Teams Breakout Room Generally available

Balu Ilag | December 13th, 2020

Teams Breakout Room Generally available

Teams Breakout Room Generally available

Microsoft has announced on December 9th, 2020 that the Teams meeting breakout rooms is generally available. It allows meeting organizers to divide the meeting into sub-groups to accelerate discussions and brainstorming sessions. Teams meeting breakout rooms mainly used when hosting training or brainstorming sessions.

To use breakout rooms full functionality, Teams admin must ensure that users can schedule private meeting with features like, allow scheduling private meeting, allow Meet now in private meeting, allow channel meeting scheduling and  allow meet now in channels options are ON in Teams meeting settings.

Out of box you cannot get Teams meeting breakout room option. To have the Teams new meeting experience including breakout rooms, user must enable (Teams client -> Settings -> General -> Check “Turn on new meeting experience”).

Teams new meeting experience setting allows, new meetings and calls will open in separate windows and all other new features. Refer the below image.

Once you restart Teams client after enabling new meeting experience, you will see breakout room option in Teams meeting (after you join Teams meeting as organizer). Refer below image.

Also, make sure all participants, including the meeting organizer are using the latest version of Teams. If joining on Android or iOS mobile or tablet, make sure participants go to their App Store and download the latest update.

You as a meeting organizer can join a channel / private scheduled meeting, or channel / private meet now meeting. Once you are in the meeting you should see the breakout room option next to the raise hand control, showed in above image.

Note: To see the breakout room option you must be a meeting organizer. Meeting attendees and presenters will not see the breakout rooms option.

How to create breakout room in Teams meeting?

Once the meeting scheduled and join by the organizer, they can start a breakout room in a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting.

  • On meeting joined page, organizer can click on “Breakout room” icon (next to hand raise icon).
  • On create breakout room page, organize can define the number of rooms they want and assign participant as automatically or manually. Refer the below image to see participant assign options.
  • Then click on “Create Rooms”.
  • Later organizer can add new room or close existing room. Refer below screenshot.

Using the breakout room settings, the meeting organizer can choose to allow participants to come back to the main meeting at any time, then return to the assigned breakout room. This way participants can ask a clarifying question without disturbing the breakout room discussions.

There are different features available for Organizer and for participants. Below list of features available for organizer:

  • Breakout room setup on Teams desktop client
  • 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, 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

Below list of features available for the participants:

  • Join breakout rooms from web, desktop, iOS, iPads, Android mobiles and tablets. Note that organizers cannot move participants who joined via Desk phones or Teams devices join to a breakout room, they can stay in main meeting as their breakout room.
  • Participants join the room as presenters, so they can present, share Whiteboard, etc. freely.
  • Participants cannot add others to meeting chat, copy meeting details, nudge others to the meeting, or use “call me back”
  • Hoping 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 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 as a meeting organizer can set up breakout rooms after you join the meeting. You can bulk create rooms at the start, or manually add or remove rooms. Remember, you can set up breakout rooms from desktop client, but not in mobile and web client. As of today, you cannot setup breakout rooms before the meeting (only can do after meeting join). Microsoft may allow to enable the ability to set up breakout rooms before the meeting.

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.

Thank you.

 

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