I recently polled the students in my introductory environmental science course (flipped classroom structure) about their experiences and thoughts on how my synchronous virtual Zoom classrooms are working and a common theme was that the although the active learning (Poll Everywheres & breakout rooms to work on problem sets) was very helpful participation during breakout rooms (I aim for 3-4 students/room) was sometimes good and other times poor. I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts/recommendations to improve engagement in breakout rooms. The problems/questions they work on in breakout rooms are relatively “simple” so I only give them ~ 2 min to discuss so me popping in randomly to rooms isn’t really feasible. I’ve also considered pre-assigning students to groups that they keep for the semester in hopes that they get more comfortable with their group but the trade-off is that pre-assigned groups could end up with very few members on a given day depending on attendance. I know there’s probably no silver bullet for this problem but would like to hear from others about what has worked for them.