Microsoft Teams Break Out Rooms – Some Early Observations

With the launch of breakout rooms for adhoc and scheduled Team meetings, many people are celebrating and it is a much requested feature, but how does it work.

Microsoft have released a couple of great articles so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and write a full guide myself, but I would like to share my early observations.

See https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/breakout-rooms-generally-available-today-in-microsoft-teams/ba-p/1968481 for the announcement and  https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/create-and-manage-breakout-rooms-during-class-meetings-18b340cd-1106-4fa5-a852-5676614f7e7d?ui=en-US&rs=en-GB&ad=GB for guidance on creating and managing breakout rooms.

  • Breakout rooms are working in scheduled and ad-hoc meetings and though I’ve not tested it, claim to work in channel meeting, though not Meet Now (adhoc) channel meetings.
  • You can only manage breakout rooms from the desktop app but can participate from web and mobile too.
  • Breakout room chat is only available once the breakout room is open, but remains available after the meeting from the Teams Chat app, if it was used.  For all meetings incl breakout rooms there is no meeting chat link in Chat if no-one has posted anything in the meeting chat.
  • You need to start the meeting to set up breakout rooms, but once set up you can leave the meeting and rejoin later, the breakout rooms will still be set up.
  • When you open breakout rooms attendees get a warning that they are moving to a breakout room via a banner, then move automatically with no meeting lobby
  • Meeting attendees can choose to join a breakout room themselves. 
    • If the room is closed they leave the main meeting and are disconnected. 
    • If the room is open, they will join the breakout room.  The breakout room honours the meeting lobby setting from the main meeting.
  • When you close a meeting room users are returned to the main meeting, with a notification and are subject to the meeting lobby settings
  • The main meeting is placed on hold when the organiser moves to a breakout room, leaving any meeting attendees not assigned to an open room on hold too

Published by sfennah

I am a freelance learning professional with over 22 years’ experience including holding 30+ Microsoft certifications and Microsoft Certified Trainer status since 2008.

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