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INNER CIRCLE for small peer interactions during live meeting

I am a faculty at the Computer Science and Engineering Department of IIT Roorkee. We have a webex subscription and are encouraged to use the platform for taking our classes. I would like to suggest a new feature which would greatly affect the performance of students and overall engagements in any meeting. Following are the details.


In any meeting we require an option to create "INNER CIRCLES", which are subgroups that can themselves form as soon as the meeting starts. These subgroups may be formed by both the host or the participants. The key feature of these subgroups is that while the overall LIVE MEETING is going on, they would be able to interact via audio, video and chat within this INNER CIRCLE without disturbing the class. So they can choose to unmute themselves only for the inner circle or for the whole class. So it is distinctly different from the breakout session, as it has to interrupt the normal meeting. Think of this as a "breakout session type environment during the live meeting" that "does not interrupt the live meeting".

Think about sitting with your friends during a lecture, vs sitting alone during a lecture. You can always discuss with your friends during breaks, or before or after class. But what I want to simulate is the peer learning experience of friends/colleages while listening to the lecture.

Let me give another use case, while attending conference/talks, some of my colleagues participated in the session together as a group rather than individually, by displaying the lecture on the projector, with an option to also speak to the host if required. But during the lecture the amount of group interaction really improved the experience over individual sitting in their own room. This involved giving important comments as the lecture went on, clarifications etc.



This increases the peer interaction and the sense of community during a meeting, which is one of the key missing feature of online meetings over in person meetings. This for example can also be used prior to session start, and after the session ends to hang around with their circles and continue the conversations.

I would be grateful if you can develop this feature as soon as possible. Let me know in case you would like to discuss more about this.

  • Guest
  • Feb 7 2022
  • Future consideration
  • Curtis Cox commented
    18 Feb, 2022 05:57am

    I like this idea, but I can see problems with it. A person from the INNER CIRCLE could easily mistake the wrong buttons and interrupt the current presenter or possibly embarrass themselves with a comment that the whole meeting shouldn't hear. I see this with "private" chats often. Someone means to send a private chat to an individual but accidentally sends it to "ALL". This also happens in Outlook to when someone accidentally hits "reply all" instead of replying just to the author. I've seen people lose their jobs over this simple mistake. If this was implemented, there needs to be a pop up screen notifying a person in the "INNER CIRCLE" when they are commenting as to which unmute they are using. I believe a better solution would be a INNER CIRCLE group chat option. Just my two cents.