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How to use breakout rooms

Video tutorial on how to use breakout rooms.
OK, so let’s take a look at how we put students into breakout rooms. We look along the control panel at the top, and click on Breakout Rooms.
Now, you can put the students into one room, and you have a choice of up to 50 rooms. Today, we’re just going to choose two. And we can do this automatically or manually. So let’s first of all try automatically, and we’ll create some rooms. This takes a few seconds, and the students can’t see you doing this.
And there we are. We have the rooms on the side, and we have a few options in this breakout room control panel. So we’re going to start the room.
We have Lindsay going into Room 1 with Jay, and Marie Therese, you’re going into Room 2. And you should be disappearing anytime now.
So there’s just a few seconds while this disappears.
There we go. So you can see the students are in there, and now I have a few options as the teacher while they’re in the rooms. I can send them all a message.
So then that goes to each of the rooms. And then I can also join Room 1, or I can rename the room, or I can close the room. So let’s join Room 1.
And in Room 1, I think we’re going to see Lindsay. Hello. I’m doing my work.
So there we go. We can see Lindsay in Room 1. We can see what she’s doing. That’s great. I’m going to leave and go and have a look at Room 2.
So I just leave that. You can see it takes me back to my main window. I’m not in, I need to resume. But in this case, I can just join Room 2 and check on Marie Therese Hello, Julian. Hi, Marie Therese. There you are. You’re in Room 2. I’m here. I wouldn’t normally put you in a room on your own, but our fourth student could come. OK. No, that’s OK. That’s OK. All right, I’m going to leave and bring you all back to the main room.
And so here we can close the rooms just simply by pressing Close, and then remember to rejoin your meeting by clicking Resume.
You can see here that the meetings– the rooms are closing.
Hello, again. Hi. Then everyone comes back automatically.
There we go. Wonderful.
OK, the other way of putting students into breakout rooms– let’s get to the icon again and select breakout rooms. Let’s choose two. And we can do this manually. So you can add the participants individually to each room. So I’m going to create the rooms, and this time you will see– and I’ve got the two rooms, but they’re both empty. So I go to Assign Participants, and I’m going to put Lindsay and Marie Therese– and I’m going to assign them into room number 1, and I’m going to put Jay in number 2. There we go. And so we’re going to take a look at room number 1. So the first thing we’ll do again is to start the rooms.
So Lindsay and Marie Therese, you’re going to go to Room 1, and you disappear in a few seconds, and I’ll see you there. OK. Bye.

When working with groups of learners, it can be really beneficial to use breakout rooms for pair and group work if you have access to them.

Task 1

If you’re unfamiliar with how to set up and manage breakout rooms in an online platform, watch Julian’s video tutorial and note how you can do these things:

  • Open breakout rooms and allocate learners
  • Share materials
  • Join a breakout room in order to monitor
  • Close breakout rooms

When you’re finished, open up the platform you use or have chosen to use and try to share your screen. Go to the Help or Support pages of your platform to find out more if necessary. Note that Julian used Teams in this tutorial.

Task 2 (optional)

Look at one or more of the clips of teachers and students using breakout rooms in their lessons. While you’re watching, think about the teacher’s reason for using breakout rooms in each of the clips
1) Darya 1
2) Darya 2
3) Ekaterina
4) Grisha

Reflect and share

What other types of activities would you get learners to do in breakout rooms? Share your ideas in the comments. Read other participants’ ideas and ‘like’ those you think you’ll try in your lessons.

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Teaching English Online

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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