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Bronwyn Lapham is a senior technical officer at eWorks. In this role she lives a double life, working within the E-standards for Training activity on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, and also managing the TVC learning delivery platform helpdesk. BigBlueButton (BBB), which provides the classroom features and tools in eWorks’ TrainingVC, has been upgraded to version 0.91. This means that all TVC clients benefit from a range of new features – here Bronwyn tells us all about it.

Yes! The rumours are true

BigBlueButton has upgraded to version 0.91 and this version has been implemented on all TVC sites. BigBlueButton (BBB) is an open-source online classroom package that we have been working with for years. If you’re not quite up to speed with this package you might like to take a look at our top tips for using BigBlueButton. The upgrade means fantastic new features, especially the nifty little start/stop button for recording sessions.

Start/stop button for recording

Instructors can now mark segments of the recorded session for later publishing using a new start/stop recording button in the toolbar. After the session is over, the BigBlueButton server extracts the marked segments for publishing the recording. This means you can create concise, targeted recordings for distribution. Please note that recording needs to be started specifically, it doesn’t happen automatically.

blue buttonsCredits: Buttons by kaboompics

Audio check

To ensure that users have a functioning microphone when joining a session, BigBlueButton now provides a microphone check for users before they join the session. By encouraging your learners to perform an audio check prior to a session you can get sessions started on time and reduce the faff!

Listen only audio

To quickly join the conference as a listener only (no microphone check), BigBlueButton offers a listen only mode. We’ve all been in that situation when we want to quietly creep into a session.

WebRTC Audio

BigBlueButton now uses web real-time communications (WebRTC) audio for users of Firefox and Chrome, giving them better quality audio. And audio quality can dictate whether or not a learner stays until the end of an online class. Please note that Safari and Internet Explorer will continue to use Flash for audio unless WebRTC plugins are installed. For WebRTC, additional UDP ports need to be opened if there is a firewall in the way. The complete port list is TCP 80, 443, 7443, 9123, and 1935 and UDP 16384-32767. Proxy servers will also prevent web real-time communications audio.

Getting up to speed with BigBlueButton

If you’re not quite sure what BigBlueButton offers, or whether or not it is included as part of your Moodle, simply get in touch with eWorks. And for more information about TVC? Likewise.