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BigBlueButton Basics

  • Teaching Assistants will appear in the user panel as moderators. Learn more about the moderator role in BigBlueButton.
  • The Locking viewers option allows you to prevent students from from accessing the specific items (e.g., If you do not want students chatting while you are talking, you can lock chat).
  • Changing the presentation slide forces a change for viewers. Students can only see the slide the presenter has up and cannot go to other slides on their own.
  • Every window can be maximized.
  • Public chat can be cleared, copied, or downloaded by clicking the options icon in the upper right of the public chat panel and selecting your desired action.

    Private chat with a single user can also be started by clicking on the user  in the user panel > start private chat.


  • Disabling all audio can be done by clicking user settings  > mute all users.


Recording Conferences

Conferences can be recorded and saved by checking the Enable Recording box during setup, then within the conference select the record icon at the top of the screen to start the recording.

Select this icon again to stop recording.
Keep in mind:

  • After a few minutes of processing, the recordings will be available on the BigBlueButton page under "Concluded Conferences" (an email will also be sent).
  • Recordings will capture presentation, chat, and webcam windows.
  • Recordings are only stored in Canvas for 14 days. After this time, they are automatically deleted.

For more information see How do I record a conference? [Canvas Community]

Using the screen sharing feature

  1. Select the screen sharing icon at the bottom of the screen to prompt the start of BigBlueButton screen sharing.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to launch.
    • Please note: The program will time out shortly after an unfinished initiation, so be prepared to immediately start screen sharing or you will have to restart the program.
    • In the screen sharing launch menu there are options to either use full screen or only a particular window on the screen for sharing. If you want to only share a specific window that is open on your monitor, select that window in the drop-down menu.
    • The Presenter's Preview window will stay up and show on the viewers' screen until it is minimized.
  3. Select the screen sharing icon  again to stop sharing your screen.

For more information see How do I share my desktop in a conference as a presenter? [BigBlueButton]

Uploading files and presentations

Click on the blue plus sign "actions" button in the lower left of the main Conference screen, then select upload a presentation in the menu that appears.

Keep in mind:

  • Students must be a presenter in order to upload an item, however, all viewers can download the current presentation.
  • This is useful if presentation materials are needed for course progression or for an instructor to save and grade later.
  • Uploaded PowerPoint presentations will convert to PDF and do not maintain animations. You can also use this to upload more blank slides (blank PowerPoint slides).

For more information see How do I upload a presentation? [BigBlueButton]

Using the Presentation feature

You can recreate an environment similar to in-class presentations by making a student a presenter. Instructors can select students to present by clicking their name in the users panel and selecting the make presenter option.

The instructor can change to a different student presenter by selecting the make presenter option on a different student's name. To go back to the instructor as presenter, click the instructor's name and select the make presenter option.

For more information see How do I give/take presenter status? [BigBlueButton]

Using the Polling feature

Click on the blue plus sign "actions" button in the lower left of the main Conference screen, then select Start a poll from the menu that appears.

The BigBlueButton polling feature allows different poll options that can then be published into the presentation screen after students vote. The live poll will appear at the bottom of the window for students to view and cast their votes.

For more information see How do I start a poll in a conference as a presenter? [BigBlueButton]

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  • 26-Sep-2022