Zoom Breakout Rooms

Modified on Thu, 04 Feb 2021 at 10:32 AM


About Breakout Rooms

Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature allows you to split your attendees into small groups for discussion or collaborative activities. If you need a quick overview on how to enable and use Breakout Rooms, the 13 minute Zoom Breakout Rooms Tutorial video below is a great place to start. Review the other sections of this article for additional details.

Enable Breakout Rooms in Your Account

Before you can use Breakout Rooms in your meetings, you will need to make sure the option is turned on in your account.


Log into your Lesley Zoom account at https://lesley.zoom.us/. See Signing Into Zoom Using Single Sign On for more information on how to log into your account.  


Click on Settings in the left-hand menu.

Zoom Settings

Click on In Meeting (Advanced). Then look for the Breakout room section. Click the button on the right to toggle the option on. We recommend you check the Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling option so it will be available to you if you need it. 

enable breakout rooms options

Pre-assign Attendees During Scheduling

Zoom allows you to assign specific attendees to a specific group when you schedule the meeting. However, there is one very big restriction: Your attendees must be signed into their Lesley Zoom account. 

If your attendees meet any of these criteria, pre-assigned groups will not work: 

  • Non-matriculated students who do not have Lesley Zoom accounts
  • Attendees who joined your meeting as a guest
  • Attendees who are logged into a non-Lesley Zoom account such as one from their employer

If you find pre-assigned breakout rooms aren't working for you, try allowing your attendees to choose their room when starting breakout rooms during a meeting (see below). 

To pre-assign breakout rooms when scheduling your meeting:

Log into your Lesley Zoom account at https://lesley.zoom.us/.

Click Meetings in the left-hand menu and then click Schedule a Meeting. 

Scroll to the Meeting Options section. Check Breakout Room pre-assign. Then click Create Rooms.  

Breakout rooms pre-assign settings option

Click the + icon next to the Rooms to create as many rooms as you need. 

create rooms

To rename your breakout room, select the room from the Rooms list. Then hover over the name of the room and click on the pencil icon. Type in the new name. 

Rename breakout room

Type in the names or email addresses of your attendees in the Add participants text box. Zoom will search Lesley's directory to find them. 

Click Save when you are finished. 

Pre-assign using a CSV file

You may also pre-assign groups using a CSV file

Click Import from CSV

Import from CSV

Click download to download a sample CSV file you can fill out. 

Open the file in a spreadsheet software such as MS Excel. Fill in the breakout room names and attendee email addresses and save the file. 


Drag the file into the Import Rooms and Participants from CSV file window. Zoom will verify that the email address has a Zoom account for each attendee. 

Click Save

Create Breakout Rooms During Your Meeting

Click the Breakout Rooms icon at the bottom of your Zoom meeting. 

Breakout Rooms tool in Zoom

Select the number of breakout rooms you need.

Select how you would like to assign participants to the rooms: 

  • Assign automatically: Zoom will randomly split participants into even numbered groups 
  • Assign manually: you choose which participants are in each group
  • Let participants choose own room: participants can select and enter their own room 

Create breakout rooms window

Click Create.

Options for Breakout Rooms

After creating the breakout rooms, click the gear icon to view additional options for rooms. 

If you elected to manually assign participants, click Assign to assign them to each group.

access options and assign participants to breakout rooms

Click Open All Rooms when you are ready. 

Breakout room participants will have the same audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities that you allowed in the main room.

See Managing Breakout Rooms for more information.

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