What is BigBlueButton?
|BigBlueButton (BBB) is a web conferencing tool for hosting virtual classroom meetings. Instructors and TAs may use it to conduct live classes, tutorials, office hours, and similar meetings. But instructors may also create BBB activities as a space for you to connect with your fellow classmates and coordinate group projects.
Users can communicate through audio and/or webcam and make use of numerous collaborative features, such as public chat, a group note-taking tool, and a shared whiteboard. Additional features include Breakout Rooms for small group discussion, as well as a variety of presentation tools. (Please note that not all features may be enabled in your session.)
If your instructor has created a BBB session for your course, you can access the activity and the videos for any recorded sessions through your Brightspace course page.
We recommend the following for full access to BBB’s features:
Make sure that the Operating System is up to date. (Check here for a list of other supported devices and their requirements.)
|Only Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge (Chromium version) support full BBB functionality.
Make sure that your browser is up to date. Check these links for instructions on how to manually check for updates:
|Internet Connection / Bandwidth:|
|Minimum 2Mbps download and 2Mbps upload. (Check your internet speed here.)
For a more reliable and stable connection, we recommend connecting to your router/modem directly via Ethernet if possible.
|Use a wired headset with microphone, if possible.
Internal laptop microphones are often of low quality, can pick up ambient noise, or are positioned such that they loop the audio from the laptop speakers. Using a wired headset will provide much cleaner and clearer audio.
|Step 1. Locate your BBB session in Brightspace|
|Step 2. Join your BBB session|
|Step 3. Connect your audio in BBB|
Step 3: Connecting your audio in BBB
|Upon joining a BBB session (or Breakout Room), you will be asked to configure your audio. This process must be completed in order to hear or speak in the session; do NOT close or exit out of the audio settings window. [For a better audio experience, we recommend using a wired headset.]
There are two main ways to participate with audio in a BBB session, and one emergency option:
Listen only: BBB will use your system’s default speaker only. You will be able to hear audio in the session, but you will not have the ability to participate over microphone.
Microphone: BBB will use your system’s default microphone and speaker for the session. You will be able to both hear and speak to others in the session. To connect:
Refer to the video tutorial below for an overview of what you will see when you enter the session and your capabilities as a viewer. For further support, refer to the BBB resources below for instructions on sharing webcams, joining breakout rooms, and more.
Your capabilities and the features available to you depends on your role in the BBB session. There are three role types: Viewers, Moderators, and Presenters. By default, students are assigned as Viewers (indicated by a circle user icon), and instructors and teaching assistants are assigned as Moderators (indicated by a square icon).
|For more information on the features available to each role type, see the BigBlueButton Instructor Support page.
Watch the presenter/moderator video tutorial for an overview of the features you will have access to if, for example, you are giving a presentation in class.
3a. Features for Viewers.
|This feature allows you to stream the image from your computer device’s camera in the BBB lobby. The webcam feature is enabled by default for all participants in a BBB session. [See below for instructions on changing your view of other participants’ webcams on screen.]|
|The Breakout Rooms tool creates separate sessions within a BBB meeting for small group activities, such as content discussion, brainstorming, peer review, and debates. Depending on the settings the instructor chooses, you may be assigned to a Room or asked to choose your own.|
|Status icons are symbols and emojis you can use to give non-verbal feedback in a BBB session, whether in response to a prompt from the instructor or even just to indicate your mood. When activated, the symbol/emoji will appear within your User Icon and remain there until either you or the instructor resets your status.
Among the various options (e.g., thumbs up/down, happy face, confused face, etc) is the option to Raise your hand, just like you would in a face-to-face classroom.
|The whiteboard tool can be used for collaborative annotation (drawing, writing, etc) on the BBB screen using your mouse or a graphic tablet. If you have joined the session from a device with a touchscreen, you can use your finger or a stylus to write on the screen.|
|This tool is for posting messages, comments, questions, etc that are visible to everyone in a lobby.
|The Private Chat feature creates a closed conversation between you and the instructor, teaching assistant, or any other moderator in a session (i.e., participants with square user icons).
By default, you can engage in a Private Chat with session moderators only. But your instructor may enable the Private Chat feature for everyone.
|The Shared Notes is a writing space intended for real-time, collaborative note-taking where participants can add and modify content.
All participants can view the Shared Notes. However, by default, editing the Shared Notes in the main lobby is limited to moderators (i.e., participants with square user icons, such as instructors). Your instructor may enable editing for all participants in the main lobby.
Everyone can view and edit the Shared Notes in Breakout Rooms.
|BBB sessions may be recorded for you to consult later. The recordings are viewed through a BBB interactive player that displays the slide presentation, webcams, and a scrollable “real-time” Public Chat window.
|For assistance with your computer’s settings and device support (e.g., browser privacy, etc), please reach out to ITS Student Support.|
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