Teams: Breakout rooms

A feature of Microsoft Teams is breakout rooms.  A way to separate the participants in a Teams meeting into mini meetings, either randomly or by organizing them yourself.

They can be useful in online classes, workshops or meetings with committee breakouts. This feature is currently in ‘public preview’ rather than full live status however Microsoft have published this helpful guide and the Centre for Teaching and Learning have a page detailing how it might be used to support teaching at Oxford.

Some important points to note

  • Breakout rooms can only be administered by the meeting organiser and in order to set them up you must join the meeting to see the option. N.b this can be done as soon as the meeting has been created.
  • Breakout rooms can only be created using the Teams Client, they cannot be created from the web.
  • When joining a breakout room the meeting organiser is automatically set to mute. In order to participate in the discussion the organiser needs to ‘mute’ and then ‘unmute’ themselves.
  • External guests or external meeting participants cannot currently be added to breakout rooms. This feature is expected to be available shortly.

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