Blog

BigBlueButton 0.81 Beta Released

081

We are pleased to announce the release of BigBlueButton 0.81-beta.

This release is a step towards 0.81 final, which will be our eleventh release to date. This beta release reflects over twelve months of effort by many organizations and individuals (see below) to advance BigBlueButton in the areas of stability, usability, and functionality (in that order).

Major contributing organizations for this release:

BigBlueButton Committers for this release:

What’s new in this release:

  • Simplified interface – BigBlueButton now has a consolidated Users window for easier session management and a more consistent user interface (including updated skin and icons) to help new users get started quickly.
  • Layout Manager – BigBlueButton now enables users to choose from a number of preset layouts to quickly adapt to different modes of learning.
  • Recording – BigBlueButton now records for playback all during a session (including desktop sharing).
  • Text tool for whiteboard – Presenters can now annotate their slides with text.
  • New APIs – The BigBlueButton API now includes the ability to dynamically configure each client on a per-user bases, thus enabling developers to configure the skin, layout, modules, etc. for each user. There is also a JavaScript interface to control the client.
  • Accessibility – BigBlueButton now supports screen readers JAWS (version 11+) and NVDA. A list of keyboard shortcuts have been added to make it easier to navigate through the interface using the keyboard.
  • LTI Support – BigBlueButton is IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.0 compliant. This means any LTI consumer can integrate with BigBlueButton without requiring custom plug-ins.
  • Mozilla Persona – The API demos now include examples of how to sign into a BigBlueButton session using Mozilla Persona.
  • Support for LibreOffice 4.0 – BigBlueButton now uses LibreOffice 4.0 for conversion of of MS Office documents (upload of PDF is still recommend to provide best results).

Since the release of 0.80 we have closed over 140 issues.  For more links, see Release Notes

For an overview of the new interface and controls, see

See also these developer videos:

To install this release, see Installation of 0.81-beta.

We will now focus our efforts on getting to a release candidate 0.81 (which includes updating all the localization language files) and then a final release of 0.81.  We want to thank all the members of our community that helped us test and gave feedback on earlier builds.

We believe any student with a web browser should have access to a high quality on-line learning experience. We intend to make that possible using BigBlueButton.

This release is a significant step towards realizing that goal.

New Videos

We’re getting closer to the release BigBlueButton 0.81 (our eleventh release to date). Here are two new videos we’ve created that show how to use BigBlueButton from the perspective of a viewer and moderator/presenter.

For Viewer:

081viewer

For Moderator/Presenter:

081presenter

 

Enjoy!

Recordings from BigBlueButton Spring Summit 2013

We held the BigBlueButton Spring Summit 2013 last week.  During the day we had five on-line sessions with members of the community.

Here are the recordings from the sessions (use FireFox or Chrome for playback):

Thanks to everyone who participated!

 

 

 

University of West Scotland wins commendation award for their case study on BigBlueButton deployment

University of West Scotland wins commendation award for their case study on BigBlueButton deployment

The University of the West of Scotland recently received a commendation award from the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) for their case study on The technical and pedagogic issues of using BigBlueButton with distance learning at the University of the West of Scotland.

The award is listed on the UCISA-Eduserv Award for Excellence page. The review panel cited the case study for recognition with the following statement:

The submission from the University of the West of Scotland focused on a project to replace functionality that was lost from the migration of one VLE to another by using a desktop video conferencing system.

The panel noted the use of open source software to deliver multiple benefits to the institution, including the added resilience of teaching staff being able to present lectures from home.

Here’s the award submission by University of the West of Scotland for the award.   In the submission they stated:

This project has been a resounding success and uptake of the technology is increasing at an encouraging rate. BigBlueButton is an innovative solution that effectively replaces the previous technology at a much lower cost and meets the changing demands of our institution for delivery of teaching and learning. – Darren Rickets, Project Manager/Technical Lead for ICT

Congratulations to University of West Scotland for this award!

Video of features coming in BigBlueButton 0.81

We’ve uploaded a short video highlighting the new capabilities in the upcoming BigBlueButton 0.81 (this will be our eleventh release).  This video was done using a development build of 0.81.

 This video details our efforts to advance the usability, features, and modularity of BigBlueButton for our community.

Specifically, the video shows for users

  • unified users and listeners
  • text tool for whiteboard
  • layout manager
  • record and playback of webcams and whiteboard

and for developers

  • JavaScript interface
  • changing the client settings on a per-user basis
We’re looking forward to releasing a beta of BigBlueButton 0.81 soon.