How to manage break out groups

Option 1 Groups managed by the moderator

The moderator starts and stops the groups, participants are moved between the main room and a predetermined break-out group by the moderator.

Workflow
  1. You enter the Collaborate session and create however many groups are needed.
  2. After the participants have joined you add them into a group – either custom or random allocation. Look out for late joiners.
  3. When you are ready to start the groups, you press Start and the participants are automatically moved into their breakout group.
  4. You communicate with them in their groups via the Everybody chat or by moving yourself into that group.
  5. When you are ready to end the group session you press Stop and the participants are automatically moved back into the main room.
  6. When you move people back to the main room the break out group structure is deleted and the groups will close. If you need groups again you have to re-create the structure.
  7. The work done in that group space is deleted.

This is good for large groups as participants cannot get lost or drift away, they go where and when they are told.

Option 2 Groups managed by the participant

The participant move themselves between the main room and their breakout group and have the freedom to move at will.

Workflow
  1. You enter the Collaborate session and create the groups that you need.
  2. Ensure you have chosen Custom Assignment.
  3. You do not group the participants – tick Allow participants to move themselves between groups.
  4. You press Start but nobody moves from the main room as you have allowed them to move themselves.
  5. You tell participants what group they are in – this may be a known group such as a Seminar group or it may be a new group just for this session, you can tell them or put up a list for them to see.
  6. When you are ready to start the groups, you ask them to move and the participants move themselves to their breakout group
  7. You communicate with them in their groups via the Everybody chat or by moving yourself into that group.
  8. When you are ready to end the groups you communicate with them via the Everybody chat, participants move themselves back into the main room.
  9. The group structure remains intact to be used again within that session.
  10. Group work remains intact in the group space until the session is ended.

This is more engaging and fun for the participants. Make sure you allow time for them to move, especially the first time this happens. Provide very clear instructions and be prepared to help stragglers.

How to group your students in break out groups

You can use a combination of the two methods. You group the participants and start up the breakout groups and then hand the control to the participants.

Workflow
  1. You enter the meeting and create the group structure.
  2. Either custom assign students to their group or use the random assignment.
  3. Do not tick Allow participants to move themselves between groups at this point. Keep the control with the moderator.
  4. When you are ready to start the groups press Start.
  5. Participants are automatically moved into their pre-determined group.
  6. Whilst the groups are in operation return to the Breakout groups control panel and put a tick in the Allow participants to move themselves between groups box. The control is now passed to the participants.
  7. When the breakout group session is over participants move themselves back into the main room.

This method means you can group the participants as you wish on the day – either using the custom assignment or the random assignment. Participants will not need to know their group in advance.