screenshare and click "Ask for Help" to get the quiz or exam password. The host can pop in and out of rooms to check that screenshare is enabled, give the password, give help, and monitor. While in the breakrooms, students cannot communicate with one another and no one else can see their shared screens. They also cannot see any messages from the main meeting, so any communication must be through "broadcast to all", though be aware that it is one way communication.

Here is a helpful link to breakout rooms:

Step by Step Guide to Setting up and Running Breakout Rooms.pdf

Helpful tip for pre-assigning breakout rooms:

Follow instructions. TIP: Be sure to go to web at and download the .csv template, populate template with email address and name rooms. Save as .csv and upload to Meeting.


Pre-assigned BR don't populate until people are in the meeting and you "Recreate"

Also, you can't open Zoom from the program to use pre-assigned BR, you have to Start from the web version.

Step by Step Instructions from Faculty doing this in the field:

  1. Assigning students to breakout rooms in advance:

  2. Enable breakout rooms in Zoom settings (must log in on web, not through app)

  3. Students must log into Zoom using their Clarkson email/account for this to work. Students sometimes don’t know how they access Zoom, so this is a common source of confusion. Students should log into Zoom via, creating an account through Clarkson if they have not previously accessed Zoom through Clarkson’s account.

  4. Ensure that students log in via Clarkson by allowing Authorized Users, Only in Settings. Authorized Users is the recommended security feature that we should use all the time, even though students struggle the first couple of days to log into zoom ‘correctly’. 

  5. You can only pre-set breakout rooms using the web version of Zoom, not opening the program from your desktop. 

  6. You must set Allow Participants to Join Before Host to On when setting up the meeting. 

  7. You can manually set breakout rooms by pasting each student’s email into the box and clicking enter, then repeating for the next student. You cannot enter multiple emails at one time. It helps to have an accessible list of student email addresses where you have set the assigned breakout rooms.  

  8. You can upload in a CSV file  to automatically set breakout room partners, (good for classes with more students), but the formatting must be exactly right. Use the template they provide (or enter a few names manually and download the CSV file. If you edit the file to change groups, be sure to save as CSV with .CSV in the file name. There is a sample CSV file/template on the website (link below) that you can download and modify. Just save as .CSV!

  9. If you want to change breakout rooms, create a new CSV, open the recurring meeting on the web, Edit meeting, Edit Breakout Rooms, upload new CSV, Save Breakout Rooms, Save Meeting.

  10. You must open the Zoom class from the web version and not the desktop version when you start the meeting. 

  11. You won’t see anyone in the rooms until students start to log into the meeting and you Recreate rooms. 

  12. If you don’t do anything more, all students should be automatically assigned to their breakout rooms. If not, go to the Breakout Rooms menu and click “Recreate > Recover to pre-assigned rooms.” and students will be moved into their assigned rooms. 


I recommend that they test the process in advance, but you can only know that it worked if actual people join the Zoom session being tested - there is no way to see that it is set up correctly without students present. If these instructions don't work, I am happy to walk someone through the process.