Enabling and Setting Up Pre-Assigned Breakout Groups

Introduction to Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms 

There may be times when you want to assign specific participants to specific breakout rooms. For example, you a series of meetings, where the same groups meet in each of those meetings.


  • As the meeting host, you are the only one who can set up and also facilitate these pre-assigned breakout rooms. 

  • You must set them up in advance PRIOR to starting the meeting. 

  • All participants who want to participate must first activate their Zoom account. 

  • Inevitably, there will be issues the first couple of times you facilitate a meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms, so plan accordingly. See tips and tricks. 

As an alternative solution, you may want to consider enabling the option to allow participants to choose their own breakout room instead of, or in addition to using pre-assigned breakouts. 


Enabling Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms

 You need to enable the pre-assigned Breakout Room feature for Zoom if you have not done so before. This is a one-time only task that can only be done on the Chico State portal. 

  1. From your browser,navigate to https://www.csuchico.edu/zoom

  2. From the menu, select Settings. 

  3. Select In Meeting (Advanced), and verify Breakout Rooms are enabled. 

Chico state zoom portal with Settings selected on left menu and In Meeting Advanced as the submenu

  1. Select Allow host to assign participants option. Save.

 Zoom portal with arrow pointing to Settings > In Meeting (Advanced)


Creating Pre-Assigned Rooms/Users for your Meeting

  1. From the left side menu, select Meetings. 

  2. Locate your meeting, hover to the right of the meeting and choose Edit.

Screenshot of meetings menu selected on Chico State Zoom portal. Arrow pointing to Edit next to existing Zoom meeting

  1. Consider selecting Only Authenticated Users can join to help encourage participants to use their Chico State Zoom accounts so they will be recognized in breakout rooms. 

  2. On the Meeting Options screen, check Breakout Room pre-assign and choose Edit. 

  3. You can either choose Create Rooms or Import from CSV. See below for examples. 

  4. When complete, select Save. 

screenshot of Zoom edit meeting options with Breakout Room pre-assign checkbox selected.


Create Rooms

Click the + to add rooms. You can edit the room names and also add participants via email. Alternatively, you could just create room names and then allow participants to choose their breakout rooms during the meeting. 

Screenshot of Create Breakout room assignment window with a student email entered as a sample

Import from CSV 

The CSV file of student emails must be in a certain format. To obtain a template of the CSV, click the download link to download the CSV template.

CSV with arrow pointing to download the template link          sample csv for breakout rooms

Enter room names and associated participant emails next to each room name. 

Save as a ,csv file and then import from Import Rooms window.

Allow Participants to Choose Their Own Breakout Room

If you use Pre-Assigned Brekaout Rooms, the Technology and Learning Program always recommends Allowing Particpants to Choose Their Own Breakout Room as a best practice. This will help busy hosts better manage their meetings because Participants can join breakout rooms on their own if problems arise. 

  • Start your Zoom meeting. From the Zoom taskbar, select Breakout Rooms.

  • Select Options > Allow Participants to choose room. 


Opening Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms

  • Please allow some practice time with pre-assigned breakout rooms. 

  • Provide the following instructions to your students BEFORE the meeting:

    • Activate your Chico State Zoom account.

    • Sign in to Zoom using the Chico State Single Sign On option.  


To Open Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms:

  • Start your Zoom meeting. From the Zoom taskbar, select Breakout Rooms.

  • Select Recreate and then choose Recover to pre-assigned breakout rooms button.
    This will help sweep late-comers into their assigned rooms. 

  • When ready, tell Participants you are opening the rooms and choose Open All Rooms.


  • If a participant is in their pre-assigned breakout room and they leave the meeting and rejoin, they won't rejoin their pre-assigned breakout room.

  • You can always manually assign participants using  in-meeting breakout room controls.


Troubleshooting Breakout Rooms 

Issues with Breakout Rooms typically are due to the fact that students are either not signed into the Zoom desktop application or mobile app using their Chico State Zoom account. This may be due to the fact they are logged out, or perhaps 

Refer participants to this article to Verify You are Signed in to Zoom Using Chico State account




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Article ID: 113137
Fri 5/21/21 3:21 PM
Wed 1/19/22 9:56 AM