BigBlueButton: Breakout Rooms


How do I start a breakout room?

Any moderator can now place students into breakout rooms, monitor their interaction, and end the breakout rooms at any time.

Breakout rooms are full BigBlueButton sessions: they can be recorded just as any other session.  Each student in a breakout room has moderator role, which means any student can make themselves presenter and upload a presentation for sharing with other students.

To start a breakout room, choose “Breakout Rooms …” from the gear icon.

Configure Breakout Rooms

When you choose “Breakout Rooms …” the following dialog box appears. (Right-click image > Open in New Tab, to view larger scale image. Control+Click on Mac)

The Breakout Room dialog enables the instructor to specify

  1. The number of breakout rooms: 2,3,4, or 5
  2. Time limit
  3. Enable/disable recording
  4. Drag and drop users between rooms
  5. Which users should not be placed into breakout room (the “Not Assigned” room)

Student Joining a Breakout Room

When the moderator presses the Start button in the Breakout Room dialog, any user assigned to a breakout room will see the following dialog inviting them to join the breakout room.

Clicking Yes causes the breakout room session to open in a new tab.  The user remains joined in the main session (where they can chat with the instructor and ask questions).   BigBlueButton will disconnect/drop them from the audio from the main room.   This will prevent students from being joined into two different audio sessions at the same time.

The breakout room will have a countdown timer above the chat to inform the users of the remaining time [1].  Once the timer reaches 0, the breakout room will automatically close.  


Users can return to the previous tab and rejoin the audio in the main room.

Monitoring Breakout Rooms

When the instructor clicks Start in the Breakout Room dialog, a breakout room status table will appear in the Instructors window.

The instructor can join the breakout room in a new tab [1], or join only the audio [2].  The instructor can also close the breakout rooms early (before the time remaining expires) [3].


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