On September 28th, Zoom rolled out a shiny new update that includes several features that will help you optimize the online teaching and learning experience for your students. These are features that were highly sought after in the summer – you asked, and Zoom listened!
A word of caution before continuing: In order for some of these features to work, the host and all participants need to have the newest version of Zoom. Find out more about how to update to the newest version here.
Self-Selecting Breakout Rooms
The newest version of Zoom supports participants’ ability to select which breakout room they would like to join. Instructors can allow participants to join these breakout rooms based on discussion topic, project subject, or area of interest, and students can move between them as they wish.
To set up your Self-Selecting Breakout Rooms:
- Click the breakout room button to create your desired number of rooms. Select “Let participants choose room”. If you select automatic or manual assignment, you can also turn on self-selection in the “Options” menu on the next screen.
- Create your rooms as you would normally. Make sure to rename these rooms based on the topic so students know where to go!
- When you open the rooms, participants will see the “Breakout Room” icon on their Zoom toolbar. When participants select that icon, they can choose which room they would like to join. The host is still able to assign participants as needed to breakout rooms.
- While in the breakout rooms, participants can click that icon again to move to a different room. Participants will be able to see who is in each room at all times.
Reordering Zoom Participant in Gallery View
With this new update, hosts can finally arrange participants’ video feeds in a desired order in the gallery view – and can even set that same view for everyone in the Zoom meeting! This feature will allow you to return to “around the table” style activities in your virtual meetings.
To reorder your participants’ in Gallery View:
- Drag and drop each video feed into the order you like. This can be done by the host or participant and will only affect each individual’s view.
- As the host, you can force your chosen video order for all participants. Click the “View” icon in the top right corner of your Zoom screen where you would normally select Gallery View. If “Follow Host’s Video Order” is checked, all participants will see the same order of video feeds as the host.
- As the host, you can return to the default order of video feeds by selecting “Release Video Order”.
How will you use these game-changing features to up your Zoom game?