Another dot in the blogosphere?

Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Posted on: October 7, 2020

Zoom announced a new feature, Breakout Rooms, in August this year for rollout last month [link]. In early September, I blogged that this might finally simulate station-based learning.

I will be trying this feature out in an evening class tomorrow. But as in my modus operandi, I tested it first with a class last evening.

I asked a several students to volunteer to stay after Zoom class to help with my experiment. I created one room for each student and so that they could choose the room to enter instead of having me assign them to rooms. This is faster than manually assigning them one by one because they make the choice and move.

But only one student was able to see the breakout room option. Why? The rest had not updated their Zoom clients to at least version 5.30. This Zoom support article makes this requirement clear. An administrator must also enable this function in the first place.

I have reflected on such a practice before and I will say it again: Always do your homework (Is the feature ‘live’? How do I ensure that it works? What are some problems with it?) and conduct dry runs with it yourself.

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