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Microsoft Teams New Feature: Breakout Rooms

With many businesses shifting to virtual events and conferences and schools to online learning, there has been a cry for help to include breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Team breakout rooms allow for the splitting of video or audio into separate sessions for smaller group discussions that can benefit any virtual setting. After the announcement at Microsoft Ignite, we can confirm this feature is coming to Teams!

While this feature is still in Preview mode, it will be available for everyone soon. Let’s take a look at how to use Microsoft Teams Breakout rooms:
1. Set up a meeting in Microsoft Teams.

2. During the meeting, locate the Breakout Rooms icon.

3. In the Create Breakout Rooms pop-up, select the number of rooms through Room Settings and whether you want to assign or manually choose the groups through Participants settings automatically. Click Create Rooms.

4. If you have chosen to manually pick groups, on the righthand pane, click on Assign Participants to toggle the participant’s names and assign rooms. Select the users in the checkbox and click Assign. Select the designated rooms for the users.

5. After assigning, click ask to join so the person can be called into the room.

6. Once asked to join, the participant will receive a call and pick up. During their call, this will be their view of the two meetings.

7. When in breakout rooms, you can make announcements such as “You have 5 minutes remaining”.

8. Click close rooms to bring everyone back to the main session.

That’s all there is for the Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms (Preview)!

For additional insight and information Book a meeting with our team of specialists today!

What scenarios would be best used for breakout rooms?

  • Icebreakers
  • Networking sessions
  • Group exercises
  • Hands-on learning sessions and want to troubleshoot any technical issues
  • Virtual classroom group assignments
  • Virtual classroom small group discussions
  • Virtual classroom quiet time for students during exams

While breakout rooms won’t be available until October 2020, breakout rooms are available in public preview.

This feature is great for adults and youth. Think back to when you were in a child in school or if you have children that are attending school virtually for the first time. When I was younger, I was timid and had a hard time speaking up, so for young kids who struggle speaking up, breakout rooms will allow them to speak freely in a smaller group and enable teachers to check upon them. I always dreaded my name being called out in front of the entire class, so breakout rooms allow for intimacy, inclusivity and freedom.

As an adult, the most significant benefit is cutting down from meeting fatigue and providing me with a newer perspective during my day. With everyone being on mute, getting feedback, we can easily lose having rich conversations, so any adult in any industry can benefit from breakout rooms to avoid digital meeting fatigue. Ultimately it helps keep attendees engaged through this creative avenue.

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