Online classroom support

The AMSP uses BigBlueButton (BBB) to deliver its online professional development and tuition.

Below is some help with connecting to your BBB online classroom.

If you are using BBB as a tutor or session leader, further support is provided for you in the BBB Users area within Integral. If you do not have access to this area of Integral, please contact your course coordinator.

Connecting to the online environment for the first time

It’s important that you allow time to ensure you are prepared for your first online session.

  1. Check you can access the correct classroom.

    Most users access BBB via their course in our resource site, Integral®. Instructions on how to access your BBB classroom should have been included with details of your Integral course. If you have not received these, please contact the course leader or administrator.

  2. View these two short videos.

    They will help you to set up your access and get the most from your sessions.

This video gives an overview of using BBB as a viewer (a course participant).
The first part of this video is useful if you need guidance on setting up the audio in BBB.

System requirements

BBB is designed to be used on a wide range of platforms but you will get the best experience via a desktop or laptop computer, running either Chrome or Firefox as the browser.

Computer: You need a laptop or desktop computer with at least 2GB of memory and a 1Ghz processor. Any computer bought in the last five years should be fine.

Bandwidth: You must have at least 0.5 Mbits/second upstream and 1 Mbits/second downstream. You can check your bandwidth using speedtest.net.

Browser: We recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox in order to be able to access all the features of your course. Internet Explorer and Edge are not suitable currently.

Audio: We strongly recommend using a headset or earphones with an inline microphone. You do not need to buy an expensive one - any basic headset or earphones with a built-in microphone will suffice - but do watch the relevant video above for guidance on ensuring that you can hear and, just as importantly, be heard. A laptop with a built-in webcam and microphone may be sufficient as well if you’re in a very quiet area but please take the time to check this before the session.

Network managers: If you are having difficulties with accessing BigBlueButton rooms due to proxy server problems, there are details of servers which can be whitelisted in Blindside's Firewall Information.

Mobile Devices

It is now possible to access live sessions in BBB via a mobile device such as a phone or tablet however if the device screen is small, you may find that you are not able to view all areas of the classroom simultaneously and this may make it more difficult to follow the session fully.

The following settings are recommended for all users connecting to BigBlueButton from a mobile device:

Browser: Mobile iOS (12.2+): Safari, Mobile Android (6.0+): Chrome. You are advised to reduce device usage while connecting to BigBlueButton; close applications that may run in the background and close an unnecessary browser tabs.

Data: You are advised to use 4G LTI for best results or, at a minimum, 3G Network to use audio, view presentation content and receive screen sharing.

Wi-fi: For connection via wireless, we recommend private versus public networks.

Handwritten maths

Some of our courses require you to be able to contribute handwritten maths to a BBB session. There are several ways you can do this:

  • The simplest method is to check your laptop webcam is working first and hold up a mini-whiteboard with working on it to the cam when required (the cam can be turned off when not needed).
  • Similarly, if you already use a desktop visualiser, you can connect this to BBB.
  • If neither option is practical, you might consider using a USB graphics tablet; these can be purchased online, there is no need to spend more than £30.
  • If you are using a mobile tablet which has a built in stylus, you will probably find this works better than writing with your finger!

Additional support

This page of further guidance should enable you to resolve the large majority of problems which may occur.

If you cannot find a solution to your problem, please contact [email protected], copying in your course tutor, and ideally including screenshots or error messages.