In this article, I will be showing Big Blue Button moderators how to initiate and administrate the breakout room feature within a BBB session.
Obviously, you and your students must be in live attendance in a BBB session before you may set up a breakout room. To initiate a breakout room, make sure that you can see the active user list section of your BBB session, which is normally found on the left side of the screen. If it is not there, click the person icon at the top left to show the active user list.
At the top right of the user list is a settings cog icon, click this. In the drop-down list that appears, click on the option to "create breakout rooms." From here, you will be taken to a screen that allows you to set up the breakout rooms. If you click the "Number of rooms" section, you can select to have up to 8 different rooms. Next to that, you can set the duration of time the rooms will be open. Now that you have determined the number of rooms and the time limit you will have these rooms you can start assigning students to these rooms.
First, you can manually drag and drop each student from the "not assigned" box into the specific room you wish for them to be in. Alternatively, if you do not care who is in which room, you can click the "randomly assign" button to randomly and evenly distribute each student into a room. If you wish to be able to join and leave breakout rooms at will, it is important that you leave your name in the not assigned box. Finally, if you trust the students to follow directions, you can click the "allow users to choose a breakout room to join" checkbox, which will prompt the students to select their breakout room.
Once you have finished setting up the breakout rooms, you can click the create button at the top right. This will either automatically move students or prompt them to join a room depending on which student distribution method you chose previously. After clicking create, you should be taken back to your BBB session and there should now be a "breakout rooms" section listed above the user list. Clicking on this will allow you to see a list of all breakout rooms and which students are in them, and from this list you can join whichever breakout room you prefer.
Clicking "join" on a breakout room will remove you from the audio of your BBB session and open a new tab with the selected breakout room. Please note that your microphone can only be active in one session at a time, so enabling your microphone in one breakout room will disable it in all the other BBB tabs you have open. Each time you switch back to your main BBB session or to a different breakout room, you must enable your microphone if you wish for the students of that room to hear you. The same rule applies to students, so they will also have to enable their microphone and audio each time they are put into a breakout room or BBB session.
For a full video demonstration of the topics discussed in this article, please refer to this video:
As always if you run into any issues please let us know!