How Do I Pre-Assign Students to Zoom Breakout Rooms in a Canvas Course?

Breakout rooms are a great way to allow students to engage in small groups while in a Zoom meeting. Being able to setup breakout rooms and assign your students to the them in advance, makes using breakout rooms easier. This guide assumes that you have activated the Zoom tool in your Canvas course and have already created at least one meeting that you wish to pre-assign breakout rooms to. While you can create your meetings using the Zoom tool for Canvas, you will need to go outside of Canvas to create your breakout rooms.

  1. To setup breakout rooms, log into your Zoom account profile at
  2. Click on Meetings in the left-hand navigation column.
    Zoom Meetings Page
  3. Under the Upcoming Meetings tab, locate your meeting (assuming you've already created the class meeting in Canvas).
  4. Click on the title of the meeting where you will create breakout rooms. This will bring up a meeting information page.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the meeting information page and click the Edit button.
  6. If this meeting is part of a recurring set of meetings (such as class meetings), you will be asked if you wish to apply these changes to all of the meetings, or just the single instance. You must select "All" when creating breakout rooms.
    Single or Recurring Option
  7. After making your selection, scroll down the page and locate the Meeting Options section. 
  8. Check the Breakout Room pre-assign check-box to see your options.
    Breakout Room Pre-Assign
  9. Two options will appear for creating breakout rooms:
    • +Create Rooms will allow you to manually create rooms and add members to each room by typing-in their email addresses.
    • Import from CSV accepts a list file that you will have setup using Excel. (For this guide, we'll focus on how to Import from  CSV)
  10. Begin by downloading and saving the breakout room template to your computer.
  11. Open the breakout room template in Excel (see example below).
    • You'll see that there are two columns: "Pre-assign Room Name" and "Email Address". 
    • Notice that each participant's room assignment is located in the column adjacent to their email address. Thus, "" and "" are both in "room1" while "" and "" are in "room2", and so on.
  12. Taking care to leave the column headings unchanged, enter the email addresses of your meeting participants in the Email Address column.
    • Pro Tip: A quick way enter email addresses is to download your class list as a spreadsheet from MyDU and then copy/paste the email addresses from there into the template.
      • After downloading, open the class list.
      • Select and copy all of your students' email addresses.
      • Switch to the breakout room template and paste the copied email addresses into the Email Address column.
  13. Now you can begin entering the room names into the Pre-assign Room Name column. Again, be sure to leave the column heading unchanged.
    • While, you can give the rooms any name that you wish, keeping the names short will help you type them quickly and consistently ("Room1", "Room2" and so on).
    • Rememebr, participants who will be assigned to the same breakout room should have the same room name adjacent to their email addresses in the Pre-assign Room Name column.
  14. Save the changes and close the document.
    • When saving, Excel may ask if you wish to save the document in Excel format.
    • Decline this suggestion so as to keep the document in the required .csv format.
  15. Return to the edit meeting page and click on Import from CSV.
  16. When the import window opens, you may either drag & drop your .csv file in, or browse to where it is saved.
  17. In a few moments, the Breakout Room Assignment window will appear and you will see the names of your rooms.
    • Clicking on a room's name will display the email address of the individuals assigned to that room.
    • If you wish to move participants to different rooms, move your mouse over their email address to see the "move" option.
    • Participants without existing DU Zoom accounts will not be included in the breakout room pre-assignment.
  18. Select Save to close the Breakout Room assignment window.
  19. Finally, in the edit meeting window, select Save again to preserve your changes and close the window.

Note that when pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms, you can only include people with existing Zoom accounts. Please encourage your students to log in to (Links to an external site) where their Zoom accounts will be automatically generated.


Article ID: 102426
Sun 3/22/20 12:50 PM
Mon 4/6/20 11:03 AM