Breakout Rooms

We recently tried out breakout rooms, expecting to have an experience similar to that described in this tutorial video:

In practice we had a slightly different experience. Some things did not seem to work and I wonder if folks on here can help explain why, and pass on any of their own tips on how to help us do this more smoothly next time:

  • we saw the prompt to assign users present to rooms (in this case, two rooms of three), but the button to assign randomly did not work. We were able to drag users to appropriate rooms, however.
  • the dialogue option to extend the breakout meeting time did not appear

Could this be connected with roles and permissions somehow? Do we need to make sure that everyone joins as a ‘pupil’?

Other features that would be nice to have, or tips on how to work around:

  • ability to have an ‘assignment brief’ as a presentation or backdrop for the breakout
  • ability to make notes that are persistent beyond the breakout session itself, to bring back to share in ‘plenary’

I’m assuming that the workaround here is to use a collaborative doc editor, set up with sharing permissions beforehand and separate docs, each with page 1 as the breakout task brief, followed by ‘working space’ for each breakout group.

[collaborative doc editor: etherpad, cryptpad or… nextcloud / word / google docs]

Thoughts anyone?

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Hi @NickM thanks for bringing this up! In general the breakout rooms work quite well and we have been using them and many others in different contexts. For working in small groups, co-creation workshops, networking events etc.

I just went into the DE server to see if all was all right. And yes I am able to create breakout rooms as usual. Maybe some comments to add to the tutorial.

  • the video tutorial above is from the latest BBB version and has some improved features that we haven’t yet integrated in our deployment. Patience please before we have it deployed…
  • At the current BBB version moderators can choose to end all breakouts before the programmed end time, but not adjust the duration otherwise. This adjustment option (plus messaging to all breakouts) is available in the latest version of BBB.
  • anyone of the moderators in the room can create the breakout rooms
  • when allocating manually or randomly AND activating the option that users can freely choose the room, the latter will overrule (logically)
  • when allocating randomly or manually room participants to a specific room, do notice that moderators are NOT automatically transferred to the breakout: they need to choose manually
  • after having created the breakouts, notice there’s an additional left hand menu called “Breakout Rooms”, moderators can choose to join the room or only join the audio
  • the whiteboard present in the breakouts comes with the presentation (slide) that was present in plenary during breakout creation. So any assignment brief could be presented in plenary and then the breakout rooms get it copied to them at creation. Does that make sense to you?

As you noticed Nick, using the shared notepad in the breakout rooms maybe risky as the room will close down at the programmed time or before and one looses everything not copied before. One way is to simply use the shared notepad in the plenary room, or any external collaborative editing environment as you point out. A more permanent etherpad or other online document maybe more adequate in many situations.

thanks for sharing your experiences with this important feature.

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