Staff Guide: Canvas groups to Zoom breakout rooms

Canvas has a group creation functionality that allows a tutor to place students in a combination of groups. These are called group sets. Within these groups the students can collaborate and socialise through organised activities or by creating and managing their own processes.

Zoom has breakout rooms which allow students to work collaboratively in groups in a Zoom meeting. Zoom has a function to allow staff to upload a formatted CSV file with the group combinations for the breakout rooms.

The following process allows staff to maintain the same group combinations when in either system helping to create relationships and improving the student learning experience.

Please note no more 200 participants can be pre-assigned to breakout rooms.

Video version of this guide

Canvas groups to Zoom Breakout Rooms

Stage 1. Creating the Zoom meeting in Canvas

Please follow these steps to create a meeting in Canvas

 

Stage 2. Downloading the file from Canvas

1. Go to My Canvas Admin in Canvas
2. Search for the module you wish to export the groups for using the 'Filter’ function.

 

My Canvas Admin showing filter function
Fig 1. The My Canvas Admin interface showing the filter function

 

3. Use the cog button for that module and select ‘Student Groups’

 

Fig 2. Interface showing the cog (settings) button and the selection for ‘Student Groups’
Fig 2. Interface showing the cog (settings) button and the selection for ‘Student Groups’

 

This will download an excel spread sheet containing the following columns;

  • Student name,
  • Course,
  • Category,
  • Group,
  • Person number,
  • and Email

The Category column can be used to identify the required group set in Canvas, for instance Seminar Groups or Tutorial Groups. The Group column contains all the titles for the groups in that group set for instance Seminar group 1.

Please note: this can take some time depending on the number of students on the module.

 

Stage 3. Updating the Zoom file from Canvas

You now need to copy some of the information from the Canvas file you previously downloaded into the file to be uploaded into Zoom.
1. Download this Zoom file
2. This file contains two columns, Pre-assigned room and Email Address, and some sample data.

Fig 3. The Zoom Excel spreadsheet showing the two columns.
Fig 3. The Zoom Excel spreadsheet showing the two columns.

 

3. Copy the group column from the Canvas file for the group category you wish to use. Fig 4 shows the selection for the category ‘Seminar’.

Fig 4. The Canvas Excel spreadsheet showing the category and Group.
Fig 4. The Canvas Excel spreadsheet showing the category and Group.

 

4. Paste this into the first column in the Zoom document taking care not to delete the column heading.

Fig 5. The Zoom Excel spreadsheet showing the new data in the first column
Fig 5. The Zoom Excel spreadsheet showing the new data in the first column

 

5. Copy the email from the Canvas File and replace the emails in the Zoom file email address column in the same way.
6. Save the Zoom file.

Stage 4. Uploading the file into Zoom

Now the file has been created, you can upload it into Zoom.

1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal using the SSO option with LJMU as your institution and your usual username and password.
2. Click Meetings and find the meeting you wish to add the pre-assigned breakout rooms to.
3. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Import from CSV.

Fig 6. Interface showing the pre-assigned breakout rooms uploading process
Fig 6. Interface showing the pre-assigned breakout rooms uploading process

 

4. Browse to select the file you have just created.
5. Upload and Zoom will verify that the rooms have been allocated.

These groupings will now be ready for you to use once you start your Zoom teaching session, under the breakout rooms button.

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