5 Hacks to Make the Most out of Breakout Rooms

Now that we’ve finished a semester of online learning…is there anything you liked or disliked? If you’re thinking about breakout rooms, then read on to see how to eliminate the fear and uneasy feeling whenever professors say “Now, let’s go into breakout rooms.”

We’re relying more and more on technology these days. Make sure you know how to maximize the benefits from learning with it!

As someone who is not always outwardly extroverted, breakout rooms seemed like a nightmare. You mean I have to turn on your camera and talk to my peers? During a time when everyone is already stressed out over many other responsibilities and tasks, the necessity of talking in breakout rooms was extremely nerve-wracking for me.

However, after learning how each course is structured and finishing a whole semester with them, I sometimes looked forward to breakout rooms!

Here are 5 ways on how you can make the most out of your experience with breakout rooms!

1. Break the ice

This can look like “Hey, I don’t understand what’s going on in the course either!” I used this quite a lot regardless of whether I understood the material as it can create a camaraderie type of feeling!

2. Talk as if you know what you’re talking about

Because sometimes you really do! Don’t underestimate your abilities and knowledge.

3. Turn on your video

This should be number 1 quite frankly, if your video wasn’t already on. Although depending on the size of the class, it can be scary turning on your video for 100 other people to see, in addition to taking up bandwidth, but it makes a huge difference! Try turning it on this semester and put on a smile when you enter breakout rooms!

4. Ask questions

Sometimes our head feels overcrowded with questions. It’s likely many people have the same questions as you.

I found this a great way to start the discussion on topics because if someone understood the material, they could explain it to everyone. If no one knew the answer, then it creates the opportunity to figure it out together!

5. Get to know your peers!

You might find some really interesting people or even get advice for future courses to take! It’s easier to converse with people you’re familiar with so try to make that extra effort to start that connection! Ask them about their cat that’s always showing up on video, or the painting in their room.

Lastly, make sure you’re paying attention during the lecture (before and after breakout rooms – because you never know when there will be more than 1 session!) to be fully engaged!

Hope your experience with breakout rooms will improve this semester! And remember, everyone’s in the same boat as you!


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