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Managing breakout sessions

From: Up and Running with WebEx Training Center

Video: Managing breakout sessions

If your instructional design calls for small group discussions and activities, you'll be glad to discover that WebEx Training Center allows you to divide participants into subgroups or breakout sessions in which they'll have all the features of a regular WebEx session, but in small groups. Breakout groups take a few minutes to set up and can be challenging for participants to use, especially if they're not familiar with things like uploading files, Application or Desktop Sharing, Whiteboard tools, or managing audio controls.

Managing breakout sessions

If your instructional design calls for small group discussions and activities, you'll be glad to discover that WebEx Training Center allows you to divide participants into subgroups or breakout sessions in which they'll have all the features of a regular WebEx session, but in small groups. Breakout groups take a few minutes to set up and can be challenging for participants to use, especially if they're not familiar with things like uploading files, Application or Desktop Sharing, Whiteboard tools, or managing audio controls.

Be sure to provide a tutorial on these features and clear instructions for the activity before you send participants to the breakout sessions. Breakouts are best used for challenging activities that require group discussion and problem solving and will take longer than 10 or 15 minutes. If your activity is shorter than 10 minutes, you might find that you spend more time getting into and out of the breakouts than you spend using the breakouts. In that case, please consider completing the activity with the whole group instead.

This next activity requires us to have breakout groups set up and available in the Participant view. By default, Breakout group panels do not show on the right side of the Presenter's screen. I'll choose More options and controls from above the panels on the right side of my screen. Then I'll choose manage panels. I'll click in the Available panels list on the left side and select Breakout Session. And then click Add to add Breakout Sessions to the panels available on the right side of my screen.

When I click OK, I now have a Breakout Session panel button at the top of my screen. When I click the Breakout Session button, the Breakout Session panel opens below. From here, I'll click the Breakout Assignment button to open a window that gives me the opportunity to add sessions and assign attendees to those sessions. I'll start by clicking the Add Session button, and by default the first session is numbered Breakout session 1. I'll click Add Session again to create Breakout session number 2, I'll click Add Session again to create Breakout session number 3.

In order to move participants into the breakout groups, I'll choose each attendee name on the left side of the screen, then select the breakout room number on the right, and I'll click this arrow button that points to the right to assign this participant to this group. Continue to do those steps until every participant is separated into the Breakout session. I'll move Bob to Breakout session number 1. I'll move Greg to Breakout session number 2.

I'll move Joe to Breakout session number 2. I'll move Liz to Breakout session number 1 and I'll move Sue to Breakout session number 2. Because I have a small group of participants today, I'll opt not to use breakout session 3. I can also put a Panelist or Presenter into the breakout group to serve as a support person for the participants as they start. But notice by default, the first person I moved to the breakout group has been given the designation of Presenter.

When the Breakout groups begin, these participants will have access to the WebEx tool, the same way a Presenter typically has access. But because they'll be in their own session room, their activities will occur independently of each other. When I click on OK I see the names organized in the breakout session panel in the lower right corner of my screen. But participants have not yet been moved to the breakout groups. As I scroll down, you can see that each participant is displayed in the group that they were assigned to.

You want to make sure you set up participants in their Breakout sessions at the beginning of your class or allow yourself a few minutes on a break or prior to the start of the Breakout sessions so that you can assign people to the appropriate groups with plenty of time. It is possible for you to create Breakout assignments prior to the start of your WebEx session, but participants will need to have registered for the session so that you can see the names that will be used. Before you send participants to the Breakout groups, be sure to give them clear instructions about what they'll do when they get into the sessions.

For instance, Agnes and Greg will have leadership roles and will be expected to complete activities on behalf of the group. Once the breakout activity is over, they'll also be expected to report back to the group and share the results of their assignment. So make sure they know what their assignment is and how to complete the activities. For this activity, I want to give my participants instructions about what they'll do with their Excel Worksheet.

This assignment has them creating formulas, copying formulas, totaling, saving the file, and then reporting back to the whole group. In this case, I'll also want my leaders to have access to an Excel file that they can work with directly. I can use File Transfer to load the file and allow them to download the file on their local machines. I'll go to the File menu and choose Transfer; I'll click Share File to select the file that needs to be shared.

I'll navigate to the file and then remind participants to click on the Breakout Activity filename and click the Download button. So Greg and Agnes, please be sure to click the filename listed and click Download to save that file to your local drive. When you're finished, close the window. Once the participants have completed the assignment, you'll want to End All to bring participants back to the main session room.

So I am going to click the End All button. The screen will change for the participants and when we are back in the main room it'll be useful for us to debrief the activity to discuss what went well and what questions the participants still have at this time. Provided Greg uploaded the Excel file to his Breakout Session room, we'll be able to bring the content into this main room by using the Breakout > Share Breakout Session Content.

Select the Presenter whose content you want to share and click on OK. You'll see a dialog box that says, A request has been sent to Greg Thomas to share breakout session content. I'll click Yes. The participant will have a dialog box that says You've been asked to share your content. He'll choose the file to share by clicking on the check box to the left of the filename and click on OK. In the main room I now see a new tab across the top of the screen with Greg's file displayed.

And by clicking that tab, I now see the content from Greg's session room. And I can see that Greg and his team Chris and Sue got the assignment right. So at this point I can wrap up the activity, I can review things that may have been confusing to the participants. I might talk about the formatting of this cell; I might also want to call on Agnes to share the content from her session room. So using Breakouts is an excellent way to give participants an opportunity to work in small groups, to complete a task, and to report back to the main group when they're finished.

Remember, it does take a bit of setup. Only use breakout activities for those assignments that warrant the setup necessary.

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This video is part of

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Up and Running with WebEx Training Center

58 video lessons · 6609 viewers

Karen Hyder
Author

 
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  1. 1m 47s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. What you need to know
      45s
  2. 11m 25s
    1. Introducing WebEx and registering for a session
      2m 57s
    2. Joining a session
      1m 37s
    3. Setting your preferences
      3m 52s
    4. Accessing the downloadable tools
      2m 59s
  3. 27m 27s
    1. Creating an instant session
      2m 21s
    2. Scheduling and setting up a training session
      1m 36s
    3. Selecting audio conference settings
      2m 22s
    4. Setting a session's date, time, and occurrence
      2m 34s
    5. Scheduling in-session hands-on labs
      51s
    6. Requiring registration
      2m 6s
    7. Inviting attendees and presenters
      2m 59s
    8. Setting session options and customizing a greeting
      3m 18s
    9. Setting up breakout sessions
      1m 12s
    10. Editing email options
      3m 33s
    11. Setting session information and adding course material
      1m 30s
    12. Adding tests
      1m 29s
    13. Saving settings as templates
      1m 36s
  4. 12m 39s
    1. Logging in from email
      2m 30s
    2. Introducing the WebEx user interface
      1m 7s
    3. Understanding WebEx panels
      2m 55s
    4. Sending and receiving chat messages
      3m 13s
    5. Viewing preloaded content
      2m 54s
  5. 12m 59s
    1. Logging in as a host and adjusting the session
      2m 20s
    2. Creating tests
      2m 43s
    3. Modifying session settings
      4m 11s
    4. Assigning participant privileges
      3m 45s
  6. 19m 42s
    1. Understanding the Participant panel features
      3m 21s
    2. Using emoticons to engage participants
      4m 17s
    3. Activating audio and video controls
      3m 2s
    4. Changing participant roles
      2m 21s
    5. Inviting and expelling participants after the session has started
      2m 12s
    6. Using the Q&A panel
      4m 29s
  7. 40m 37s
    1. Uploading files and polls to share
      6m 10s
    2. Displaying slides and animations
      3m 2s
    3. Annotating slides and whiteboards
      6m 48s
    4. Presenting audio and video files
      2m 12s
    5. Sharing a live application
      8m 56s
    6. Enabling a user to control a shared application remotely
      3m 21s
    7. Showing a poll question and its results
      5m 51s
    8. Transferring files to participants
      1m 53s
    9. Sharing a web site
      55s
    10. Sharing web content
      1m 29s
  8. 12m 45s
    1. Understanding telephony and VoIP audio
      5m 34s
    2. Starting the audio conference
      1m 44s
    3. Testing and troubleshooting audio
      3m 20s
    4. Understanding web camera video options
      2m 7s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Using polls to support interaction
      2m 21s
    2. Creating and saving poll questions
      4m 0s
    3. Customizing poll settings
      2m 41s
    4. Downloading the WebEx Poll Questionnaire Editor
      2m 39s
  10. 8m 19s
    1. Managing breakout sessions
      8m 19s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Recording sessions
      5m 28s
    2. Managing network-based recordings
      4m 13s
  12. 2m 31s
    1. Ending a session and saving files
      1m 3s
    2. Reviewing the session files
      1m 28s
  13. 2m 0s
    1. Next steps
      2m 0s

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