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Blackboard Help

Breakout groups

To facilitate small group collaboration, you can create breakout groups that are separate from the main room and assign participants to them.

Breakout groups requires you use version 52 of the ChromeTM browser or Firefox® versions 49 and higher.

Breakout groups have their own private audio, video, whiteboard, application sharing, and chat. Any collaboration that takes place in a group is independent of the Main room (and other groups).

What is said or viewed in a breakout room isn't captured in recordings.

Watch a video about breakout groups

Video: Breakout Groups in Blackboard Collaborate

Start breakout groups

You can choose to have Collaborate create and randomly assign breakout groups for you. Or you can create the groups yourself.

  1. Open the Share Content panel from the Collaborate panel.

    Not sure where the Collaborate panel is? Jump to Find Your Way Around.

  2. Select Breakout Groups.
  3. Assign groups. Select Randomly assign or Custom assignment.
    • Randomly assign: Collaborate creates groups and randomly assigns participants for you.

      Randomly assign is only available when there are four or more people are in the room.

      • If you want to be in a group, select Include moderators in group assignment.
      • You can change how many participants are in each group. Select the number of groups from the Number of Groups menu.
      • If you don't like how the participants are grouped, select Reassign participants.
    • Custom assignment: Create your own groups.
      • Assign participants to a group. You can select the participants options menu and select the group. You can also select the participant and drag them to the right group.
      • Select Create a new group to add more groups.
  4. Optionally, select Allow participants to switch groups, if you want participants to be able to move to another group on their own.
  5. Select Start.

What can participants do in breakout groups?

Breakout groups are designed for group collaboration. Every participant in the group is a presenter. This means that all participants can share the whiteboard, files, and applications with the rest of their group.

Content shared in a breakout group is not available when breakout groups end. Consider suggesting participants record their collaboration in some way. Example: A screen capture of anything they have shared and collaborated on.

Make sure your browser supports application sharing

More on presenter permissions

Monitor groups

After breakout groups are started you can move between groups to monitor them. If you assigned yourself to a group, you see and hear what others in the group are doing. This includes any shared content, audio, video, and chat.

If you want to see how the other groups are doing, you need to join those groups. From the Participants panel, select Join group.

Group chats are private to the group. The Everyone chat room is open to everyone, no matter what group you are in. As a moderator you also have a moderator only chat room.

Move participants to another group

Moderators can move themselves between groups by selecting Join Group in the participants panel. You can also move other participants.

  1. From the Participants panel, find a participant and select Moderator controls.
  2. Select Move to another group. This opens the Breakout groups panel.
  3. Move the participant to another group. There are two ways you can do this.
    • Select the participant's options menu and select the group.
    • Select the participant and drag them to the new group.
  4. Select Update.

Can I remove someone from a session?

Yes. You can choose to move them back to the main room or to another group. Or you can choose to remove them completely from a session. Open the participant's options menu from the Participants panel. Select Remove from session.

What happens if another moderator makes changes to the groups?

If another moderator makes changes to the group before you select Update, your changes are lost. You are notified that another moderator made changes.

End breakout groups

When you want to stop breakout groups and bring everybody back to the main room, select End breakout groups. You can find this at the top of the Participants panel or beside Breakout groups in the Share Content panel.

After you select End breakout groups, all participants are moved back to the main room.

After the groups have ended everything shared in a group is not available in the main room. Give your participants a few minutes warning that you are ending the breakout groups. Give them time to take a screen capture, or record in some other way, what they were working on before ending the groups.

Participants panel
Share Content panel