How to set up and use virtual breakout rooms in Teams meetings
- Introducing breakout rooms, a new feature in Teams that allows meeting organizers to split main meetings into smaller sessions for focused discussions.
- Breakout rooms will be fully functional for all Teams users by November 30th.
- Contact UTS if you require technical support.
Step 1: Ensure everyone has the newest version of Teams and enabled the new meeting experience
To see the breakout rooms option within your meetings, you must turn on the new Teams meeting experience by:
- Clicking on your profile image within Teams
- Selecting Settings
- Checking the “Turn on new meeting experience” option within General settings.
- Restarting your Teams desktop client.
You can double check that the setting is correctly enabled by starting a meeting and verifying that the meeting opens in its own window.
On rare occasions, updating may take more than one try. In this case, sign out of Teams, restart your device and sign back in again.
All participants, including the meeting organizer, must also use the latest version of Teams. If joining a breakout room on Android, iOS mobile or tablet, participants need to go to their App Store and download the latest update.
Step 2: Schedule a meeting and break out
Only McMaster office.com users whose emails have been migrated can be organizers of scheduled meetings.
As a meeting organizer, schedule a synchronous meeting. Once you are in the meeting you should see the breakout room option next to the “raise hand” button. Note that you must be a meeting organizer to see the option. Meeting attendees and presenters will not see the breakout rooms option.
Features available for meeting organizer:
- Create breakout rooms in scheduled private meetings (including recurring) and private “meet now” meetings
- Meeting organizers can manage rooms and hop between rooms freely
- Setup breakout rooms during an active meeting
- Create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single meeting
- Add, remove and delete breakout rooms
- Rename rooms to the title of your choice
- Reassign room participants from one room to another before as well as while the rooms are open
- Room transition: as an organizer, you can decide if participants get moved to the room automatically when you open the room or if they need to click to confirm the move. The “auto-accept” setting is available per meeting.
- Send an announcement that will show up as a meeting chat message in each room.
- Chats, files and recordings: only the organizer will always have access to all rooms meeting artifacts
Features available for the participants:
- Participants can join breakout rooms from web, desktop, iOS, iPads, Android mobiles and tablets. However, participants connecting via audioconferencing cannot join a breakout room.
- Participants can join the room as presenters, so they can present, share Whiteboard, etc. freely.
- Participants cannot add others to their breakout room, copy meeting details, nudge others to the meeting or use “call me back.”
- Hopping between rooms: Meeting participants cannot hop back to main meeting or between rooms on their own. They must wait for the meeting organizer to pull them back to the main meeting.
- Chat during the breakout session: Chat and artifacts shared during meeting are viewable for room participants.
- Chats, files, and recordings: Participants have access to artifacts, but only organizer has access to the links—if a link is shared by meeting organizer, then participants will have access
- Multi-device join: breakout room is not supported when the participant joins the same meeting and same account from multiple devices
Where and when can I set up breakout rooms?
- You can set up breakout rooms after you join the meeting as the organizer. You can bulk create rooms at the start, or manually add or remove rooms.
- You can only set up breakout rooms from the Teams desktop client, not in mobile and web versions.
- We plan to enable the ability for you to set up breakout rooms before the meeting very soon.
When can I assign participants to breakout room?
- You can assign participant when you are setting up the rooms. You can do so manually before the rooms open or reassign participants to a different room while the room is open.
- You can also auto-assign the participants to rooms when you first set up the rooms in the meeting.
- You cannot copy rooms from one meeting for a next meeting.