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Webex Breakout Rooms

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Introduction

Breakout rooms represent a powerful feature within Cisco Webex enabling meeting hosts to split participants into smaller separate sessions. These virtual “rooms” operate concurrently, facilitating simultaneous small group discussions or activities within a larger meeting context.

Intelligently leveraging Webex breakout rooms helps drive more engaging and collaborative experiences during meetings, training events, workshops, and other virtual gatherings.

How to Use Webex Breakout Rooms

Here are key capabilities for creating and managing breakout rooms in Webex:

Creating Breakout Rooms

In a Webex meeting or webinar, hosts with organizer privileges can create breakout rooms and assign participants. In the breakout rooms menu, specify the number of rooms needed and options like automatically distributing attendees.

Preassigning Attendees

For more control, hosts can manually distribute participants across breakout rooms by dragging and dropping names. Preassignments are recommended for recurring team meetings.

User Roles

The host maintains override abilities like returning all participants to the main room. Co-hosts can be assigned to breakout rooms to help facilitate smaller groups. Attendees have standard participation abilities.

Audio and Video

Breakout rooms maintain full video and audio capabilities for natural discussions. Participants can view and interact with others assigned to the same breakout.

Overall, Webex breakout rooms provide intuitive management of virtual small group sessions before, during, and after a meeting.

Best Practices for Breakout Sessions

Some tips for maximizing the value of Webex breakout rooms include:

Drive Engagement

Rotate participants across different breakouts and discussion topics to increase engagement. Breaking into smaller groups inherently gets more people involved.

Encourage Collaboration

Frame questions that provoke deeper information sharing and joint problem solving. Breakouts enable teammates to interact and align more actively.

Clarify Roles

Ensure hosts, co-hosts, and attendees understand their abilities in breakout rooms for smooth operation. Provide room topics and goals beforehand.

Monitor Activity

Hosts and co-hosts should check in on breakout room progress and give time warnings. They can proactively address any issues observed.

Report Back

Reconvene participants to share breakout room takeaways, insights, and open questions with the larger group for integrated understanding.

Properly facilitated breakout rooms in Webex provide engaging team experiences and conversations at scale.

Controlling Webex Breakout Sessions

Hosts have extensive controls to customize breakout room usage:

Create and Assign Rooms

Hosts can subdivide a meeting into any number of breakout rooms and either auto-distribute participants or manually assign individuals.

Manage Rooms

During a session, hosts can open or close rooms, extend time, alert rooms to wrap up, or end breakouts and gather everyone back to main room.

Monitor Activity

Hosts can visit different breakout rooms to check in on progress, assist with issues, or participate in discussions. Entry/exit is discreet.

Record Breakouts

Hosts can record individual breakout rooms separately for later reference just like recording the main room. This also captures room chats.

Astute breakout room management empowers hosts to maintain oversight of all parallel groups for a coordinated experience.

Using Breakout Rooms in Webex Training

In addition to standard meetings, breakout rooms integrate natively into the Webex Training platform for educational events:

Create Collaborative Activities

Instructors can split classes into breakout rooms for teambased learning activities, discussions, workshops, and other interactive assignments.

Facilitate Smaller Groups

Breakouts allow trainers to create coachlike sessions for personalized mentoring, question answering, and skill building in smaller groups.

Monitor Teamwork

Trainers can rotate between breakout rooms to gain insight into learners’ grasp of content and provide guidance on collaborative assignments.

Increase Engagement

Breakout rooms provide trainees more opportunity to actively participate versus passive listening to lectures. This results in richer educational experiences.

For corporate training, university courses, workshops, and other learning environments, Webex breakout rooms enable trainers to build impactful interactive and social learning directly into curriculums at scale.

Conclusion

As remote collaboration increases, Webex breakout rooms provide an invaluable tool for facilitating smaller team interactions while still accommodating larger audiences. The flexibility to customize virtual small group discussions, brainstorms, and work sessions ensures attendees remain actively engaged in the meeting process.

Whether improving remote trainings, workshops, or companywide meetings, Webex breakout rooms mimic real-world breakout dynamics in an intuitive interface. Organizations that creatively leverage breakouts and best practices will realize greater meeting effectiveness, productivity, and participant satisfaction.

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