Wimba - Breakout Rooms

        Teaching Synchronous Online Course Sections







Wimba Classroom is web-based virtual classroom used to communicate with students and participants over the internet in a synchronous environment. It can be used to collaborate via chat, microphone, or webcam and share applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint. Entire sessions can be archived for distribution at a later time. This guide will help instructors split up their participants into separate breakout groups.









Using Breakout Rooms

What Are Breakout Rooms

There are times in a live classroom where an instructor would like to break up the class into groups. Each group can work on the same problem or case file and after a set amount of time, each group can come back to the main class and discuss their results.

Inside a virtual Wimba classroom, this can be achieved with Breakout Rooms. Breakout rooms allow a presenter to assign participants to a private, virtual room. Any number of participants (and other presenters) can be moved into one or several private rooms. Once there, these participants can chat or use their microphones to communicate privately. They will also have access to limited presenter tools.

Once finished, you can move everyone back to the main Wimba room to discuss their results.

The Breakout Rooms are truly private, archiving does not record anything that happens in the Breakout Rooms.

Manually Move Participants to Breakout Rooms

Select the Breakout Rooms tab at the top-right of the Wimba classroom to see your Breakout Room options.

To manually move participants or presenters (or yourself) to a breakout room, simple grab their name from the list under Main Room and drap them onto one of the Breakout Rooms. Their name will now appear underneath that Breakout Room and they will hear an audio message stating that they have been moved. They can now chat and speak and only other people in that Breakout Room will hear them.

Repeat this process to move all the participants into the Breakout Rooms you desire them to be in.

To manually move a participant back to the Main Room, simply drag their name back up to Main Room. To do this to each participant may take a while, so their is an automatic way to move everyone at once.

To create more Breakout Rooms, use the link at the bottom of the Breakout Room tab, 'Add a Breakout Room'

Automatically Move Participants to Breakout Rooms

Select the Automatic link at the top of the Breakout Room tab

This will give you the option to automatically distribute the entire class of participants to a set number of breakout rooms. However, this distribution is random.

If there are participants in Breakout Rooms, a second option will light up allowing you to move everyone back to the Main Room. This is a faster way of getting a large class back into the main room.

If you have moved participants to a Breakout Room once, and then moved them back to the main room, the third option will light up. This will allow you to automatically place people back into the Breakout Rooms they were previously in. Note that is does not remember these groups from day to day.

If You Need Help

Guides, contact information and other help can be found at ETSU's Wimba page: 


A more in-depth presenter guide can be found at this URL, explaining the Wimba classroom with its tools and options in greater detail: http://webhelp.wimba.com/WC/v6_1/Presenter_Guide/


Wimba’s support center can be located here: http://d2.parature.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8052


Wimba offers 24/7 support by phone: (877) 382-2293.

Instructor: Anthony Kiech  |  423.439.8611  |  elearning.etsu.edu  |  ats@etsu.edu