Teams: Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms is now available for academic staff to use for online meetings and this guide will show how to create a breakout room or rooms.

[Please note: This feature may not yet be available on campus, please speak to a member of Computing Services regarding classroom laptops]

Access a Word guide for Teams here. (or view the online guidance from Microsoft here)


Creating breakout rooms

1. Open Microsoft Teams

2. Go to your module Team and activate your meeting (you can only setup breakout rooms within a live meeting)

3. Click on the breakout room icon (next to the raise hand icon)

Breakout icon

4. Select the number of rooms you need for your breakouts (you may want to assign different students to different breakout room groups for example)

5. Select how you would like to assign your students, if it’s automatic they will be assigned to the rooms and they will automatically open when you open them

6. If you wish to manually assign students, you will need to add them yourself

7. When you are ready, select ‘Create rooms’

How to manually add students to your rooms

1. To manually add students your students will need to be joined to the meeting

2. Select the ‘Assign participants’ drop-down menu

Assign participants

3. Check the boxes next to the students you want to assign to a particular breakout room > then click on ‘Assign’

4. A drop-down list of your rooms will appear, click on the room that you want to add the student(s) to

showing breakout rooms

5. Your student(s) will now be assigned to the room(s) – to check this, click on the arrow for the room to expand it

showing breakout rooms options

(You can re-assign students to other rooms at this point if you need to by checking the box next to their name and selecting the ‘Assign’ button)

How to activate your breakout room(s)

1. To ‘open’ or activate your breakout rooms hover your mouse over the ‘closed’ area and click on the 3 dots icon

2. Select ‘Open room’ from the available options

Showing the options for rooms

3. The students in those breakout rooms that have been opened will then leave the main meeting and their breakout room will open – they will be able to share content, have conversations and can record

4. When your students are ready to re-join the main meeting, they should select the ‘Return’ button in their breakout room

showing how to return to the meeting

5. As owner you will also be able to join any breakout room if you need to. To do this click on more options for the room and select ‘Join room’ (note this will put the main meeting ‘on hold’)

To join the room

Make an announcement

If you need to let students know that they need to come back to the main meeting or for any other reason, you can make an announcement which will display in all breakout rooms.

1. Click on the more options (3 dots) adjacent to the ‘Breakout Rooms’ heading at the top > Then select ‘Make an announcement’

How to make an announcement

2. Enter your announcement message and select ‘Send’

make an announcement

3. Your students will receive a notification in the messaging area for their breakout room

Breakout message

4. When your students click on the messaging area – they will see the announcement message

Breakout announcement


Watch the following tutorial videos to learn more

Creating a breakout room

Creating multiple breakout rooms and manual assignment

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Matt Ewens

Digital Innovation Technologist

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