Breakout Rooms are smaller rooms created in a meeting to divide people into groups. A lot of offices consider them the breeding ground for creativity as dividing people into smaller groups helps them break out of their shyness and brainstorm effectively. Hence a lot of office projects and meetings require them. Breakout Rooms also enjoy immense popularity with teachers who need smaller groups so students can complete group assignments.
Unfortunately, Google Meet does not have the inherent functionality for Breakout Rooms. But that doesn’t mean that Google Meet users cannot create Breakout Rooms in meetings. As Breakout Rooms are nothing more than smaller meeting rooms, it does not take much to create them.
We have a detailed guide on how you can create Breakout Rooms using only Google Meet and Google Slides. But it does take some time to set it up.
Google Meet Attendees & Breakout Rooms is a Chrome extension that simplifies the process of creating breakout rooms for you and doesn’t take up much of your time either. It’s a good thing extensions exist! You can choose which method to use based on what suits your taste better.
Install the Google Meet Breakout Rooms Extension
Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for Google Meet Attendees & Breakout Rooms or click here.
Now, click on the ‘Add to Chrome’ button to install the extension.
A confirmation dialog box will appear. Click on ‘Add extension’ to confirm the installation.
Note: Google Meet Attendees & Breakout Rooms extension requires the use of another popular extension: Google Meet Grid View by Chris Gamble. Many users might already have it, but if not, go on and install it. It’ll only take a few seconds, and it’s non-negotiable.
How to Create Breakout Rooms
Start/ join the meeting on Google Meet after you have installed both extensions otherwise, you will have to reload the website and re-join the meeting.
Click on the extension icon on the meeting toolbar on the upper right corner of the screen.
The main menu for the extension will open. Before creating breakout rooms, you must capture the attendance once as it takes names from the attendance list to assign them to the groups. Click on the ‘Refresh’ button to take attendance. It might take a few seconds to display the names of all meeting attendees.
Once the attendance list is displayed, click on the ‘Show group generator’ tab at the bottom of the menu.
The Breakout Rooms menu will expand on the left of the main menu. Choose how many groups you want to create from the drop-down menu and click on ‘Generate Groups’.
It will generate the groups, and attendees will be allotted to them randomly. Click on ‘Copy groups’ and ‘Copy meet’ one by one, and send the copied information in the meeting chat. That is, first send the group information and then the meeting links in the chat.
Then instruct the meeting attendees to see which group they have been assigned to and join their room accordingly by clicking the Google Meet link.
To join the Breakout Room yourself, click on the group number in the generated groups, and join the meeting.
Managing the Breakout Rooms
The breakout room organizer will face one problem that is easily solvable for other meeting participants: the sound from all the different meetings.
Other meeting participants will only be a part of the original meeting and the breakout room they have been assigned to. They can easily mute one until they need to go back to it. But for the moderator who has to be present in all the rooms, the solution isn’t that simple. Or is it?
It is! Instead of going back and forth on all the meeting tabs to mute and unmute their microphone, you can mute the other tabs quickly without having to switch them with this trick.
Right-click the tab with the meeting you want to mute and select ‘Mute site’ from the context menu. Repeat it with all the other meetings except the one you are currently a part of. Then when you want to switch meetings, mute the one you are leaving and unmute the one you are joining from the right-click menu. It will take a lot less time than having to open all tabs.
Don’t let the limitations of the platform you’re on from engaging in group activities, especially during these trying times when it’s more important than ever to find ways to have fun. Download the extension and create breakout rooms in formal and informal meetings.