The BigBlueButton project is extremely pleased to announce the availability of BigBlueButton 0.9.0-RC (release candidate). The release candidate marks the final stage before general release (expected within a few days).
This will be our twelfth release of BigBlueButton, the open source web conferencing for on-line learning. The project’s goal is to provide remote students a high-quality on-line learning experience.
This release provides a significant improvement in audio quality: for users of Firefox and Chrome, BigBlueButton now uses the browser’s built-in support for sending and receiving audio via web real-time collaboration (WebRTC). Users who don’t want to share their microphone during a class can can also join in the new Listen Only mode.
Moderators now have a Start/Stop button to control which segments of their class will be recorded (our most requested feature for this release). Also, moderators can now restrict public and private chat using the Lock Viewers settings, which locks down communications between students when, for example, they must take an on-line test using the school’s learning management system (LMS) during the session.
This release is the culmination of eleven months of full-time development by the core developers and a further five months of beta testing/updating by developers around the world, commercial companies and the BigBlueButton community at-large.
The project believes that synchronous on-line learning should be easy to accomplish for both instructor and student. As with each release, we invest significant effort in refining the simplicity and elegance of the user interface.
“We at National University College-Online Division are very happy with our change to BigBlueButton. With our previous solution we had over 50 support tickets/month. After switching to BigBlueButton, that number dropped to 6 or 7 tickets/month. With our previous solution we used to get tickets from both students and faculty. But now with BigBlueButton we are only receiving tickets from faculty which demonstrates how user friendly this solution can be for students.” says Mariangie del Valle, Senior Director, Information Technology, National University College-Online.
BigBlueButton’s adoption has grown amongst major LMS vendors. Moodle, Sakai, Canvas and Schoology all offer native integrations with BigBlueButton, thereby giving their user-base and customers easy access to BigBlueButton’s capabilities from within their systems. For easy integration with other learning management systems, BigBlueButton is certified by the IMS as learning tools interoperability (LTI) 1.0 compatible (see LTI Integration).