Pre-Assigning Participants to Breakout Rooms in a Zoom Meeting

When to Use?

This article explains how to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms in Zoom.

NOTE: This cannot be done when scheduling a meeting directly within Blackboard. However, you can apply pre-assigned breakout rooms to meeting created within a Blackboard course. Please know before you begin the process that there are prerequisites and limitations with pre-assigned breakout rooms.



  • You must enable Breakout rooms in your meeting's settings
  • Host: Zoom Desktop Client on Windows or macOS, version 4.5.0 or higher
    NOTE: If you start the meeting from the Linux client or Zoom Mobile App, you will not be able to see your breakout rooms with pre-assigned participants.
  • Participants: Zoom Desktop Client or Mobile App, version 4.5.0 or higher
    • When joining a meeting with pre-assignments, participants need to be signed into their GVSU Zoom account for pre-assignments to be applied.
    • Participants will not be pre-assigned if they join from the web client.


  • You can only pre-assign participants with GVSU Zoom accounts.
  • A maximum of 200 participants can be pre-assigned to breakout rooms.

1. Create the Breakout Room Template

¬∑Begin by downloading and filling out the sample document. 

  1. Download the breakout_room_sample document.
  2. Do not alter the headers.
  3. The name of the rooms will appear in the order you specify.
  4. The students' full email addresses must accompany the room you wish them to be associated with. 

2. Edit the Selected Meeting 

  1. Begin by logging into the GVSU Zoom web portal. NOTE: You can't complete this step from inside the application or from inside of a Blackboard course
  2. Either schedule a new meeting or select an existing meeting to edit.
  3. If you are editing an existing meeting, hover over the desired meeting and click the Edit button.

Edit button for a scheduled meeting in the Zoom web app

3. Upload the Completed Breakout Room CSV File

  1. Scroll down to Meeting Options.
  2. Check the Breakout Room pre-assign option.
  3. Choose the file to upload from the previous step and click Save.
  4. Verify that the file uploaded correctly. If you receive an error at this step, you must alter the CSV file to resolve the issue. 

Breakout Rooms Pre-Assign option from the meeting options

Breakout Rooms assignment dialog box

4. Verify the Breakout Room Assignments

  1. You will be able to verify that the students are assigned to the desired rooms. You will not be able to edit at this point.
  2. If you need to edit the room assignments, you can do so at this stage. NOTE: This is also how you can modify room assignments to a meeting which has had rooms pre-assigned previously
  3. Once you are satisfied with the selection, click the Save button.

NOTE: If you are assigning breakout rooms to a recurring meeting, it will assign the same breakout rooms and students to all meetings in the recurrence. 

Breakout Room assignment dialog box showing members assigned.

5. Starting Breakout Rooms from a Meeting

Once you are in the meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms, it is essential that you DO NOT start those rooms until all expected participants arrive. If you click on the breakout rooms in a meeting where none or only some of the participants are present, participants will not automatically be assigned to the appropriate rooms. Please see the examples below.

Viewing breakout rooms before attendees have arrived

  • In this image attendees were not assigned to the pre-configured breakout rooms. This is because the host tried to view the breakout rooms before the attendees arrived. 

Breakout room dialog box in active meeting showing rooms without participants

Viewing breakout rooms after attendees have arrived

  • In this image you can see that the breakout rooms are populated with attendees. This is because the breakout rooms were viewed after all attendees have arrived. 

Breakout rooms box in active meeting showing assigned participants

Resetting Meeting if the Host Viewed Breakout Rooms Before Attendees Arrived

If a meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms has been started and the host viewed the rooms before all or some of the attendees have arrived, the only way to reset the meeting so attendees will be in their assigned breakout rooms is to end the meeting. Ask students to rejoin. Wait until after they have re-joined before viewing the breakout rooms. 

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Article ID: 4726
Thu 3/31/22 11:34 AM
Mon 8/15/22 9:15 AM