December 18, 2020

Enrich Remote Learning with Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms

Article

Making the Virtual a Bit More Personal

Instructors, teachers and trainers alike have been forced to move their classroom-based, in-person trainings to the online, virtual environment, creating a greater need for quality connection to be cultivated digitally. In this wave towards the virtual, Microsoft Teams has proven to be the premier choice and users can now enjoy the newest addition to the wide array of features: Breakout Rooms.

The announcement of Breakout Room capabilities coming to Microsoft Teams brings a surplus of innovative ways to empower team collaboration and manage individual learning. When paired with the Microsoft Preferred Solution for learning management integration, LMS365, the digital learning space becomes an expansive arena for interactive and interpersonal remote learning.

Break Out of the Routine with Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms

For many educators and instructors, creating meaningful and successful connection online can be difficult. Add to that, the slight chaos and distraction that can arise in large virtual meetings with multiple speakers or hosts. As Microsoft Teams has been the outstanding solution for many large groups to meet online, they are acutely aware of the threats to productivity, engagement and learning that can appear from these larger meetings.

With the unveiling of the new Breakout Rooms feature, Microsoft Teams now makes it even easier to manage your team in a way that supports closer connection, easier collaboration and individual learning success. Being able to divide meetings into sub-groups allows for more quality facilitation and brainstorming as groups become more intimate and manageable.

 

The Importance of Small Groups for Effective Learning

Regardless of whether learners are meeting in-person or online, small groups have been shown to have a substantial boost on learner efficiency and potential. Research indicates that small group learning sessions are better than large group sessions at “promoting thought and developing attitudes and values”.

Additionally, people in smaller group discussions are more likely to participate and receive the focused guidance from instructors or trainers than in discussions with more individuals. In this way, small group instruction maximizes the individual’s potential for learning, while also boosting that of their peers and group members.

Microsoft Teams + LMS365 = Boundless Collaboration and Learning

With the rollout of Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms, LMS365 users can now further customize the virtual learning experience.

LMS365 allows instructors to integrate virtual instructor-led sessions delivered via Microsoft Teams into courses and training paths. With the integrated learning tracking system, users can map out the efficiency of their virtual instructor-led sessions and display them in beautifully integrated Power BI templates for review.

So much is possible with the Microsoft 365-integrated learning management system, LMS365. Now, let’s dive deeper into the new Breakout room features you’ll notice in the Microsoft Teams platform.

Explore and Expand Remote Learning with Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms

Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms allow meeting organizers to break a larger meeting into multiple, smaller rooms and then bring all participants back after the breakout sessions have ended. The feature makes remote learning facilitation more seamless for instructors and more intimate for learners.

In order to be able to start a Breakout Room, you must be selected as the meeting organizer. Meeting organizers can begin a Breakout Room setup through the icon featured on their meeting toolbar. Once this is selected, the Breakout Room box will appear and you can begin customizing your rooms.

Create and Customize Breakout Rooms

When you start to create your Breakout Rooms, you will have options to select the number of rooms you need and how you want to assign participants into the rooms. You can choose to either have participants automatically assigned to rooms or you can assign the Breakout Rooms manually if you want specific members in certain rooms, like for instance grouping all Marketing personnel together for a brainstorming session.

 

 

Photo: Microsoft

Edit, Add & Join with Ease

After your Breakout Rooms have been created, you can go in and edit the room names, add or switch participants into new groups, and even join Breakout sessions to check in on group progress. Once the Breakout Rooms are made, meeting organizers will see options for room editing in the right-hand tab and can access the meeting tools from there.

 

 

Photo: Microsoft

Send Reminders and Make Announcements

Microsoft Teams makes it easier than ever to manage and facilitate multiple group meetings at once. With the meeting organizer panel in Breakout Rooms, you can send discussion prompts and group announcements to one group or all of them. Check in with Breakout Room collaboration and alert participants when the sessions are coming to a close.

 

 

Photo: Microsoft

Share, Save and Protect Documents

All the good work done in Breakout Rooms isn’t lost when the sessions end. Any files or documents sent within Breakout sessions can be accessed, saved and shared by all participants once everyone’s back together through the meeting chat.

 

 

Photo: Microsoft

Enrich Discussions with Microsoft 365 Tools

Because Breakout Rooms are mini Team meetings, participants still have access to the range of inclusive tools available through the communication platform. Add in the Whiteboard feature to make Breakout brainstorming more interactive or create a deeper sense of community by turning on Together Mode and having your Breakout session in a virtual office space or coffee shop. All these meeting tools, plus quality security, is what participants can enjoy in Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms.

 

Photo: Microsoft

Gain New Opportunities for Deep Connection and Quality Collaboration

With the integrated force of LMS365 and Microsoft 365, enriching your remote learning becomes easy, engaging, and expansive. Read more about the powerful partnership of Microsoft 365 and LMS365 in this article.