1. Using Polls in Your BBB Session
  2. Sharing an External Video
    1. To stop sharing external video/audio:
  3. Uploading Presentations in Your BBB session
    1. Navigating the Presentation
    2. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Your Presentation
    3. Annotating a Presentation
  4. Using the Multi-User Whiteboard
  5. Setting a Status/Emoji
  6. Creating Breakout Rooms
    1. Create a Breakout Room

BigBlueButton has multiple built-in tools that can be used to enhance student engagement, including:

Using Polls in Your BBB Session

To create a poll in your BBB session:

  1. Click the Plus button located at the bottom of the session window.
  2. Click Start a poll.                                                                                                                                                                                               
  3. Select the type of poll you would like to use. You can use preset poll types, such as true/false or 4 answer multiple choice polls, or you can create a custom poll.
  4. Create your poll questions.
  5. Prompt participants to answer the poll.
  6. When all or most participants have answered the poll, click Publish polling results and the poll totals will display in the session.

Sharing an External Video

Moderators or presenters can share external video/audio during a BBB session, such as Youtube, Vimeo, or direct links to .mp4 files.

→How to give a student presenter status in a BBB session

 NOTE: The video playback for shared external videos will not appear in processed BBB session recordings.

To share an external video in your BBB session:

  1. Join your BBB session and configure your audio.
  2. From within the BBB session, click the Plus button located at the bottom of the session window.
  3. Select Share an external video.                                                                         
  4. A window will appear prompting you to Share an external video. Paste your video url in the Add Video URL field.
  5. Click Share a new video.
  6. Your video will automatically begin playing in the presentation area of your BBB room and will be visible to all session participants (see example below).                     
    NOTE: Some students’ browsers may have auto playback turned off. They will need to click play to view the video.

To stop sharing external video/audio:

  1. Click the Plus button located at the bottom of the session window.
  2. Select Stop sharing external video.                                                                       

Uploading Presentations in Your BBB session

To upload a presentation (powerpoint, etc.) to your BBB session:

  1. Join your BBB session and configure your audio.
  2. From within the BBB session, click the Plus button located at the bottom of the session window.
  3. Click Upload a Presentation.                                                                                                                                 
  4. Click browse for files or drag and drop your presentation file into the upload area (see image below).             
    NOTE: Your slides will automatically be converted to a PDF once uploaded into BBB, but we recommend converting your presentation to a pdf before you upload to ensure your pdf slides are formatted the way you want.
  5. Once your file has finished uploading and appears in the list of files, click Confirm. Your presentation will load to the BBB session.

Navigating the Presentation

The presentation progress buttons at the bottom of the Presentation window allow the moderator to move through the presentation.

  • The forward arrow advances the slides.
  • The backward arrow moves the slides backward.

  •  The Slide menu in the middle displays your current slide and allows you to jump to any slide in the presentation. Click the arrow to expand a slide drop-down menu.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Your Presentation

Keyboard shortcuts help you manage your presentation more smoothly. Keyboard shortcuts can be accessed through the Settings Menu on the top right hand corner of the BBB window (See image below)

When you click on the Hotkeys button, a table of shortcuts and their functions appears (See image below).

Annotating a Presentation

Annotation tools allow the moderator to highlight and annotate slides in the presentation window.  The annotation toolbar is located on the right-hand side of the presentation window.

NOTE: Only the session moderator is able to annotate the presentation. You can allow participants to annotate the presentation by changing their role to presenter or by enabling the multi-user whiteboard.

See the screen shot below for a close up of the annotation tools:

Annotation tools and their functions are explained in the list below:

  •  The hand icon allows the moderator to pan and zoom in the presentation.
  • The pencil icon, square icon, triangle icon, circle icon, diagonal line icon, and T icon buttons allow the moderator to mark and annotate the presentation with text and graphics.

  •  The small circle icon allows the moderator to select different line widths for the annotations.
  •  The rectangular box icon allows the moderator to select a colour.
  • The backward arrow icon is an undo button that removes the most recent annotation.
  • The trash bin icon clears all the annotations added to the presentation.
  • The rectangular box icon with a curved line turns on the multi-user whiteboard on.

Using the Multi-User Whiteboard

The multi-user whiteboard is a great feature for engaging students in your BBB session. When you turn on the multi-user whiteboard, your session participants will have access to the annotation toolbar and can annotate the presentation area.

  • Click the multi-user whiteboard icon to enable/disable the multi-user whiteboard The icon will appear with duplicated whiteboards when the whiteboard is turned on

Annotating the Multi-User Whiteboard

You can access the multi-user whiteboard controls and annotation tools by clicking the tools icon

Setting a Status/Emoji

You can use an emoji to indicate your status to your session participants.  For example, you can indicate that you are away from the computer, happy, confused, or need assistance.

To set a status:

  1. Select your user icon (name) in the User List.      
    NOTE: If you do not see the User list, you need to expand it by clicking the toggle icon at the top-left side of the page
  2. Select Set status.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select one of the emoji options (see image below).  

The emoji will appearing your Use List icon (see example below of a “happy” emoji)

To Clear your status:

  1. Select your user icon (name) in the User List.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Clear status.                                                               

Creating Breakout Rooms

You can launch breakout rooms during your BBB session to facilitate small group discussions and student collaboration. Breakout rooms can be created and managed from your main session window.

Create a Breakout Room

  1. Join your BBB session and go to the User’s List on the left side of your session window.
    NOTE: If you do not see the User list, you need to expand it by clicking the toggle icon at the top left side of the page
  2. To the right of the Users List, click the Gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Create breakout rooms.            
  4. On the Breakout Rooms page, enter the following information:
    • Select the number of rooms from the drop-down menu.
    • Enter the duration (minutes).
    • Assign your session participants to a breakout room in one of the following ways:
      • To manually assign participants to a room, drag and drop users’ names from the not assigned field to a room number.
      • To randomly assign participants to a room, click Randomly assign.
        NOTE: Your session participants will be prompted to select a breakout room from a drop-down menu.
      • To allow participants to choose their own break out room, select the Allow users to choose a breakout room to join checkbox.              
  5. Click Create to instantly launch the breakout rooms.

A new breakout room window will automatically open with the “breakout room time remaining” displayed at the top of the window (see image below). 

NOTE: Resources created in Breakout rooms expire

Any resources created in breakout rooms such as Shared Notes must be exported before the breakout expires. Any resources in the breakout room will be deleted when the breakout room expires.The shared white board and any annotations cannot be exported in the current version of BBB.

Managing Breakout Rooms 

As a Moderator, you can manage your Breakout Rooms from your main session window. Once you’ve created Rooms, a Breakout Rooms tab will automatically appear above the User’s List on the left side of the BBB screen. This control panel provides an overview of all Breakout Rooms, including the number of participants in each Room and their usernames. You also have the following capabilities as a Moderator:

  • Join Room: Select this option to instantly join a Breakout Room. You will be prompted to join the audio upon entering the Room and will need to rejoin the audio in the main session upon leaving the Room.
  • Join Audio: Select this option to connect with audio only to a Breakout Room. This is a quick and easy way to converse with participants in a Room directly from the main lobby. BBB will use your audio settings from the main lobby, so you will not be prompted to configure your audio. When connecting to a Room with audio only, your user icon will appear in the Room’s User List as a telephone symbol.
  • End All Breakout Rooms: Select this option to close all Breakout Rooms early.
NOTE: The Public Chat and Shared Notes in the Breakout Room will disappear when the Rooms close.
Any content in a Breakout Room’s Public Chat and Shared Notes will be lost forever when the Rooms close, whether the timer runs out or the Rooms are closed early. If students are using these features to keep a record of their discussion, remind them to save their work by clicking on the menu button in the top right-hand corner of the Public Chat or Shared Notes window and selecting the save/export option.

Re-assigning Participants to a Breakout Room

If a participant exits a Breakout Room, they can re-enter the Room they were assigned to on their own. When Breakout Rooms are active, all participants have access to the Breakout Rooms tab in the main lobby but with different options. Participants can rejoin their Room by opening the Breakout Rooms tab and clicking on the “Join Room” link.

However, if a participant leaves and rejoins the session, or if they were not present in the session when the Breakout Rooms were created, they will need to be invited to a Breakout Room by a Moderator in the session.

To send a breakout room invitation:

  1. To the right of the Users List, click the Gear icon.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Breakout room invitation.                     

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