Use of ‘breakout’ rooms

Collaborate breakout rooms:

  • provide private virtual rooms for group work;
  • enable tutors to have quick, private problem-solving sessions.

The features of the breakout rooms enable you to:

  • have private audio, whiteboard, application sharing discussions;
  • move ‘content’ from room to room;
  • pre load content in the rooms.

Students will need to have Moderator access to be able to upload PowerPoints and record sessions.

Examples of ways you might use breakout rooms for group work

  • Collaboratively create/edit documents - groups can use application sharing when they use their Collaborate room or in breakout rooms.
  • Collaboratively work on problems through discussion –  present group work to the whole class.
  • Groups can make a recording of a session where they present on a topic, or create a PowerPoint to present to the whole group during a Collaborate session.

Practical tips

  • Use the timer: once people are in a breakout room, they cannot hear what is happening in the main room so it is helpful to set the timer for breakout rooms so that participants know when they need to return to the main room. The timer is in the Tools menu.
  • Set clear expectations: make sure the students know what is expected of them whilst in the Breakout room.
  • Including students as nominated leaders in break out rooms is a good way to help maintain focus and also provides greater incentive for the student(s) to help them take initiative and control in the learning process.

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