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Learn about Activities and Breakouts

Using activities during your trainings gives you an interactive way to engage your attendees and can be a revolution in how you conduct your training exercises. You can have your attendees collaborate in real time on a shared Google Doc, watch a video, view an uploaded material – all while you monitor their progress and provide guidance. You can even split your attendees into smaller groups (called "breakouts") for separate discussions or activities.

Don't forget to take a look at Tips for successful activities before launching your first activity!

Note: This feature is only available for organizers on GoToTraining Pro and GoToTraining Plus plans.

Topics in this article:

How it works

Using activities with or without breakouts

Available activity types

Tips for successful activities

System requirements for activities

How it works

When an organizer starts an activity, other participants in the training will be launched into the activity as follows:

  • Desktop attendees who joined using the desktop app will see a new browser window and launch them into session using the Instant Join app. The desktop app will continue running the main training session. Once the activity ends, the Instant Join app will quit and they can return to using the desktop app.

  • Web attendees who joined using the Instant Join app will be automatically switched to the activity within the same browser tab. Once the activity ends, the Instant Join app will switch them back to the main training session.

  • Mobile attendees who joined using the GoToTraining apps for iOS or Android will be launched into the activity on a new screen within the app. Once the activity ends, they will be returned to the main training session.

  • Co-organizers will not be launched into the activity. Instead, they can click the Choose an Activity button in their Control Panel to view the Activity Center page and help the organizer facilitate the activity.

    Note: Any attendees who join the training while an activity with 2+ breakouts is under way will be launched into the main session rather than being directed into one of the breakouts. Attendees who were promoted to organizer during the session are not launched into the activity and are not able to access the Activity Center page.

Using activities with or without breakouts

When you are setting up activities, you will have the option of keeping all of your attendees together or splitting them up into small groups.

  • Activities with all attendees:
    You can choose to launch your activity with your entire group of attendees participating in the same activity together. To use this option, you can select "Everyone" from the drop-down menu when setting up your activity.

  • Activities with breakouts: 
    Instead of keeping all attendees together to participate in an activity, you can choose to split them up into smaller groups called "breakouts" (up to 6 breakouts available). In this case, attendees will be launched into the activity in their respective breakout groups.

    Note: Desktop and web attendees must be running Google Chrome in order to join activities that use breakouts.

Available activity types

GoToTraining offers multiple types of activities for you to choose from, each of which engages your attendees in different ways. You can switch to a new type of activity at any time during the session!

  • Collaborate on a shared Google Drive file
    Have your attendees work together on a Google Drive file (such as a Google Sheet, Google Doc or Google Slide). They can edit it together during the activity, and then you can share the completed file with them after the session. See Collaborate on a Google Drive File (Activities) to learn more!

  • View a video, PDF or image
    Stream a video for your attendees, review a PDF or show an image on their screens. If you select this option, students will see the file in the same way that they view a Presenter's shared screen. See Share a Video, Image or PDF (Activities) to learn more!

  • Break into groups with audio only
    Divide your attendees into smaller groups (known as breakouts) for separate discussions. In this case, nothing will be shared on the browser screen for attendees while they chat.

    Note: This option is only available if you select 2 or more breakouts.

  • Break into groups with screen sharing
    Divide your attendees into smaller groups (known as breakouts) for separate discussions. In this case, desktop attendees will be able to share their screen with the other members of their breakout. Note that unlike when in the main session, attendees in breakouts won't need to be made the Presenter before they start screen sharing.

    See Share Your Screen (Instant Join App) to learn more about attendees sharing their screens from the Instant Join app.

    Note: This option is only available if you select 2 or more breakouts. Mobile attendees will not be able to see the shared screen.

Tips for successful activities

In order to ensure a seamless experience for your attendees when you launch activities, please take a look at the following recommendations: 

Pre-session tips for organizers

  • Make sure you have a Google account set up if you want to allow students to collaborate on a Google Drive file.
  • Make sure you have your Google Drive file set up prior to the training so that you don't have to create it while attendees are waiting. See to Collaborate on a Google Drive File (Activities) learn how!
  • Ensure that your attendees are all prepared for the activity by making them aware of the in-session tips below.

In-session tips for all participants

  • If you plan to use breakouts, then all participants should have Google Chrome set as their default browser (otherwise they will be prompted to switch when the activity is launched).
  • It is highly recommended that all participants connect to audio via mic and speakers (VoIP) so that their audio connection is transferred seamlessly and they do not need to complete extra steps to dial in via phone.

Please see System requirements for activities for more information.

System requirements for activities

ActionCompatible operating systems
Organizers 
Launch an activity

Desktop app v6.5.5, b2982 or later

Google Chrome v31 or later (recommended)
Mozilla Firefox v34 or later
Internet Explorer v10 or later
Apple Safari
Opera

Join a breakoutGoogle Chrome v31 or later
Attendees 
Join an activity (without breakouts)

GoToTraining app for iOS*
GoToTraining app for Android*
Google Chrome (recommended)
Mozilla Firefox v34 or later
Internet Explorer v10 or later
Apple Safari
Opera

Join an activity with 2+ breakouts+

GoToTraining app for iOS*
GoToTraining app for Android*
Google Chrome v31 or later+
Mozilla Firefox v34 or later (Linux only; no computer audio)

* If mobile attendees wish to collaborate on a Google Drive file (rather than view only), they must use the corresponding Google app to do so.

+ When an activity with breakouts is launched, desktop attendees who do not have Google Chrome installed will see a message directing them to install it in order to join. They will also see a Join URL that they can copy/paste into the Chrome browser to automatically be launched into session.

 

Related

Activities Help and FAQs

Start an Activity

Collaborate on a Google Drive File (Activities)

Share a Video, Image or PDF (Activities)