Quick and Easy Virtual Breakout Rooms

2 new teachers at nei eventMy main webinar tool is Adobe Connect and I love all the options it gives us for running interactive virtual meetings.  One of its features is Breakout Rooms.  These rooms have all the tools for collaboration and can be setup in advance.  The only problems are: 1. They are sequestered so that people outside the rooms can’t see what’s going on in the other rooms, and 2.  As a host I have to toggle between all the rooms, jumping in and out to see them, one at a time.  Recently I saw Cynthia Clay from Netspeed Learning Solutions come up with a simple fix to this problem.  She created two chat boxes, one for “Group A” and the other for “Group B”.  She even provided instructions on which group attendees were assigned. Beauty in simplicity.   2 chat pods screenshot from netspeed recordingNow I know that this solution doesn’t give attendees all the collaborative tools that breakout rooms have, but they are so simple to set up and implement in a fast way with few clicks, simple instructions and little confusion.    To take this approach further, she also shows an example where there are three chat boxes-each with a separate question to answer/discuss.  Attendees can either be assigned to a question or self-select which question they’d like to respond.  These are great options to increase engagement in webinars, and could be considered breakout rooms without sequestering. I will have more tips to share in the future and I encourage you to share yours.

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