How to Use BigBlueButton

Using the free web-based BigBlueButton video conferencing tool, course and group admins can create, plan, and hold live audio and video conferences with up to 50 participants.

Note: Schools that have their own Premium licensing with BigBlueButton also have access to an additional set of features.

Install the App to Your Courses and Groups

Install BigBlueButton from the Schoology App Center directly to each one of your courses and groups. Only course and group admins can create and start a video conference, but by default all course members can participate. To prevent other members from participating in video conferencing, select Course admins only when installing the app.

System Administrators may also install BigBlueButton to all courses or groups within their district. From the App Center on the Home screen, the admin can:

  1. Select the BigBlueButton app in the app center.
  2. Choose Add to School.
  3. Return to the main App Center screen and select School Apps from the top of the screen.
  4. Configure the app for all courses or all groups within your district.

Create a Video Conference

If you are the course or group admin you can create a new video conference after installing BigBlueButton:

  1. Click the BigBlueButton app in the left menu in a course or group where it is installed.
  2. Name the conference and set its start time. You can also include an optional end time.
  3. Use the gear  to the right of a specific conference to edit the title, start, and end times.

Create as many conferences as you like. A list of upcoming conferences displays in the app, and BigBlueButton stores completed conferences for 7 days.

Note: Users in schools with Premium Tier BigBlueButton licenses do not have the 7-day limit and may access recorded sessions at any time after they are posted.

 

Conducting Your Video Conference

As the admin for your course or group, you must click the Start Conference button within the app to begin the video conference. Even if the Start Time has passed, your conference will not begin until you start the session.

Upon launching or joining a video conference, BigBlueButton opens in a new tab. Follow the prompts to test your audio and microphone.

During a BigBlueButton conference you can:

  • Record a live video conference.
  • Upload documents and teach using an interactive whiteboard.
  • Make live annotations.
  • Chat instantly with all attendees or individuals.
  • Moderate the live discussion by muting participants and allowing them to raise their hands.

Joining a Video Conference

After you begin a video conference, course and group members can join your session by:

  1. Clicking BigBlueButton in the left menu.
  2. Selecting the title of the video conference.
Notes:
  • Members can only join sessions with a status of In Progress, which indicates that the Admin has started the session.
  • Up to 50 course or group members can participate in a conference simultaneously.
  • The number of participants who can share their webcam depends on the user’s bandwidth.  
  • Admins in schools with Premium BigBlueButton licenses may also invite guests into a session via an invite URL, or post a dial-in number to the voice conference bridge.

Ending the Video Conference

To end the video conference, the course or group admin must select End Conference within Schoology. Participants can exit a conference by closing the browser  

BigBlueButton saves recorded sessions for 7 days. To view a recorded session during this time, select the Completed tab within the app and click Play.

Notes:
  • Users in schools with Premium Tier BigBlueButton licenses do not have the 7-day limit and may access recorded sessions at any time after they are posted. 
  • It may take several minutes for recordings to appear in the Completed area.

To delete an Active or Completed conference, click the gear icon to the right of the conference and select Delete.

If you have questions regarding your video and audio configurations, or to view a full tutorial of the app, visit the BigBlueButton Video page.

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