New breakout room functionality coming to Microsoft Teams

New Feature: Teams

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From Microsoft Corporation
Technical Bulletin MC247659

Message Summary

We announced breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams last fall (MC224343). We are adding persistent breakout rooms; the ability to reassign participants when rooms are open; and the ability for organizers to set timers for breakout sessions.

This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 81372

When this will happen

Rollout will begin mid-April and should be complete by late April.

How this will affect your organization

Organizers who are configuring and managing Breakout Rooms on a Teams desktop client will have access to these three options. For participants, the feature is supported by all devices and clients that support breakout room participation..

1. Room assignment retention (new default behavior)
Participants remain assigned to their breakout rooms unless the meeting organizer chooses to change them. The assignment persists across subsequent sessions or recurring meetings. 

2. Participant reassignment while rooms are open
Organizers may reassign joined participants across rooms and the main meeting room when the breakout rooms are open. Currently reassignment works only when breakout rooms are closed.

Breakout timer

3. Set timers for breakout sessions
Organizers can set a timer for all breakout rooms created in a meeting session via the Breakout rooms settings panel.

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When the organizer has set a timer, the clock will show participants the time left in the room (countdown) rather than time elapsed. 

The timer alerts participants that the breakout room session will close in 60 seconds. The organizer can choose

  • to automatically redirect participants to the main meeting room (auto-move On) or 
  • to provide participants with the option to return to the main meeting room or disconnect. Should the timer expire before participants take action, they will see an alert informing them that the session has ended which contains a button to return to the main meeting.

Notes:  

  • Once the organizer opens a timed breakout room, participants are invited to join; the timer starts when the first participant joins.
  • If no participants join, the breakout room will not open.  
  • If all participants leave a breakout room before the timer expires, the room will close automatically. 

What you need to do to prepare

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate. 

Learn more: Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings will be updated after launch.

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