Zoom: Creating and managing pre-assigned breakout rooms

Pre-assigned breakout rooms is an advanced usage of Zoom.  Easier options are to not use breakout rooms or to use randomly assigned breakout rooms (video demonstration 3:28).  


  • You can only pre assign students that will be logged into zoom.umn.edu and authenticated their Zoom account.
  • Students in health sciences colleges (like Nursing) will be asked to complete a HIPAA training (10 minutes) which can take up to 24 hours to be activated after completion.
  • Students on separate campuses, i.e. Rochester and Twin Cities, can be pre-assigned to the same room.

Adjust Zoom User Account Settings

These settings allow you to pre-assign breakout rooms using emails, force attendees to login to Zoom so they can be recognized for room assignment, and allow hosts to see who has not logged in.

  1. Using a web browser, go to zoom.umn.edu and login
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Find and Enable the following settings
    1. Enable "Only authenticated users can join meetings".  
    2. Enable "Breakout room" and the check the box for "Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling".
    3. Enable "Identify guest participants in the meeting/webinar".

Preassign students to the breakout room

  1. Create your meeting.  You can do this in this in Canvas with the Zoom LTI or you can create the meeting at zoom.umn.edu.
  2. Once the meeting is created, login to zoom.umn.edu, find the meeting and edit it
  3. Under Meeting Options check the box by Breakout Room pre-assign:
  4. Enter the breakout room names and participants email. This can be uploaded with a CSV.Pre-assign Room Name and Email Address
  5. Save the meeting

Running the Zoom Breakout Room

  1. During the meeting, open your Manage Participants List.  If you have participants with (guest) after their name, ask them to leave and login to Zoom and return to the meeting.  Guests will not be placed in their preassigned breakout rooms automatically.
  2. Hosts and co-hosts can click on Breakout Room button (or under More) to open the breakout room list
  3. The rooms should show but may not have be filled with the preassigned students.  Click on the Recreate button.
    Recreate button is at the bottom
  4. Choose to recreate using the pre-assigned rooms.  The list will regenerate and participants will be listed in their rooms.
  5. Click the Open rooms button.
  6. Anyone logged in as a guest or logged in after you recreate the rooms will need to be manually assigned to a room.

    Note: Before an instructor starts breakout rooms they should put in the chat information they want students to access during the breakout. Anything in the chat when the break out is started goes into the breakout room. However, chat that occurs within the breakout room does not transfer back to the main meeting.

Video Demonstration


Additional Resources: