Participating in a Breakout Group

We have customized our courses to allow for various levels of participation that align with your interests and schedule. Each live session includes 60–90 minutes of teaching plus an additional 30 minutes of discussion in small, personal Breakout Groups.

Joining a Breakout Group

During a live session, when it is announced that Breakout Groups will soon start, there is nothing you need to do. You will be placed into a group automatically. If you are connected via Zoo, a pop-up window will appear on the screen, and you will need to accept the invitation to join the specific group. If you are connected via phone, you will be added to the group without an invitation.

Joining the live session after Breakout Groups have begun

It is fine to join a live class late while breakout groups are already in session. Please know that it will take some time for us to locate you and place you into the best group. After you are connected to the conference line, please allow 30–60 seconds of silence before "raising your hand" or trying again.

If you believe that you have not been connected with others, or if you need other technical assistance while Breakout Groups are in session (e.g. extraneous noise which interferes with conversation), "raise your hand" on the Zoom console and an assistant will be with you as soon as possible.

Generally, any Breakout Groups that occur during the class time proper will be short (10 minutes or less), in contrast to the 30 minute maximum Breakout time after class ends.

Troubleshooting Tips for Zoom & Phone Breakout Group Access

If you are having trouble getting into a Breakout Group during your Zoom Interactive Meeting, here is some information that should help you next time:


  • If on a computer, you will be invited to “Join Breakout Rooms” so please click the JOIN button. (If you miss the prompt, you can always find it on the lower right of your Zoom interface.)
  • You can control your video and audio settings once you’re in your groups, so please feel free to turn on your camera and microphone!
  • Once in your breakout group, you can click the “Ask for HELP” button at the bottom of the Zoom window or, for iPad users, the top left corner. PLEASE NOTE that there is only one person who can respond at a time, so if you get the message that the host is busy, fret not; we have made a note and will join you as soon as possible.
  • You will see a 60 second countdown when the breakouts are ending and be automatically returned to the Main Room.


  • If joining by phone, you don’t have to worry about clicking anything, as you will be automatically placed in a group. Please wait to be added.
  • If you need assistance, please press #9 on your keypad, understanding that it may take several minutes for the host to get to you.
  • You will be brought to the Main Room after the Breakout Group completes.

For more information about using Zoom, please click on the Zoom Support button on your Course Homepage, or read through our TECH & ZOOM SUPPORT articles.

Click here to contact Customer Support.

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