BigBlueButton 2.4 will bring with it many usability and engagement improvements. See below for all of the forthcoming features/changes.
Ability to extend the duration of ongoing breakout rooms
As a moderator you can see the Extend button at the bottom of the Breakouts panel:
Selecting it will display the controls to extend the breakout room time by five or minutes or longer.
The time is added to all running breakout rooms.
Ability to set the name of the breakout rooms as you create them
When creating breakout rooms you can edit the name of each room
Reduced mirror effect when sharing screen
Up to and including BigBlueButton 2.3.x the HTML5 client would show mirror effect to the presenter when the presenter was sharing their entire window. This caused confusion and was often interpreted as a bug.
In BigBlueButton 2.4 we have introduced a simplified screen which informs the presenter of which window is shared, without creating a mirror effect.
Recording’s public chat includes polling result
Meetings which included polling have improved poll results summary in the recording.
Recording’s public chat includes links to external videos shared in the meeting
Meetings which included external video sharing (YouTube, Vimeo, etc) have links to the video resource in the recording’s public chat.
Moderator messages in the public chat are easier to distinguish
Chat messages sent by moderators stand out in the public chat, allowing to be distinguished easily. The emphasis is optional (settings.yml chat parameter
Webcam background blur
In the webcam preview window prior to sharing webcam you can select between several backgrounds (or no background blur)
No blur (default)
Replacing the background
Blurring the background
Improved Layout Manager
Under Settings there is a new section of controls related to layout. A dropdown allows for the selection of one of: Smart Layout, Focus on presentation or Focus on webcams.
Focus on presentation - webcams are visible but more compact, allowing for the majority of the area to be reserved for the presentation. Focus on video has the reverse effect - the presentation is visible but on small area under the chat.
Presenter can set viewers’ layout
The presenter has an extra set of controls in the Settings modal. Aside from being able to set their own layout, there is an extra option to “push” that layout to the rest of the participants in the meeting.
Learning DashboardAnchor link for: learning dashboard
Teachers (moderators) are able to monitor student’s (viewers) activity throughout the session. The Learning Dashboard gives moderators an additional full-page, live view (updated every 10 seconds) of user activity that includes
- When they joined the session
- How long there have been in the session
- Time talking
- Time sharing their webcam
- How many messages, emojis, and raise hand events
- current status (online/offline)
- Response to all polls
Moderators (teachers) can use this dashboard to track student engagement during the session, aswering questions such as
- How long has each student been in the session?
- How has been active in the session?
- What was the responses to previous polling questions?
Moderators can launch the Learning Dashboard by selecting “Learning Dashboard” under the gear icon.
The learning dashboard is under active development. Here it shows three (3) participants, two (2) polls, one raise hand, and overall activity score (calculated based on who is most active in talking, chatting, responding polls, using emojis, and raising hands).
This screen shot shows the overall Active Participants (sorted by name)
This screen shot shows each user’s response to polls. Note: Anonymous is for any poll that the instructors indicated would be anonymous and not track user’s responses.
For a video overview of Learning Dashboard see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZrNYSxIIYk.
Hide voter’s name from moderators
BigBlueButton 2.4 supports pseudo-anonymous polls - meaning polls for which the presenter/moderator is not informed about the voting option of the viewers. Server administrators (anyone with access to the BigBlueButton server) can still find information to connect the answer to the user. Big thanks to @tibroc and @schrd who sent pull requests for this feature!
Set the poll to be “anonymous” when creating it:
Voters will see that it is anonymous:
The presenter will not know who voted what:
Indicate who is sharing webcam
BigBlueButton 2.4 introduces an indicator for users who are sharing their webcam. This is particularly helpful when webcam pagination is enabled there is no way of knowing whose webcam you would see on the other “pages”.