Breakout Rooms: A Place to Collaborate


Laure Schulders

Breakout rooms are a place where students can collaborate and interact with each other.

Madeline Tiedt, Features Editor

Breakout rooms have become a staple in online learning. In essence, they are subrooms that are still a part of the main call. Teachers mostly use breakout rooms for putting students in groups and they then have the ability to jump between groups and monitor what’s happening. Regardless of whether students are in-person or at home, breakout rooms are a useful tool that can be utilized in virtually any setting.

For starters, breakout rooms are handy when it comes to group work. Under normal circumstances, students would have the ability to work in table groups. Now, however, tables are organized in long rows and only half of the regular amount of students are in the building at any given time due to COVID-19 restrictions. Breakout rooms are the solution to this issue. They allow students in the classroom and at home to collaborate in smaller groups. 

The smaller groups are another appealing facet of breakout rooms. Unmuting your microphone to ask questions is a lot less daunting when there are four or five people in the room as opposed to 20. This alleviates some of the stress on students and encourages them to speak up. It’s also very convenient for teachers because breakout rooms allow them to provide more personalized attention, so they can get a better feel for students’ level of understanding. If needed, teachers can also use this tool to meet with students individually to check in or provide further help.

They also create more opportunities for students to interact with each other. Zoom classes have killed classroom chatter due to the fact that it’s too awkward to unmute and have a conversation with someone. In breakout rooms, students have the ability to talk to one another in a much more relaxed setting while working on their assignments, which can boost social-emotional health. This pandemic has left many feeling isolated, so it’s important that students have time to socialize, even if that time is brief.

Breakout rooms bring a bit of normalcy back into this unusual school year by helping students to collaborate and connect with one another. Not only do they provide a space for students to work together virtually, but they also implement a change of pace to keep students engaged. Breakout rooms are useful and versatile tools that improve the online learning experience as a whole.