Using Collaborate Breakout Groups During a Session

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Blackboard Collaborate has a 250 attendee limit. If you wish to use Blackboard Collaborate with more than 250 attendees view our guide.

Content coming soon… for now check out this Blackboard web page, this great guide from the University of Pittsburgh, and watch the video below.

Early notes on breakout areas:

  • If users leave a Breakout Group and different users then enter the Breakout Group (without them being “stopped” first), the new users can still see the files, drawing and text chat from the previous people that occupied the Breakout Group. Due to this, be careful if planning on using Breakout Groups for sensitive discussions.
  • The larger your cohort, the more difficult and time intensive it is to set up groups to have specific members in them, as opposed to randomly assigning members.
  • You can’t dictate which user goes into each Breakout Group in advance of the session, must be “on the fly”.
  • Can’t have more than 20 Breakout Groups in a single Collaborate session, and they’re turned off in the “Large Event Sessions” where more than 250 attendees can be present.
  • Being pushed in/out of Breakout Groups can cause users on slow internet connections to disconnect.
  • If you want to share files into Breakout Groups, an instructor needs to go back into main room (leave Breakout Group via attendee panel), push file from the share pane, then move back into the group post-event
    • can choose to share a file with one, some or all groups though which is nice (all groups easy done via tick box at top of page)
    • each room gets its own copy of the file, so drawings done by one group (or moving between slides etc) doesn’t impact other groups
    • users can “push back” the files in other direction, ie. back to main room, but drawings not carried over in transitions etc, just original file
    • Possible workaround:
    • No Breakout Group content should get recorded, if you’re recording a session it will automatically end when you start the Breakout groups (unless a moderator stays outside the groups in the main room) and you’ll have to start a new recording once the groups are finished if you wish to record that post-group content.