Note - While the functionality still exists to pre-assign students to Breakout Rooms as described in this article, faculty are now mostly using the self-select breakout rooms as it is easier to implement.

We recommend managing Breakout Room enrollments directly within your Zoom meeting as explained in Creating Breakout Rooms in Zoom. However, for large class sizes (50+) where you have pre-defined groups, you may find benefit in creating those Breakout Rooms ahead of time.

Before beginning, note that you may see some inconsistent behavior when you pre-assign. A Zoom requirement to being able to pre-assign someone to a Breakout Room is that they have an existing Zoom account. Your students are not required to have a Zoom account to join meetings however. Many will and this functionality will work fine but it won’t work for those that don’t.

For those that can’t be pre-assigned, you’ll be able to manually add them to their group when the meeting starts.

Pre-assigning students to Breakout Rooms cannot be done within the D2L Brightspace interface and will require you to go to the Zoom website to manage.

Once a meeting has been scheduled (ideally within D2L Brightspace), to add Break Out rooms to a meeting go to

After signing in, select Meetings under Personal, A list of your meetings will appear. Hover over the meeting you would like to add the breakout rooms to and click Edit.

Zoom Edit Menu
Click the Show link next to Options at the bottom of the settings page.

show options

Once the option menu is expanded, click on Breakout Room pre-assign.

breakout options

Two options will appear + Create Rooms and Import from CSV

Reminder: You can only pre-assign participants that have a Zoom account.

Option 1: Pre-assign participants directly in the web portal

Select Create Rooms and press the ‘+’ icon to add a Breakout Room.
With that Breakout Room selected, start typing in a student’s name in the ‘Add Participants’ area
If they have an existing Zoom account, they can be selected and added to the room.

pre-assign manual
Option 2: Pre-assign participants via a .csv file

Selecting the Import from CSV will automatically create Breakout rooms and assign members to each room.
Select the blue download the template link or you can download it here.  Once you have created the file, select browse to choose and upload the file.

pre-assign csv

Note that this option will import all email addresses and allow them to be pre-assigned regardless of whether they have a Zoom account or not. Again, once the meeting starts, if they don’t, they simply won’t automatically be assigned to their Breakout Room.

When Your Meeting Starts

  • If a participant joins before you (the host), they will be automatically assigned to the breakout room you specified when scheduling the meeting. 
  • If a participant joins after you (the host), they will not be automatically assigned to the breakout room you specified when scheduling the meeting. Revert to pre-assigned breakout rooms to assign participants to their pre-assigned breakout rooms.