How do I use the Conferences interface as a moderator?

Once you have started a conference or joined a conference as a moderator, you can use the Conferences interface to moderate the course conference. Conferences uses web real-time communications (WebRTC) audio for users of Firefox and Chrome.

To read more about Big Blue Button, visit the Big Blue Button website.

View Conferences Interface

The conference interface contains a variety of tools to help you moderate your presentation. Each area of the interface is created within its own window and can be resized.

View Conference Tools

In the menu bar, you can share your desktop [1], adjust your audio settings [2], share your video (webcam) [3], and mute or unmute yourself [4]. The middle of the conference shows the name of the conference [5]. You can also view conference shortcut keys [6] and get help with conference options in the BigBlueButton website [7]. To leave the conference, click the Logout button [8] or close your browser tab or window.

Note: Unless you set up a long-running conference, the conference will end automatically once the last user has logged out of the conference. It may take a few minutes for the Conferences page to reflect that the conference has concluded.

View Users

View Users

The Users panel displays the users in the conference. You can manage users by hovering over their names. To change the presenter, click the Change Presenter icon [1]. To mute a participant using a microphone, click the mute icon [2]. To kick a participant out of the conference, click the remove icon [3].

The lock icon [4] indicates you have locked viewers from accessing certain features in the User Settings.

Record Conference

Record Conference

If you set your conference to be recorded, you'll see a reminder notifying you that you can record the meeting. To close the window, click the OK button.

Start/Stop Recording

To start recording, click the recording button [1] in the title bar. A prompt will appear confirming that the recording will start. Click the Yes button. The recording button will display a red dot and green checkmark to indicate the conference is being recorded. Also, a recording notification [2] will appear in the title bar.

To stop recording, click the recording button again. The recording button [3] will display a black dot and no checkmark to indicate the conference is no longer being recorded.

When you start or stop a recording, you'll always be prompted to confirm the action.

Set Status

Set Status

At the bottom of the Users window, you can set a status icon to indicate your status. Click the Status icon [1], then select your status [2]. You can set your status as raising your hand (such as if you have a question for the participants), happy, neutral, sad, confused, away, thumbs up, thumbs down, or applause (such as at the end of a presentation).

Set User Settings

Set User Settings

At the bottom of the Users panel, you can manage the user settings in the conference. Click the Settings icon [1], then select a setting option [2]. You can clear all status icons, mute all users, mute all users except the presenter, or lock viewers.

Note: If your institution has a premium account, with BigBlueButton, you can also create Breakout Rooms. For more information about this feature, please contact BigBlueButton.

Lock Viewers

Lock Viewers

Moderators have the ability to lock (restrict) viewers from having the following features:

  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Public Chat
  • Private Chat
  • Layout

This functionality helps moderators control the conference environment, such as locking private chat to prevent students from collaborating during a test.

View Sharing Presentation Tools

View Sharing Presentation Tools

As the moderator and default presenter, you have several options for your presentation.

  • To add files to your presentation, click the Upload icon [1].
  • To start a poll and gather feedback in your presentation, click the Start a Poll icon [2].
  • To advance or back up your presentation, click the arrow keys [3]. The number between the keys indicates the number of slides in your presentation.
  • To increase the viewing size of your presentation, use your mouse to drag the triangle along the percentage scale [4].
  • To make your presentation fit to the width of the viewing window (height will remain proportionate), click the fit to width icon [5].
  • To make your presentation fit the entire page within the viewing window, click the fit to page icon [6].
  • To show the whiteboard tools [7], hover your mouse over the presentation.

View Chat Window

View Chat Window

The Chat window contains the welcome message [1] for the conference and contains all the chat messages throughout the conference.

You can chat with all of the participants in the conference by typing text in the Chat window [2]. To start a private chat with another participant, click the Options tab [3] and select the name of the participant.

Select Language

Select Language

To change the language of the interface, click the language drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen.

Select Layout

Select Layout

To choose from a number of preset layouts, click the Default Layout drop-down menu. Each layout generates a different view in the interface. Setting a layout for your view does not affect the layout of your participants; each user can select his or her own layout:

  • Default Layout: displays the Users, Webcams, Presentation, and Chat windows
  • Closed Caption: displays the Users, Webcams, Presentation, Closed Caption, and Chat windows (learn how to manage Closed Captioning)
  • Video Chat: Displays the Webcams window
  • Webcam Meeting: Displays the Webcams, Chat, and Presentation windows
  • Presentation Meeting: Displays the Presentation, Chat, and Webcams windows
  • Lecture Assistant: Displays the Users, Chat, Presentation, and Webcams windows
  • Lecture: Displays the Presentation windows

Resize Conference Windows

Resize Conference Windows

Each window within the interface is independent of the others. You can resize the windows to personalize your viewing experience. To change the size of a window, hover over the edge of a window until the cursor becomes a double arrow, then click and drag to your desired size.