Big Blue Button Prep

Participant Prep

Preparing for Video Conferencing on BigBlueButton
Testing Your Equipment Before the Event

Go to the BigBlueButton test site to test your browser and equipment:

  • Check to make sure headset and microphone work.
  • Check to make sure webcam works, if you would like to use your webcam.
  • Check your internet connection.

The BigBlueButton room runs in the internet browser window and works best with Chrome and Firefox browsers

Joining the Meeting

  • Open the meeting link in Chrome or Firefox.
  • Enter your name in the box and click Join.
  • When prompted “How would you like to join the audio?” select Microphone.

join with mic

  • Do the echo test to ensure your microphone and speakers are configured correctly

echo test audio source

  • It is recommended to mute your microphone in meetings when you are not speaking, so that background noise does not disrupt the meeting. If a room does not automatically mute users upon entry, please click the mic button at the bottom of the screen. You can also click on your user name and select “Mute user”.
  • All IEEE SA OPEN advisory groups and the events sponsored by them, collect name and affiliation information to maintain transparency. If you are attending one of these events, please add your name in the Shared Notes on the left side bar.

Participating In A Meeting

Unmute to speak

  • If you want to speak, click on the microphone button at the bottom of the screen, or click your user name in the list of users on the left side of the screen and select Unmute user.

Turn on webcam

  • If you want to join the meeting with video, select the camera icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • share your webcam
  • Your browser may pop up a request to access your webcam. If so, accept it.

share your webcam

Start a private chat

  • Click on the user’s name in the user list and select “Start a private chat”.

start a private chat

  • The private chat can be accessed in the left menu. The user’s name will appear in the Messages section under Public Chat.

private chat access

Use public chat

  • When you first join any BigBlue Button meeting, the Public Chat will be visible in the left pane nearest to the main display screen.
  • Any public conversations that occurred before you joined the meeting will appear above the welcome box in the public chat.
  • Public chat can be downloaded by an individual for later reference. You may save the public chat by clicking on the three dots in the the upper corner of the public chat panel. A pop-up menu will appear with the options to Save, Copy or Clear. Choose the Save option to download a text file of the chat messages to your computer. Select Copy if you want to copy the chat messages to another program you choose. In most IEEE SA OPEN Advisory Group meetings and events, events, we do not download the chat contents for sharing. If there is information you would like to be available for later reference, please place it in the Shared Notes.

Collaborate in shared notes

  • Any user in the meeting can edit or add to the Shared Notes. Simply choose Shared Notes in the left pane and add your thoughts.
  • If others in the meeting are also editing the Shared Notes, you will see a small box near the cursor indicating their name.
  • If you would like your contribution to the Shared Notes recognized, please add your name to the notes. BBB does not maintain a version history.
  • Some basic formatting options are available, including bold, italics, underlining, strikethrough, and bulleted and numbered lists.

  • Three other icons are included in the menu: Undo, Redo and Import/Export. If you would like to save a copy of the Shared Notes, choose the import/export option (document with a down arrow). A pop up menu will show options for file download. These include Etherpad, HTML, Plain Text, Microsoft Word, PDF or ODF (Open Document Format). (Please note that Shared Notes downloads are separate from Public Chat downloads.)

Conferencing Etiquette

  • Choose a quiet location without distractions.
  • Use a headset to eliminate background noise and feedback that your microphone may pick up.
  • If you have your webcam turned on and do not have a virtual background in place, be aware of what is present or may appear in your background. If you would like to use a virtual background, there are a few options available including a blur background option. There is currently no support for your own image upload.
  • Stay muted when you are not speaking to prevent background noise and feedback.