BigBlueButton HTML5 Overview

For support, contact us


(M-F 9-5 ET)

(last updated July 15th, 2019)

This presentation is for staff and support transitioning to the new HTML5 client.

Table of Contents

  • Overview of BigBlueButton HTML5
    • Viewer
    • Moderator
    • Presenter
  • Best Practices
  • Troubleshooting Tips
  • Suggestions for Help Desk

Class sizes & key use cases

  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Virtual office hours

  • Student collaboration

  • Online classes (< 100)

Not hard coded!



Unified user experience

Session Title

Start/Stop Record

Share Audio, Webcam & Screen


User List / Chat Toggle

Settings Menu

Presenter/ Moderator Actions

Presentation Tools

Two types of users





Moderators vs. Viewers

Moderator (square)

Viewer (circle)

Viewer vs. Moderator

Viewer (student)

    • Share audio and webcam
    • Chat / Raise Hand (emojis)
    • Respond to polls
    • Write on Shared Notes
    • Respond to invites for breakout rooms

Moderator (instructor) - All viewer capabilities, plus:

    • Manage everyone’s audio (individual/global mute)
    • Start/Stop recording
    • Lock features for viewers
    • Make anyone presenter (including yourself)
    • Change user’s role (moderator <-> viewer)
    • Start breakout rooms
    • End meeting on logout


Presenter capabilities:

  • Upload presentation (enable for download)
  • Advance presentation
  • Annotate presentation
  • Engage multi-user whiteboard
  • Upload/play YouTube link
  • Start poll
  • Share desktop

Viewer (Student) Capabilities

Join Audio

Audio State

No Audio



Listen Only

Set status (emojis)

Private Chat

Respond to poll

Use Shared Notes

Shared Notes Alert

When in use or new edits are made alert will appear

Export Shared Notes

Minimize Presentation

To restore presentation

Move Webcam(s)

Drag webcam(s) above or below presentation & place in grey area to “snap” into place

Respond to Breakout Room Invite

Moderator Capabilities

Start/Stop Recording

Meeting is now being recorded

Recording Multiple Segments

First segment of class

Final recording will join together both segments


Note: Max 6 hour limit for recorded sessions (prevents a user from lingering overnight).

Second segment of class

Viewing a recording

Audio, Video, Presentation, Whiteboard & Desktop Sharing


Note: Recordings can be downloaded as mp4’s (chat not included in download)

Manage Audio: Mute All

Mute all current and new users except presenter

Lock Viewers

(does not apply to moderators)

Setting is locked

Unlock Individual Viewers

Moderator can make anyone presenter (including themselves)

(The first moderator to enter is the default presenter)

Give presenter status

Take back presenter status

Promote to Moderator / Remove


Removing a user does not restrict their ability to re-enter

When moderator clicks ‘Create’, assigned users can join breakout room

Break out rooms - how to launch them

Breakout Room opens as new tab

Slide from main room is displayed in breakout rooms

Time Remaining

User can switch back to main room to chat with instructor anytime

Breakout rooms - once user selects join

If viewer needs to join again

They can select “Breakout Rooms” and join.

Breakout rooms

Re-inviting / late joins

Managing Breakout Rooms

Join the room (opens in a new tab)

Listen/transmit audio

End breakout rooms early

Monitoring Several Breakout Rooms

Main room

Breakout Rooms

Moderator can join several breakout rooms to monitor activity

Public Chat

Hide Chat Panel

New Message Indicator

Only Moderator can clear public chat

Clear All Status (emojis)

Clear status for all users

Clear status for an individual

End Meeting on Logout

Moderator can the meeting -- kick out all users start processing recording (if Start/Stop recording button was clicked)

Presenter Controls

Upload Presentation

Enable for download (optional)

Might need to retake screenshot - is missing enable download of presentation

Viewer Can Download

Moderator must display content for download

Upload Video Link

URL must be Public or Unlisted

Start a Poll

Poll button is only visible to the presenter.

Auto Detection of Poll Questions


Participants View

Presenters View / Live Poll Results

Screen Sharing

Screen Sharing

Screen Sharing

  • Displays in presentation area - is no longer in a separate dynamic window.

  • When presenter is in the BigBlueButton, screen sharing will duplicate to create a mirrored broadcast of the screen - DON’T WORRY this is not what viewers see when in another tab or an application window.

Multi-user Whiteboard

  • Each user draws in their own separate layer -- their marks/clear events don’t affect other users.

  • Once multi-user whiteboard is turned off, the presenter can clear all whiteboard marks with the erase button.

User Tips

Recommended Browsers





Bandwidth Requirements

For the all users, we recommend (a minimum of)

  • 0.5 Mbits/s upload bandwidth
  • 1.0 Mbits/sec download bandwidth

For instructors wanting to share their screen, we recommend (a minimum of)

  • 1.0 Mbits/s upload bandwidth
  • 1.0 Mbits/sec download bandwidth

Note: Screen sharing is not available on mobile devices, only desktop, laptop, and chromebooks.

Recommended Network Settings


Mobile (Android & iOS)

  • Wired
    • Recommended (see previous slide for minimum requirements)
    • Reduce background usage (netflix, youtube etc.)
    • Check
  • Wireless
    • Recommend private network v.s. public (i.e Starbucks)
    • Look for full bars

  • Cellular
    • 4G/LTE mobile network
    • For slower 3G networks users can use the Data Savings settings option to turn off webcams (next slide)

  • Wireless
    • Recommend private network v.s. public (i.e Starbucks)
    • Look for full bars

Mobile users can reduce bandwidth

Mobile users can use the Settings menu to disable webcam and screen share.

By default webcams and screen share enabled on mobile

Turn off to reduce bandwidth

Presentation Upload Tips

Max Size

    • 30 MB or 200 pages (per file)
    • split presentation if needed

Fonts not aligned

    • Upload office documents as PDF

Microphone Tips

  • Plug in headset/microphone before starting BigBlueButton (or refresh browser)

2. Check microphone is working at the system level

3. Check they don’t have their microphone muted (sometimes there is a mute switch on the cord)

4. Restart browser if left open for multiple days (we’ve all been there :-)

Managing Audio Tips

If another microphone is highlighting while someone is speaking, you (the moderator) can mute the user causing the background noise.

Help Desk Tips

Instructor Forgot to Record

Remember to click Start/Stop Recording button (otherwise BigBlueButton will not create a recording)

If you have a instructor that forgot, don’t worry

    • Contact us at (we can recover it within 14 days of original recording)
    • Information to include:
      • Date and approximate time of session
      • Name of moderator or instructor
      • Session title

End-User Support Resources

  • Ideally, for new instructors, setup a short support session to try out their microphones and webcams with them ahead of the online class.

  • Resources
    • Videos:
      (available from Help menu)
    • Blindside Networks Help Center:

    • For the first class, start about 30 minutes
      early to give everyone a chance to check audio

Set Expectations

Tell users to not worry if they get dropped due to network interruption (it will happen eventually)

If a user gets dropped, have them

  • Refresh browser
  • Switch between FireFox and Chrome (recommended)
  • Use a different network/location
  • If on mobile, try switching between Wireless / Data Network

Review Support Material

To support the HTML5 client, we recommend each support agent:

    • Review Help Center sections
    • Watch all tutorial videos
    • Run BigBlueButton using major browsers: Chrome, FireFox, Safari (on both mobile and desktop)
    • Join audio in each of the major browsers
    • Share desktop in each of the major browsers


BigBlueButton HTML5 Support Overview - Google Slides