The new breakout sessions feature on WebEx is really great! For a quick overview you can watch the five minute video above by Wendy James.
When you get into WebEx the host will now see a "Breakout" drop down menu at the top of your screen.
This will only be seen by the host or cohost. To assign cohost capabilities to others in the meeting the host.can highlight a person's name in the left-hand participant window, circled below in red. Then select the "participant" drop down menu. Down near the bottom of the menu is the "change role" function, circled in yellow. The host can then change a highlighted participant's role to presenter, host, or cohost, by selecting the role, as circled in red.
Once someone is assigned as cohosts they too should have a "breakout" dropdown menu, which they did not have before.
When you click the Breakout menu, select enable breakouts, which should be the only thing in the menu enabled.
Once selected a "Breakout sessions" button will pop up at the bottom of the window, highlighted below.
The breakout drop down menu will now have "Breakout Session Assignments" enabled:
You can assign from either the drop down menu above or the breakout session button. Once selected a pop window will appear:
You can choose the number of rooms you want and then choose "Automatically" or "Manually" and then click the big blue button which will take you to the next screen:
This window will show you who is assigned to which room and if anyone is not assigned. A host or cohost you can join any of the rooms.
If you click "settings" a menu will pop up which will allow you to set up the length of the breakout sessions and the length of the countdown. The shortest time you can predetermine a breakout session to be is five minutes. However, you can always bring everyone back midway through by calling everyone back. Once you have everything set up how you wish click the "Start breakout session" button. Once the button has been selected all participants who have been assigned to room will get the following pop window:
When a participant clicks "join now" they will be taken from the main room/sessions and shunted to their breakout session.
It should be noted that if someone is calling in they will not be able be assigned to a breakout session. However, if you leave some people unassigned those who are calling in and those unassigned can treat the main room as a breakout session.
Also, if you are recording the session the only thing being recorded is the main room, you may want to pause recording at this time.
Once the participants are in a session the host can "broadcast" a message to all sessions, a particular session, or a particular participant within a session. This can only be done by a host and not a cohost. In order to do this the host will find the broadcast ability under the "Breakout Session" dropdown menu.
Once it has been selected the broadcast window will pop up. If you want to broadcast to a session press the "All sessions" button and it will show you the names of the particular sessions. To find a particular person you would click the "All participants" menu.
Once the message has been broadcast it will look like this to those who have been assigned to see it, (note, the host does not see the broadcast):
When participants are in a session they can ask for help. This will notify the host that a certain room is asking for help and give the host the option of going to their room. The "Ask for help" button is at the top right corner for participants, next to the count down.
At the assigned time a countdown menu will pop up
The host, or cohost, can also close all session at any time by hitting the big red "End all breakout sessions" button.
When you press that button a window will pop up:
This will give you that chance to change your mind.
Participants can also choose to leave the session, or the meeting, in the breakout sessions by clicking the red circular button.
When the red circle button is selected the following pops up giving the participant the option of canceling, leaving the session, or leaving the meeting: