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Webex Employee's Favorite Feature of the Month: Breakout Sessions

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aahawkin
Cisco Employee

How do YOU breakout of the crowd?

 

Group and engage your attendees into smaller meetings with Webex breakout sessions. With enough room to be heard above the crowd, you can drive active participation in all your virtual meets.

 

If you've used breakout sessions, we want to know!

 

In fewer than 100 words, respond with your tips and/or tricks for effectively using breakout sessions for facilitating training, teaching class, or meeting with friends and family.

 

Hosts, do you save time preassigning participants to rooms via spreadsheet upload? Teachers, do you name the rooms after subjects or something more fun? You will be entered into a giveaway for a FREE Cisco 730 headset, by responding to this post!

 

This post will stay active for the entire month of April. We will randomly select a winner and reach out to them directly in the first week of May.

 

UPDATE: We asked educators how they use breakout rooms for effective and engaging remote learning. Read "7 breakout sessions tips from K-12 and higher ed educators" to learn more. 

 

More about Breakout sessions

As a host, you can preassign members to sessions, add or remove on the fly, or allow guests to float. You can even mute that one guy pouring coffee... We hope it’s coffee. As a guest, hold deep discussions or explore sessions to quickly find information. At the end of the session, you can even use artificial intelligence to show the clapping icon. Try breakout rooms today!

 

 

If you are not familiar with all the features, check out these links to learn more.

 

Webex Meetings | Breakout Sessions 

Breakout Sessions | Features 

Breakout Sessions | Best Practices 
Blog | Educator's Tips on Getting Remote Learning Right

 

To avoid emails flooding your inbox, be sure to uncheck the box Email me when someone replies when you respond.

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 9.14.44 AM.png

 

Respond to this post and share how you breakout! Your response will enter you into a giveaway for a FREE Cisco 730 Headset!

69 Comments
Cole Callahan
Cisco Employee

Hi @aahawkin 

Thanks for posting that here in the Webex Community!

I know the first time I ever used breakout sessions was in my employee orientation, where we split into groups of six to network and working on our personal elevator pitches. After 5 minutes I was placed into a new breakout session with all new people. Each time I was placed in a new one, I was able to improve on my delivery and approach. I LOVE that breakout sessions give you the opportunity to make something like orientation with 60 other people still a conversation that everyone can participate in.

ahmad_tamneh
Enthusiast

Nice feature, Will make sure to use it and explain it to all people in my company so they can start using it, especially in the meetings where all employees present. 

If I ever know this feature to be available, I'd use it in a "divide & conquer" manner! During some never ending meetings, where all needed staff is invited, there's always a huge part of them waiting their moment to talk with their own peer. This is like BOF teams!!! Keep on changing, Cisco!

Kathy N.
Engager

Teacher’s can get very creative with their breakout rooms in Education.  One school used breakouts to facilitate one-to-one instruction during group tutoring sessions in addition to teachers being able to have small group instruction during class.  Group projects are also possible as students are able to work in together during class time and teacher’s visit the rooms on request or randomly to check in on progress.

 

We love the option to set up breakouts ahead of time and the option for attendees to select their breakout sessions has been priceless for staff training meetings.

margotcecile
Beginner

Hello! The nonprofit agency that I work for is contracted through the State's Department of Aging. Through this partnership, we collaboratively produce webinars via Webex for the state's aging network staff and volunteers. Each webinar serves as both a live/virtual training session and an on-demand post-webinar training resource. Offering both methods allows those who could not attend the live/virtual session an opportunity to view the recorded/video version of the virtual session. Our Webex hosts use breakout rooms quite often and have found them very useful. While we initially noticed some issues and challenges when using breakout rooms, we have noticed the strides that Cisco Webex has taken over the past year or more to improve the functionality and features offered with their Breakout Rooms feature for the Webex 'Meetings' and 'Events' platforms. Thank you!

Clinton Vadnais
Beginner

Adding breakout sessions really adds value to Webex Meetings. One way we take advantage of breakout sessions at my health care facility is to break large meetings into smaller groups for brainstorming sessions. We then reconvene in the main meeting where each breakout reports out to the larger group to share our thoughts and findings. It's a way to have more focused conversion without needing to schedule more meetings! The new ability to assign breakout sessions in advance with CSV import can really help speed the process up. You can then also save the CSV's for future meetings too!

josephhayman
Beginner

I really like the fact co-hosts have the ability to take control of breakout sessions, this really takes the pressure off the host who can focus on engaging with the call. Also pre-assigning breakouts is a great way to ensure you are ready even before the call has started!

 

It would be awesome to see the pre-assign feature within the Outlook productivity tools in the future. Also if you pre-assign breakouts, but add someone new to the invite after these are created, you have to go back and re-create the sessions. So if that can be updated that would be awesome!

suparris
Cisco Employee

My customers love breakout sessions, not just for education. I have seen them used for round table interviews with multiple candidates and as smaller sessions during town halls for time with executives of different departments.

 

A few suggestions for best practices:

If your user base uses Cisco Devices such as DX80s, make sure to let them know to join from their computer rather than their device as breakout sessions aren't supported on devices just yet.

Always have a cohost to help out with managing the meeting. 

Use the broadcast feature to communicate with your other cohost(s) while in sessions.

 

I'm sure there are others out there with best practices they have discovered! I would love to hear them!

HannaReiter
Beginner

Hi!

Our customers are very happy using break-out-session in different settings. I recently provided my Russian teacher with information on free accounts and now my Russian class takes place via Webex. With break-out-sessions, we are able to practice this foreign language interactively. This way, we gained 17 Webex-fanatics, especially enhanced because of break-out-sessions.

So thank you so much!

John_Chandler
Cisco Employee

The breakout room feature was great during Cisco Live labs, helping people 1-to-1 when they had problems and not bothering everyone else who was working through the lab.

HadjiraHami
Beginner

Thank for sharing.

Nice feature seems to be helpful for having more interaction with the audience.

Marcel :-)
Beginner

We use the breakout sessions in an event called "Wednesday MixChat".
This is a way for our employees, who work at different locations or currently in home offices, to get to know each other.

 

Every Wednesday there is a session in the morning and in the late afternoon where people are randomly sent to a breakout session and can talk for 10 minutes.

 

Here it would be nice if Webex would offer the possibility that when everyone is back in the main session, they could be distributed again in breakout sessions, but in a different constellation than before.

For example.
In the first breakout session user A talked to user B and user C talked to user D.
In the second breakout session, user A would talk to user D and user B would talk to user C.

 

Elane Kalavrias
Beginner

I work in education, as the Collaboration person for our org, not having breakout rooms in Webex meetings right off was challenging to be able to deliver a superior cirriculum.  I engaged with one of my faculty and here is what she had to say about breakout rooms.   

 

The move to online teaching was a difficult one.  As the teacher, I realized that I needed to stop remembering how I did things before and start looking at what WebEx would allow me to do now.  Breakout rooms develop small group student relationships as individuals explore ideas they may be hesitant to discuss in a large class setting.  Alternating students can take a leadership role, and the rooms allow the teacher to visit, or remain outside the room facilitating the conversation.  Breakout rooms, in the touch of a button, have restored creativity and engagement in the online classroom.  

jeffrey.moura1
Beginner

Hi all,

 

I actually use breakout during training sessions where i use the pre-assign possibilities and start the breakout to be able to have groups discussions divided per topics.

 

jshupick
Rising star

We don't currently have a need for breakout sessions but I will definitely be pushing this for the training department to utilize with their classes. 

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