Big Blue Button integration with popular platforms.

About Big Blue Button

BigBlueButton (BBB for short) is an open source web conferencing system for online learning. The goal of the project is to enable instructors to live online classes and to conduct group collaboration online meetings with remote students.

BigBlueButton supports multiple audio and video sharing, presentations with extended whiteboard capabilities - such as a pointer, zooming and drawing - public and private chat, desktop sharing, integrated VoIP using FreeSWITCH, and support for presentation of PDF documents and Microsoft Office documents. Moreover, users may enter the conference in one of two roles: viewer or moderator.

As a viewer, the user may join the voice conference, share their webcam, raise their hand, and chat with others. As a moderator, the user may mute/unmute others, eject any user from the session, and make any user the presenter at any time of the session. The presenter may upload slides and control the presentation. BBB will give you access to create online webinars.

Instructions for installing and configuring the server can be found on the official website https://bigbluebutton.org/.

BigBlueButton integration with other systems

BigBlueButton can be integrated with various Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Content Management Systems (CMS) as an external or internal plugin. However, nearly all major LMS vendors have already created native integrations with BigBlueButton.

Integrating BigBlueButton with ATutor

ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Management System used to develop and deliver online courses. Administrators can install or update ATutor in minutes, develop custom themes to give ATutor a new look, and easily extend its functionality with feature modules. Educators can quickly assemble, package, and redistribute Web-based instructional content, easily import prepackaged content, and conduct their courses online. Students learn in an accessible, adaptive, social learning environment.

Integration is performed by installing an external module to the ATutor server. For this, you need to download the module by clicking on the following link https://atutor.github.io/atutor/modules.

Information of the installing and using BigBlueButton is described in the file Readme. Before integrating BigBlueButton with ATutor, make sure that the BigBlueButton server is installed and is working correctly. The current version of the module (dated August 8, 2014) is available for server versions above 2.2. Information about newer releases is unavailable.

BigBlueButton in Canvas

The Canvas learning management system was developed by the “Instructure” company. This service allows universities and other training providers to post their e-courses and organize registration through a single platform. Such courses can be developed on this platform by individual teachers. This is not just a distance learning system, but a system of Massive open online courses (MOOC) - a training course with mass interactive participation with the use of e-learning technologies and open access via the Internet. It is possible to create various courses on Canvas, while the main emphasis is on the practical application of information technology in various spheres of life. The developed course can be exported to a file and, if necessary, implemented in other training management systems. The Canvas tools are designed to be used on web browsers, mobile devices, and tablets.

Canvas by “Instructure” is frequently updated and has also integrated BigBlueButton as Canvas Conferences. This means that you do not need to keep track of updates of the BBB plugin and reinstall it, as the plugin is built inside the system and it is available to all Canvas customers. Instructors can easily create web conferences (online meetings) and invite students, while students can use conferences from within student groups. Detailed information about the service can be found on the Canvas official website https://canvas.instructure.com.

BigBlueButton and Chamilo

Chamilo LMS is an open-source (under GNU/GPL licensing) e-Learning and content management system, aimed at improving access to education and knowledge globally. It is backed up by the Chamilo Association, which goals include the promotion of the software, maintenance of a clear communication channel and building a network of service providers and software contributors.

Since the Chamilo LMS is supported by the Chamilo Association and distributed by special conditions, it is frequently being improved. The developers have taken care of the built-in ability to organize web conferences. The system does not require to install the “big blue plugin”. You can create online meetings in a couple of clicks. It is very convenient to use.

Integrating BigBlueButton with Drupal

Drupal is a free and open source content-management framework distributed under the GNU General Public License. Drupal provides a back-end framework for at least 2.3% of all websites worldwide – ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government websites. Drupal is used for knowledge management and for business collaboration. Although Drupal offers a sophisticated API for developers, basic website installation and administration of the framework requires no programming skills.

Connecting BBB to Drupal is possible by installing an external module, which can be downloaded via https://www.drupal.org/project/bbb . This module allows you to embed the Bigbluebutton admin panel, which you can use to create online webinars or conferences. Despite the fact that Drupal is regularly updated, the latest version of the BBB plugin is dated per 2016. This suggests that Drupal developers may not be focused on implementing and using online conferences and webinars via their software.

How to integrate Docebo LMS with BigBlueButton

Developed by Docebo Srl, the program was originally released under a GPL V. 2.0 license with no licensing costs. The program now operates as a cloud-hosted software, as a service platform, as well as it is third-party compatible. While the primary users of Docebo Srl are midsized companies, it is also assessable for large companies. Docebo’s platform is also used for external enterprise training. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Docebo Srl was named as “the best online learning platform for business on the market” by PCMag. In October 2018, Docebo Srl integrated learning-specific artificial intelligence algorithms into their learning platform, which are powered by a combination of machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing with the aim of producing an automated and holistic approach to learning (formal LMS, experiential and social) that drives growth, organizational performance, and revenue.

Docebo Srl LMS is one of the most popular systems in its field. It includes many add-ons, plugins and modules, that make it very flexible. Therefore, to start creating webinars and conferences, you need to choose BBB plugin among the many add-ons available. By activating this module, all of your Docebo Srl users will be able to access live training sessions directly from a course page in your Docebo platform. However, it should be considered that you can only activate this app if you have a BigBlueButton account and remain in agreement with the terms and conditions outlined in your contract.

Fedena and BigBlueButton

Fedena is an open-source school management software developed on the Ruby on Rails Framework. It is cloud based school ERP software, which is used in schools for administration purposes. You can use mobile app of Fedena in your Android or iPhone mobile devices. Some smart schools have integrated biometric attendance hardware with Fedena to record the attendance of students and teachers. Fedena is a web application, which means you can access and use your Fedena installation from any part of the world and from any device that has an internet connection. The open source version of Fedena has not been updated since version 2.3 in 2013. Now it is distributed under the Apache License 2.0.

To create webinar, online meetings, and conferences you must first download and install the BBB server. Then you need to connect the server through the Fedena admin panel. This means that Fedena does not depend on additional developing with a plugin or module, but only on the BigBlueButton server version.

BigBlueButtonPlugin as Foswiki extension

Foswiki is an enterprise wiki, typically used to run a collaboration platform, knowledge base or document management system. Foswiki is an entirely community-driven project, and has no controlling commercial interest behind it. You can create wiki applications using the Topic Markup Language (TML), and developers can extend its functionality with plugins. Users have access to more than 300 extensions.

Among these extensions, there is “big blue button plugin” (https://foswiki.org/Extensions/BigBlueButtonPlugin). However, first you need to install BBB server. With this plugin, authorized wiki users are just a click away from talking to each other. The plugin will automatically create these meeting rooms on the BBB server, create a wiki topic for each meeting room and provide macros to join meetings and track attendance. This plugin also supports REST interface, allowing other applications to use it for accessing virtual meeting rooms using Foswiki authentication. However, it should be noted that the last update of the plugin dates back to 2010.

BigBlueButton as a part of Jenzabar

Jenzabar Student Information System is higher education’s most selected platform. It’s the only LMS that integrates completely with your administrative system, giving you seamless data exchange. Simple deployment means you’ll be up and running in no time. Jenzabar eLearning is built on Jenzabar Internet Campus Solution (JICS), giving you seamless integration with Jenzabar enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Jenzabar eLearning is a great commercial product. In order to assess the importance and clear focus of learning using this platform it is enough to read more about the description of the functional system.

Training through webinars, online meetings are now widespread. It is not surprising that this LMS integrated the ability to create webinars and conferences. This is provided by the implementation of BBB inside the LMS. If Jenzabar eLearning did not include the possibility of creating webinars, it would hardly be able to compete in the global market.

Who supports whom? LTI and BBB

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a standard created by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that links content and resources to learning platforms. Its primary purpose is to connect learning systems such as LMS with external service tools in a standard way across learning systems.

BigBlueButton is certified by IMS Global to support IMS Learning Tools Interoperability. BigBlueButton can accept incoming LTI launch requests from a tool consumer, which is the IMS term for any platform that can make a LTI request to an external tool (such as BigBlueButton). Such platforms include Desire2Learn, BlackBoard, Pearson Learning Studio, etc. What this means is that without any custom code, any LTI compliant platform can add BigBlueButton virtual classrooms to its system. You can add LTI support by installing the special package into BBB server. It will require some administrative knowledge to install it. More information about installation you can find via following link: http://docs.bigbluebutton.org/install/lti.html.

Moodle BigBlueButtonBN plugin

Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system distributed under the GNU General Public License. Developed on pedagogical principles, Moodle is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom and other e-learning projects in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors. With customizable management features, it is used to create private websites with online courses for educators and trainers to achieve learning goals. Moodle allows to extend and tailor learning environments using community-sourced plugins. Plugins are a flexible tool set, allowing Moodle users to extend the features of the site. There are hundreds of plugins for Moodle, extending the features of Moodle’s core functionality. Each plugin is maintained in the Moodle plugins directory.

The BigBlueButtonBN activity module is a contributed plugin written by Blindside Networks that allows to bring various activities into a course providing an easy way for the teacher to create and manage a virtual meeting room/classroom on the BigBlueButton server, and for the student to log into the rooms. Blindside Networks provides BBB test server. Notice that BigBlueButtonBN module requires a pre-configured BigBlueButton server. BigBlueButtonBN is a part of the Moodle BigBlueButton set and complements RecordingsBN to provide with all the features required in order to take advantage of the new capabilities offered by a BigBlueButton server version 0.80 (and later). Moodle server must be 1.9+ version.

BBB plugin to integrating with Redmine

Redmine is a free and open source, web-based project management and issue tracking tool. It allows users to manage multiple projects and associated subprojects. It features per project wikis and forums, time tracking, and flexible, role-based access control.

BBB plugin allows to start and join web meetings in Redmine using a BigBlueButton server. Again, you must have the server already installed. Afterwards, you must use the command line to install the plugin and only then proceed to configure Redmine. To get detailed information and to download the plugin follow the link: http://www.redmine.org/projects/redmine/wiki/PluginBBB. It should be noted that the latest version of the plugin was released in 2010.

BigBlueButton Sakai Meeting Tool

Sakai is a free, community source, educational software platform designed to support teaching, research and collaboration. Sakai system is developed by a community of academic institutions, commercial organizations and individuals. It is distributed under the Educational Community License. Sakai is used by hundreds of institutions, mainly in the US, but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Sakai BigBlueButton integrates a Sakai instance with BigBlueButton server, allowing Sakai users to easily create, manage and join BigBlueButton meetings from a Sakai worksite. The integration of BBB with Sakai is not as easy as with other systems. For more information follow the links below:
https://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/BBB/Home#Home-Introduction
https://confluence.sakaiproject.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=69273500

The plugin is also developed by the Blindside Networks company. Take into consideration that the company also provides a test server BBB.

BBB hides in Schoology

Schoology is a learning management system (LMS) for K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporations that allows users to create, manage, and share content and resources. This cloud-based platform provides various tools to manage any classroom or blended learning environment. Schoology is offered to educators FREE of charge. Revenue is generated with a fee-based Enterprise product that includes premium add-ons such as customized branding, advanced analytics, single sign on (SSO), and data integration with existing student information systems (SIS). Native mobile applications are available for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.

Schoology has its own App center where you can find BBB under “Conferences” section. Instructors can install “Conferences” from the Schoology App Center directly to each course and group they administer. System Administrators can install the app for all courses and/or groups in their organization. This way it becomes easy to create online meetings.

SmartClass

SmartClass is an education technology platform for K-12, serving hundreds of thousands users in over 10 countries around the world. It provides the industry’s first All-In-One experience with best in-class, secure, and compliant online solutions, including registration and school choice, student information systems, learning management and classroom collaboration, assessment, analytics, and special education management. If you want to start work with SmartClass you can try demo version or buy one of the products https://www.schoost.com/en/home.

If you have BigBlueButton system, SmartClass will be integrated to your BigBlueButton in order to manage your virtual classes by using SmartClass. Unfortunately, there is almost no information on the development of this system, as it is a commercial product.

BBB & Tiki Wiki CMS

Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware or simply Tiki, originally known as TikiWiki, is a free and open source Wiki-based content management system and online office suite distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). In addition to enabling websites and portals on the internet and on intranets and extranets, Tiki contains a number of collaboration features allowing it to operate as a Geospatial Content Management System (GeoCMS) and Groupware web application.

Before setting up the Tiki integration, the BigBlueButton server stack must be installed. Afterwards, you can use the links below for setup:
https://doc.tiki.org/PluginBigBlueButton
https://doc.tiki.org/BigBlueButton

Once the plugin installation is complete, you can activate it through the admin panel of your website. To see how your created online meetings will look on your Tiki Wiki CMS, follow the link: https://tiki.org/Live

WordPress also has BBB plugin

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system distributed under the GNU General Public License. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. It is mostly associated with blogs but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, and online stores.

BBB plugin integrates BigBlueButton into WordPress allowing bloggers to create and manage meeting rooms to interact with their readers. It was developed and is maintained by Blindside Networks. Plugin installation is very simple: you just need to log in to the admin panel, find plugins section from the menu, and select BBB plugin from the list. However, make sure you have a pre-configured BigBlueButton server.

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