The VCU Zoom Blog

Announcements, Alerts, Tips and Pointers

The latest version of the Zoom desktop client adds the ability for meeting participants to place themselves in Breakout Rooms.

With Version 5.3.0, the meeting host can decide from three choices when using Breakout Rooms: (1) allow Zoom to randomly assign participants into a designated number of rooms, (2) let the host manually make the assignments or (3) allow participants to choose for themselves.

With the third option, the host uses the “Create” button to generate the specified number of rooms, which will be named “Room 1”, “Room 2”, etc by default. As the host, you’ll be able to change these names to suit your needs before inviting the participants to make their selections.

Be sure to check under “Options” to verify you’ve enabled the ability for users to select their desired rooms.

Once you choose “Open All Rooms,” your participants will see an invitation to make their choice.

NOTE: This feature requires all participants to use the Zoom version 5.3.0 or higher. Anyone running an older version of the client will NOT see the choices on offer, and will need to be manually assigned to a room by the host.

With the “Recreate” option, you can undo your choices and revert to the “automatic” or “manual” assignment options if preferred.

In meetings where participants are required to “change partners,” the host can end all rooms, then ask the participants to gather in new combinations.

While not suited to all situations, allowing participants to place themselves into Breakout Rooms can greatly simplify meeting management.

Other recent enhancements to the Zoom client include:

  • the ability to “pin” up to 9 participants so they are always seen in “gallery” view
  • the ability for hosts to arrange participant windows in gallery view and share that layout with all participants
  • a way to enhance your camera image to compensate for low light settings
  • “video filters” that allow you to apply a tint or color effect to your camera image or to add things like hats, glasses, masks or mustaches to your face

It’s always a good idea to keep up with the latest version of Zoom. For those of you operating with university-owned laptops or computers, please remember software updates may require admin privileges and thus require the assistance of your desktop support team.

Categories announcements, features