How to Use Breakout Rooms in Webex
Breakout sessions can help divide Webex users into smaller, more manageable groups from a larger gathering. That way, the attendees can collaborate more closely, exchanging ideas and experiences with greater ease. The sessions can also be more productive as a result, due to more voices getting a chance to be heard.
As the presenter, you can enable this feature at any point during a meeting. In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about breakout rooms. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to start and end sessions and grant the necessary permissions.
How to Create a Breakout Session?
Webex Training allows you to invite up to 100 attendees per session. However, only training presenters, hosts, and panelists have the administrative privileges to create a breakout room. Also, the app’s mobile version doesn’t have the feature, so you can only do it on a computer.
There are two ways to start a breakout session: automatically and manually. However, if you prefer taking shortcuts, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the menu bar on top of the Webex page. Then, click on the “Breakout Sessions” tab.
- From the drop-down list, select “Breakout Session Assignments.”
- A pop-up box will appear. Check the appropriate box to start the session automatically.
- Enter the preferred number of attendees for each room. Confirm with “Create Assignments.”
When starting a session this way, the Webex server randomly picks the presenter. So if you want to be the one to assign that role, you’ll have to create a breakout room manually. Here’s how:
- Click on the “Breakout Sessions” tab in the menu bar above to access the drop-down options panel.
- Choose “Breakout Session Assignments” from the list.
- A pop-up box will appear. Instead of marking “Automatically,” this time, check the box for a manual startup.
- Click on the “Add Session” tab to create rooms. You can keep the generic title or create a new one by clicking “Rename” from the option.
- Under the “Not assigned” panel on the left-hand side, highlight and select the participants you want to group in a single breakout. Click on “Move to session” and select the breakout session.
- From the same panel, click on the “Presenters” option to designate the presenter. This person will be able to start and end sessions whenever they choose.
- After you’re done assigning, click “OK” to create the breakout room.
If your finger slipped and you added the wrong attendee to a breakout room, you can always remove them. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the “Breakout Sessions” panel and select “Breakout Session Assignments.”
- From the attendee list, highlight the participant you want to remove.
- Click on “Remove” to remove participant from the breakout session.
Don’t worry – the attendee will still be part of the training session even after you remove them from the breakout room.
Although breakout rooms serve to split the participants into separate groups, you’ll still be able to reach out to all of them, should the need arise. For example, if you have an important announcement that concerns all attendees, you can broadcast a message to all active breakout rooms. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the “Sessions” tab in the menu bar above to access a drop-down list. Next, choose “Breakout Menu,” and then hit “Broadcast Message.”
- From the drop-down list, highlight the breakout rooms you want to message.
- A small message box will appear. Type what you have to say and then hit “Send.”
Your message will be visible to all active attendees, even if they’re not part of your breakout session.
How to Allow Attendees to Create Breakout Sessions?
You can grant session privileges to a specific attendee pretty much at any point during training. Here’s how to do it:
- Click on the “Sessions” tab in the menu bar on top of the window.
- From the drop-down menu, select “Breakout Menu,” and then click “Open Breakout Session Panel.”
- Click “Breakout Assignments” and then check the appropriate box to allow attendees to create breakout sessions.
- Hit “OK” to confirm.
Keep in mind that participants who are using the Webex Meetings mobile app won’t be able to start a session, even after being assigned privileges. Also, the host and presenter for the entire training session will always have the power to manage breakout rooms.
How to End Breakout Sessions?
Once the training session is complete and there’s no longer a need for breakout rooms, you can shut them down instantly. Just follow these simple steps:
- Navigate to the menu bar on top of the page and open the “Breakout Sessions” tab.
- From the drop-down options menu, select “End All Breakout Sessions.”
After that, the participants will have around 60 seconds to exchange pleasantries before they’re transferred to the main meeting room.
However, you don’t have to close the breakout sessions if you want the participants to gather in the main room. Instead, you can simply ask them to return. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the “Session” window and open the “Breakout Sessions” menu.
- Select “Ask All to Return” from the drop-down list.
Can You Assign Registered Attendees to Breakout Sessions?
Of course. If there are any pre-assigned participants on your list, you can always manually assign them to a breakout session. Here’s how to schedule registered attendees:
1. Log in to your Cisco Webex Training account.
2. From the menu bar above, click “Attend a Session” to open a drop-down options panel.
3. Select “Live Sessions” to access the list of links. Then, click on the appropriate session topic.
4. Click “Manage Registrations” and select “Pre-assign Attendees to Breakout Sessions.”
5. From the “Not Assigned” panel, select the participants you want to add to the session by clicking the “Add” button.
6. Choose the attendee you want to as the presenter by clicking the “Assign Presenter” button. Typically, Webex assigns the first person added to the session.
7. If you need to create more breakout rooms, click the “Add Breakout Session” button.
8. After you’re done, hit “OK.”
What Are the Benefits of Breakout Rooms?
As mentioned, there are several advantages to using breakout rooms during training sessions. First, by dividing the participants into smaller groups, you can encourage a more active exchange of ideas. That’s why these types of sessions work great for brainstorming.
Secondly, since there aren’t many people in the breakout rooms, you’ll have a better insight into each participant’s capabilities. Finally, it’s a great way to recognize potential MVPs upfront.
Another benefit of using breakout rooms is increased productivity. If the work is equally divided between smaller teams, the participants are more likely to produce results. Furthermore, there’ll be less room for error since each group will be focusing on a single project.
Finally, the biggest upside of this approach is the bonding between team members. It’s no secret that webinars and training sessions can be a handful for the more socially awkward attendees. However, smaller gatherings of like-minded people are bound to lead to networking and perhaps even deeper connections. After all, all work and no play has never done anyone any service.
Break Out of Your Shell
Webex Training is the optimal platform for collaborative endeavors of any kind. And with the nifty breakout session feature, you can significantly improve your team’s productivity. In addition, by dividing the attendees into smaller fractions, you’ll pave the way to both professional and personal connections.
Thanks to the platform’s user-friendly interface, creating and ending breakout sessions is incredibly straightforward. You can also distribute the responsibility by granting session privileges to a participant of your choice. All in all, it’s a versatile and practical approach that can produce solid results.
Do you like using breakout rooms during training sessions? What’s your experience with Webex? Comment below and tell us if there’s something we missed.