Students should get to pick who’s in their breakout room

Tabitha Peacock, Staff Writer

 

We all know the awkward silence that fills the air when we are placed in a breakout room with people we don’t know. I swear, the tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. So, how can we solve this problem?

The answer is simple: let students pick who’s in their breakout rooms with them.

Now, I know what people are thinking—“Well, they won’t get any work done”—and sure, maybe they’re right. Maybe all the students will do the whole time is talk about their weekend plans or gossip about the latest tea.

Perhaps, though, being with friends will actually help students get their work done. Being with people that they communicate with easily can help them get their work done quicker.

In the case of letting kids pick their own breakout rooms, things could go one of three ways: 1) the students goof off or don’t communicate and thus don’t get any work done, 2) the students feel comfortable with one another and get their work done, or 3) a mix of both.

For students that don’t get to pick their breakout rooms, however, there are two likely outcomes. They could either sit silently and wait for someone to speak up first or awkwardly speak over one another, occasionally throwing out a “Noyou go first.” Either way, not much work gets completed.

The odds are better of getting work done in the breakout room that students get to choose. Not to mention, students might have a little fun while doing it.