BigBlueButton Schooling (Level B1)


BBB goes UdK (a little narrative)

in 2011 informed about BBB's existence by my Paris PhD. supervisor

raised little interest back then because BBB's use of "Flash" technology

February 2020 :: realization that BBB moved from Flash to HTML5

March 2020 :: instance 0 deployed at

May 2020 :: bbb.medienhaus modified to support UdK's LDAP

June 2020 :: digital sandpits @ bbb.medienhaus

October 2020 :: another instance ( administered by Viktor and Ronald joins the club

Autumn 2020 :: interconnection with other BBB-positive high education institutions (Beuth, Humboldt)

November 2020 ::

December 2020 :: :: a stable, UdK-wide solution

from 2021 onwards :: the ball is in Your playground

BBB competence reference framework

inspired by Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  1. Level A1 : user (browser, link, room, echo test, webcamera, chat, shared notes, status icons)
  2. Level A2 : presenter (screen-casting, shared whiteboard, presentation upload, video sharing)
  3. Level B1 : moderator
  4. Level B2 : room operator (Greenlight)
  5. Level C1: system administrator
  6. Level C2: cluster artifex

auto-catalytic system: one should be able to teach levels below (at B1, You should be able to teach A2 etc.)

ACHTUNG, Baustelle!

Level B1

At level B1, You are able to:

  • describe main advantages of BBB
  • explain main concepts
  • apply "There's more than one way to do it" (TIMTOWTDI) approach
  • invent new use cases
  • help others & prevent errors
  • develop Your own on-line teaching style

Advantages of BBB 

local (lower latency, smaller CO2 trace, more robust to unpredictable changes)

open-source ("security by transparence", community driven, integratable in other hybrid projects)

browser-based (no need to install an "app")

built for on-line learning

contains all necessary features You know from elsewhere (Break-out rooms, Telephone call-in) + some more

Advantages of BBB :: Features

(server-based) Record & generate MOOC-like videos/podcasts with one single click

(server-based) sophisticated room access and user-management system (Greenlight)

(client) shared notes / Etherpad (anonymous!)

(client) presentation upload, sharing & underlining

(client) shared whiteboard

(client) sharing videos

(client) polls / surveys

(client) You can maximize any videostream of Your choice

(client) to some extent, You can configure layout of Your workspace

Request into plenum

If there is any advantage or feature which BBB has but I did not mention, please write it into the chat.

Main concepts

User roles, their visual representations (circle, square, blue icon) and associated functions

Participant (A1): Turn on audio, video, chat, shared notes, modify layout, change status 

Presenter (A2): screencast, upload / modify /move in presentation, share external video, start survey

Moderator (B1): break-out rooms, take & give moderator/presenter, mute meeting, save user names, download notes / chat log, end meeting


TIMTOWTDI 0 :: Sharing Videos

1st approach : open video on Your local computer and screencast the app/full screen

DO NOT DO THAT (it's amateurish)

2nd approach : put a video on a publicly available URL (YouTube & Vimeo are good by default) and use presenter's "share external video" functionality

Hack 0 :: Sharing Videos from UdK cloud

In case You uploaded Your video file in UdK cloud, create a share link for the file (e.g. " "), then add the "magic suffix" 
to obtain the URL (e.g. "") which You subsequently paste into "share external video" in BBB.


TIMTOWTDI 1 :: Presentations

1st approach (in case You have a static PDF, PPT, DOC file) :: upload presentation

advantages :: works directly from BBB; You (&potentially other people) can underline; people can download presentation file

disadvantages: takes time to upload & convert; no moving content; no HTML5

ACHTUNG, BUG: in case of non-standard aspect ratios (like weird Excel sheets, for example) internal conversion to PDF may lead to documents which are only partially visible

2nd approach (in case You have more dynamic presentation or use some cool HTML5 approach) :: screencast

advantages :: few limits to Your creativity

disadvantages:: no in-BBB underlining, no collaborative whiteboard

Help others & Prevent errors

when someone's audio is "choppy", tell him/her to connect through cable or do telephone call in

think thrice before You click on "end meeting" and give moderator rights only to people who also think thrice

be aware of "mute" and "kick" functionalities. In the best of all possible worlds You do not need to do them but sometimes You can save somebody from quite "peinlichen" situation

Invent new use cases

BBB's N of multimodal features can often be combined with other features, allowing You to generate incredible amount of scenarios. Many of them are quatsch, some of them open new horizons, majority of them is still to be discovered and explored. Examples:

synchronic (all together) reading / singing / writing

diachronic (one after another) reading / singing / writing

a good old "Being nominated I now nominate" introductory game (in bigger groups, make sure to ask people to change their status icon after being nominated)

free associations (either transparent in chat or anonymous in shared notes)

collaborative scribbling and underlining

collaborative ASCII art in Etherpad

You name it...

Develop own teaching style

Personally, my teaching toolkit consists of:

"natural" background (there are ways how to setup a virtual background, google for "bigbluebutton hintergrund")

"theory" of Ausatmen / Einatmen course setup (thanks, BZHL!)

a useful Ausatmen approach: Break-out room

frontal teaching :: screencasting & commenting Kastalia KMS knots opened in a dedicated browser tab

discussions with students & giving presenter to them to make them lead the dance

little bit of collaborative reading, little bit of external video watching (also to fill pauses)

between seminars, we principially use Matrix rooms (medienhaus/ and baumhaus) to communicate in a less synchronous manner

What about Your own BBB teaching style ?

How would You do a 45 min presentation about BBB ?


Thanks for Your attention.