Breakout rooms need some more features to be useful

I used the breakout rooms feature for a workshop in our company. It worked, but its still a bit cumbersome to use as soon as you have more than around nine participants / three breakout rooms. This needs to be implemented for this feature to be actually useful:

  1. I need to be able to assign participants to breakout rooms beforehand and then send them to their designated rooms with one click when we reach a certain point in the agenda. Currently it is awkward for them watching the moderator fiddle around with the interface because he has to send them to rooms one by one in real time.
  2. And also please make that possible with drag and drop instead of always having to open “…” menus.
  3. For breakout rooms where it isn’t important how participants are matched, a shuffle function would speed things up even more.
  4. This also needs to work the other way around. With one click I want to pull them all back into the main room, without having to click every single breakout room separately.
  5. I need to be able to talk and write to all participants while they are in breakout rooms, for example to tell them how much time they have left for a session, without joining every single room one after another.

If you need inspiration on how to implement this from a GUI perspective place take a look at whereby: https://whereby.com/blog/introducing-breakout-groups/

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I wonder how this would work seeing as Jitsi’s model is basically founded on the principle of least surrender when it comes to user data. Unless you’re implementing an authentication service like LDAP, users have no presence in the Jitsi ecosystem until they actually join a Jitsi meeting and even then that presence is transient. So when you say “beforehand”, I don’t know if you mean before the meeting starts (impossible unless using a service like LDAP) or during the meeting but before the point of breaking out (which still poses the awkwardness concern that you mentioned).

It’s important to note that participants can enter Breakout rooms on their own. So to sidestep the potential awkwardness of watching the Moderator fiddle with assigning people to rooms, a Document with room breakdown can be created beforehand and shared with participants at breakout point so each participant goes to their assigned Breakout room on their own.

Breakout rooms even in its current state is very useful now; yes, it can benefit from improvements and enhancements which the team has already committed to, but it’s very useful now, even in its current state.

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With beforehand I meant that after participants joined the main room, I tell them to do some brainwriting on Post-Its on a Miro board. While they are doing that, I want to assign them to breakout rooms, but they still stay in the main room. After all are done with the task, i tell them the next instructions an then want to send them to their rooms with one click.

Thanks for the feedback, we are already planning on addressing some of these.

We already have an auto-assign button. Is that not it?

Chat might be attainable, but I don’t think we can do audio / video. In order to exchange audio / video you need to be in the same meeting, and breakout rooms are their little parallel universe.