Richard Faber
Nov 13, 2020 · 3 min read

Engaging Zoom Rooms

Topic: Student Engagement in Zoom Rooms

Zoom and Google Meet breakout rooms have been a game changer for improving student engagement! In a matter of seconds you can create perfect little chat rooms for students to share their thoughts, feelings, and knowledge on any topic you throw their way. It all seems so simple except when the rooms go silent.

Unless you want to bounce from room to room and facilitate each discussion, you are faced with the daunting task of making sure that student engagement actually occurs.

Here are some tips to ensure communication takes place that improves student engagement in any breakout room:

  • Assign a room leader (oldest, youngest, largest street address, birthday coming up next, you get the idea)
  • Their role is to keep the room on task, assign roles, and they are the spokesperson who will report back to the main class at the end of your assignment
  • Have the rooms post their work using Padlet (I love the shelf format, see picture below). Each room gets a heading, requiring different ways they have to respond (i.e., voice over, videos, text). The class can see the progress of each group in real time

Picture: Padlet Shelf Format to Engage Students

There is no magic formula to guarantee full student engagement in a break out room. If you want to improve your chances of success with your students, make sure you have spent some time building relationships. All of those ice-breakers, getting to know activities, and team building exercises will pay dividends in these rooms.

The challenge is modifying your existing activities to work in the virtual setting. You can also find new ways to accomplish your goals. Start here with the picture below.

Picture: 10 Online Ways to Build Student Relationships

When students feel connected, they will feel comfortable and your rooms will not be so silent, maybe they will even be engaged!

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