Breakout Rooms is a Zoom feature that allows participants to be divided (either automatically or manually) into smaller groups. This feature is very helpful in a virtual classroom environment, where sections of the class can work together before returning to the main teaching space. The Host can visit each group individually.

Using Breakout Rooms in Zoom meetings

1. Breakout Rooms can be found by hovering over the bottom of the Zoom meeting window

2. Select the Breakout Rooms icon and adjust the number of Breakout rooms you require via the arrows. You can assign participants to rooms by selecting either Assign automaticallyAssign manually, or Let participants choose. Then select Create.

Note: By selecting Assign manually, participants can be added to specific rooms at any time: select Breakout Rooms, then the Assign button to the right of each room name.

3. After you Create the rooms, you can access further settings by selecting Options at the bottom of the pop-out window. Then select Open All Rooms.


You can Recreate the Breakout rooms, and change how participants are allocated, throughout a Zoom session.

Chat conversations are limited to the participants within each room, including those in the main session, with two exceptions:

1. The Host can select Breakout rooms, then select Broadcast Message to All to send a one-way message to all participants.

2. Guests can select Help from a Breakout room to send a message to the Host.

Enabling Breakout rooms

If you do not see Breakout Rooms on your Zoom meeting window:

  • Check that you are a Host, Co-host or Alternative Host.
  • Check that Breakout room is enabled in your University of Waikato Zoom settings.

1. Select the Zoom app, then Sign In with SSO and follow the prompts, or select Zoom in the Quick Links menu of the staff landing page.

2. In the initial Zoom window, select the Settings cog at the top right of the page.

3. Under In Meeting (Advanced) settings, ensure Breakout room is selected on (blue)

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