Canvas has a built-in web-conferencing tool called "BigBlueButton" that can be used for virtual lectures, virtual office hours, or anything else that would need synchronous interaction. BigBlueButton conferences allows up to 100 concurrent users at a time. You can record a conference, use the whiteboard function, add files, share your screen, conduct polls during conference sessions, and even use breakout rooms.
We recommend using Firefox or Chrome with BigBlueButton and do not recommend using Safari as it does not support screen sharing at this time. Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are not supported browsers for use with BigBlueButton.
*Please note that recorded conferences are stored in Canvas for 14 days and are then deleted automatically.
Why use it?
- BigBlueButton is available to ALL courses in Canvas, both distance and face-to-face classes!
- Intuitive to use thanks to simplified screen layout options.
- Conduct live virtual office hours to coach or tutor students in the use of online resources like databases and computer applications.
- Archive information sessions so that students can access them for up to 14 days after the session has ended.
- Breakout rooms are now available! You can create up to 8 at a time for students to share ideas in groups.
Keep in mind:
- Students must be invited to a conference in order to access it - conferences will not appear for a student unless they are invited to that particular conference.
- There is a no viewer limit per conference, but it is recommended not to exceed 100 viewers.
- Recordings of conferences are automatically deleted after 14 days.
- Uploading internal media content is not available, only sharing YouTube videos is available at this time. The screen sharing option does not transmit audio and has a reduced frame rate from the host, so we do not recommend sharing video via Canvas Conferences. External links in the chat window is the only method available to share media content that is not on YouTube.
BigBlueButton has developed a web-conferencing resource page that you can refer to in addition to the resources below.