1. Managing Viewers Audio (Mute/Unmute)
    1. Mute all users
    2. Unmute all users
    3. Mute an individual user
  2. Locking or Unlocking Features (Enabling Private Chat or Shared Notes)
    1. Lock or unlock a feature for all viewers
    2. Lock/unlock an individual viewer
  3. Assigning Presenters
    1. Assign a Presenter Role
    2. Take Back Presenter Status
  4. Creating Breakout Rooms
    1. Create a Breakout Room
  5. Closed Captioning
    1. Access Closed Captioning
  6. Ending Meetings

As the moderator of a BigBlueButton session, you have the following capabilities:

NOTES:
  • For instructions on how to create and join a BigBlueButton meeting room, see the Setting Up a BigBlueButton Meeting Room page.
  • If you are interested in using BBB in your course and want assistance, contact the Digital Learning Team at TLS by phone at extension 4433 or  visit the TLS support portal to complete a support request.
  • See the TLS Events page for information on upcoming online BigBlueButton workshops.

Managing Viewers Audio (Mute/Unmute)

Moderators can manage viewers audio by muting all users or muting individual users in the Users list on the left side of the session window. You may wish to do this if you want to turn off viewer’s microphones.

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

Mute all users

  1. Next to the Users List on the left side of your session window, click the Gear icon.                                  
  2. In the drop-down menu, select one of the following options:
    • Mute all users – Mute all users in your meeting, including presenters. Any users who join after this setting has been enabled will be automatically muted.
      NOTE: Applying the mute settings to users via the users list does not restrict their ability to unmute themselves.
    • Mute all users except presenter – Mute all users in your meeting except the individual with presenter status.
      NOTE: Moderators will also be muted but can unmute themselves at any time.

Unmute all users

  1. Next to the Users List on the left side of your session window, click the Gear icon.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Turn off meeting mute.                                                 

Mute an individual user

  1. In the Users List on the left side of your session window, click the name of the user you want to mute.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Mute User.
    NOTE: Even when muted, the user can still unmute themselves.

Muting When Not Speaking

It is considered a good practice to have users mute themselves if they are not currently the one speaking.This ensures that unwanted noises and sounds do not distract other users during the session. When it is time for a user to speak, they can unmute themselves, and then re-mute themselves when they are finished speaking.

NOTE: You want to make sure that your students perform an audio test as well. Testing the microphone and audio ensures that you and your students can successfully participate in the BBB session. Refer to the video tutorial for more information about setting up audio.

TIP: It is advised that students join the session with a wired microphone headset as this will allow them to participate with clean audio. In an emergency, users can dial in to access the audio portion of the BBB session. (See Phone Bridge below.) If the student is only experiencing an audio problem on their computer, they can watch the computer screen while listening/speaking using their phone. Should they connect by phone alone, they will not be able to view any visual presentations, use the chat features, or join Breakout Rooms.

Phone Bridge

The Phone Bridge is an alternative means of connecting to the audio in a BBB session and might be necessary if the user is experiencing audio or internet issues. It allows users to dial into the session by phone while staying connected visually over a computer.

The connection information can be found at the top of the Public Chat window for all viewers. There is a local Ottawa number and a toll-free North America number, and a conference pin that is unique to each BBB activity. When users dial in, they are prompted by the system to enter the conference pin followed by the pound (#) key. Once connected, the user can mute themselves by pressing “0”.

Users can also access the Ottawa BBB phone number and conference pin by clicking the “Join using your phone” link in the Audio Configuration/Echo Test window.

NOTE: It is possible to connect via the Phone Bridge to a Breakout Room, but the conference pin will be distinct from the main lobby. Users will need to call the BBB phone number again and enter the new conference pin.

Locking or Unlocking Features (Enabling Private Chat or Shared Notes)

Moderators can lock viewers to prevent them from accessing various features within BBB, including the user’s list, microphone sharing and webcam sharing. Certain features, such as Shared Notes and Private Chat, are locked by default and can be unlocked by a moderator once the BBB session has started.  Below you’ll find examples of situations where you may want to lock your viewers:

  • Lock the public chat to encourage verbal/microphone participation
  • Lock the ability to share webcams to encourage the viewers to focus on the presentation content
NOTE: The lock settings must be configured after the BBB session has started, not before. Each BBB session is created dynamically upon clicking the “Join”  link.  Once the BBB session ends, lock settings are forgotten by the system and will need to be reconfigured in the next session (if applicable).

Lock or unlock a feature for all viewers

  1. On the left side of your session window, click the Gear icon next to the Users List.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Lock viewers.        
  3. In the Lock viewers window, click the status icon next to a feature to set it’s status to locked or unlocked.  Once you have locked a feature, it’s status button will turn red. Unlocked features will appear green. (see screenshot below).                                                       
  4. When you have finished customizing your lock settings, click Apply.

Lock/unlock an individual viewer

  1. On the left side of your session window, click the Gear icon next to the Users List.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Lock viewers.        
  3. In the Lock viewers window, click the status icon next to a feature to set it’s status to locked or unlocked.  Once you have locked a feature, it’s status button will turn red. Unlocked features will appear green. (see screenshot below).                                                       
  4. When you have finished customizing your lock settings, click Apply.

Assigning Presenters

As a moderator, you can assign a viewer the role of a Presenter to allow them to control the presentation area.  A presenter can upload slides, annotate the current slide with the whiteboard controls, enable/disable multi-user whiteboard, start a poll, and share their screen. Once the presenter has finished their presentation, you can easily take back presenter status to regain control of the presentation area. There can only be one presenter at a time.

Assign a Presenter Role

  1. Go to the Users list on the left side of your session window.
  2. Click on the name of the user you would like to assign as a presenter (See example below).
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Make Presenter.                                                              

Take Back Presenter Status

  1. Click on your name in the Users List or the blue + icon at the bottom of your session window.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Take Presenter Role.

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.                     

Closed Captioning

Moderators can use the live closed captioning feature to allow students with audio accessibility barriers to engage in the BBB session. You can also export your captions and save them to your computer. If you have recorded your BBB session, you can download your BBB recording in Brightspace and upload your recording to MediaSpace to access automatic machine transcriptions.

NOTE: This is not an auto captioning  feature so manual text input is required. You may need a volunteer to type the captions during your session. You then assign this person as the “captioner”.

Access Closed Captioning

  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 Write closed captions.
  4. In the Closed captions pop-up window, select a language for closed captions within your session (English is selected by default).                                 
  5. Click Start.
  6. A Captions editor will open in the menu on the left side of your screen (see screenshot below).  Type your captions in the text area.                   
  7. To enable live captioning during your session, click the Closed Captioning (CC) icon at the bottom of the presentation area. You will be prompted to customize the text colour, background colour, font style, and font size for your captions.           
  8. When you have finished customizing the appearance of your closed captions, click Start. Your closed captions will now appear live in the presentation area as you type them in the Captions editor (See example “Welcome” text below).    
NOTE: Your Closed Captions (CC) icon will appear blue while live captioning is enabled (See screenshot above). Click the icon to disable live captioning at any time.

To export Closed Captions:

  1. Open your Captions editor on the left side of your session window.
  2. Click the import/export icon (reverse arrows) at the top of the text editor.
  3. Select one of the following document format options for your exported file:
    • HTML
    • Plain text

Your .html or .txt file will automatically begin downloading to your computer

To upload a BBB recording to MediaSpace:

See the Add New Media page for uploading instructions. Once your recording has been uploaded to MediaSpace you can display the captions in the video player and download the transcripts. The machine transcription will automatically appear in the video player after the caption server has processed them.

Ending Meetings

Only moderators can end a BBB session for all viewers.

To end your meeting:

  1. Click the settings menu (see image below) on the top-right side of your session window.  
  2. In the drop-down menu, select End Meeting.
  3. You will be prompted with the message “are you sure you want to end this meeting” , then click Yes.

You will automatically be taken back to your BBB page in cuLearn where you first joined the session. If you recorded your session you will now be able to access your recording in brightspace. 

The video tutorial below provides an overview of your capabilities as a moderator, including how you can mute/unmute users, assign presenters, create breakout rooms for student discussions, and share your screen:

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