The simple answer is to engage attendees in a way that creates deeper learning. Virtual classrooms promote interactivity and collaborative learning in many different ways. Breakout rooms are one of the most effective. They allow attendees to reflect on key learnings in a smaller and less structured environment. Breakout group outcomes can be recorded in several different ways and shared when the full meeting reconvenes.
- Use breakouts for brainstorming. Set the same brainstorm questions for each group and compare and build on the results in a plenary follow up.
- Use breakouts for group projects. Assign attendees to groups prior to the start of the synchronous session and set a task for the group to complete during the breakout session.
- Use breakouts to deepen key learnings. After you've presented ideas on a topic ask each breakout group to identify its two or three most salient takeaways to share with the full session.
- Use breakouts to debate key points. Introduce an issue. Divide the session into an even number of breakout groups and assign half the pro side of the issue and the other half the con side. At the end of the breakout session ask each group to share its strongest argument to support its assigned position.