The Web Conferencing Activity provides a simple way to integrate Big Blue Button web conferences into a LAMS sequence.
Web Conferencing is a web service that provides document, whiteboard and desktop sharing through a browser environment, which means that there is no software to download for attendees.
A video user guide for Web conferencing is available here.
Setting Up Big Blue Button Web Conferencing and LAMS
Installing Big Blue Button
Big Blue Button is available as a VMWare based virtual image. This means that the Big Blue Button installation can be run from any operating system.
- A user guide for installing the VMware appliance is here.
- VMWare Player can be downloaded from here.
Daniel Schneider also provides this good tutorial on how to install Big Blue Button.
Once you have a Big Blue Button Server up and running, there are several configuration changes in LAMS that are required.
You will need to have System Administration privileges to perform these changes.
If you are not the system administrator, contact the person who is.
- Select System Administration
- Select Tool Management
- Scroll down to Web Conferencing Tool and select Tool Management
- Enter the security salt and URL of the Big Blue Button server and click Save.
Big Blue Button Authoring
In LAMS Authoring, you can change the title of the Web Conference, as well as the instructions presented to learners. The Instructions text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image, Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions area.
The text you enter for the web conference in the Authoring space will appear to learners like so:
Big Blue Button have published some great video tutorials about the available features of their software, and how to use them. Click here to view them…
Launching the Web Conferece
In sequences that contain a Big Blue Button web conference, a monitor must launch the conference before it can be accessed by Learners.
Here are the steps to do this:
- Launch the sequence containing the BBB if you haven't done so already.
- Open the Monitoring environment for the sequence.
- Select the 'Sequence' tab — it's the second one along.
- Double click on the Big Blue Button conference.
- In the new window that opens, select 'Start Conference'
- The Big Blue Button applet will load in a new window.
Usually, the conference should be started by the person delivering the slides or lecture, however you can transfer presenter privileges once a session has commenced.
Once the conference has loaded, Learners will be able to access the session.
Until a Monitor initiates the BBB session, learners are presented with a message that says:
The Web Conference is not available yet as your instruction hasn't started. Please see your instructor for further details.
Ending a Session
At present, Big Blue Button conference sessions will end and reset once the initial presenter exits the session.
Big Blue Button are working on a session record feature which will be released soon.