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Canvas users – Hosting an online meeting with Big Blue Button (‘Conferences’)

Posted at 1:06 p.m. March 4, 2020, by in Canvas, Online, Sakai

BigBlueButton (BBB) is a synchronous web conferencing tool that is built in to Canvas. You can easily launch a web conference and invite your class from within your course site.

Launching a BigBlueButton web conference from Canvas

  • Make sure the Conferences tool is enabled in your course (under Settings > Navigation; find Conferences in the bottom section and enable using the 3-dot icon).
  • Click on the Conferences tab.
  • Click the +Conference blue button in the upper left.
    • Enter a title for your conference; example: 1/29 Class makeup
    • Make sure “Enable recording” is selected if you would like to record your conference.
    • Select “Invite All Course Members” (or de-select to invite specific students) and click update.
  • To begin the conference: Click the “Start” button that appears under “New Conferences” in your Canvas course.

Using BigBlueButton

BigBlueButton runs within your browser and upon launching the conference, your screen should look like the image below. Each of the tools is described below the image. Or, watch the appropriate video below the image and tool annotations for further instruction.(click the image for a larger version)

1 – Users: your students will appear here. Click the cog/gear icon to the right of Users and click “Save usernames” to download a list of everyone in attendance. You can also mute all users from this menu (useful if there is a lot of audio feedback).

2 – Public chat: use the < icon in the upper left to collapse this widget. Students can use this area to share questions with you and the class.

3 – Main screen: this is where your slides will display once uploaded (see #4 on how to load your slides)

4 – Blue circle with plus sign: click to upload your presentation (PDF recommended; it’s best to upload this as soon as you enter the conference)

5- Start Recording: Make sure to click this to begin recording the conference! You can end the recording from this area as well.

6 – Bottom icons: toggle webcam/microphone on or off; start screensharin

7 – Three dots in upper right: Click this to access “End meeting.”

Using BBB & ending your Canvas conference (and where to find your recording!)

Icons made by Madebyoliver from