Following on from the post on Moodlenews announcing the activity module for Big Blue Button we have had it installed and in testing for a little while now. Big Blue Button is a fantastic piece of open source software for delivering remote classroom/training type sessions.
Having spent a fair amount of time using GoToMeeting I can say with some authority that BBB more than happily competes in terms of features, and we have had no problems at all with stability or speed of the service.
What I wanted to share this Monday is how good the Moodle module is. With this installed our staff have a simple way to create and schedule their own webinars, requiring no input from the Moodle admins.
As you can see from the screen shot, the set up is the work of seconds. This creates a private BBB room for your students automatically. All students have to do is click the relevant activity link from your Moodle course, the rest is taken care for them.
We’ve found advising students to plug in and test their headphones/mics in advance saves time getting started, and using the ‘hands up’ button to speak is a good rule to control the noise levels in busy sessions.
The ability to upload a presentation to your virtual classroom is a useful feature, as is annotating it as you go. I also really like the option to share all or part of a presenters screen.
Really good stuff. I’m a big fan of Big Blue Button, and the beautifully transparent way it hooks up to Moodle only makes it better. If you’re an IT admin you should definitely look at getting BBB installed. If you’re not and would like to try it there’s a demo on their site, or get in touch and we’ll see if we can help you out.