This guide will provide an overview of the features offered in BigBlueButton.

KPU has strict obligations under FIPPA relative to the collection, use, access, disclosure, storage, retention and disposal of personal information.  When a session is recorded in a video-conferencing platform, it creates a “record” that is subject to the privacy, access to information, and records retention provisions of FIPPA.

KPU’s Privacy Committee has developed guidelines on Acceptable Use and Best Practices for Video-Conferencing for Teaching and Learning

BigBlueButton offers many different features such as: Text chat, webcam and audio support, status emojis, breakout rooms, polls, screensharing, and multi-user whiteboards

Each feature will be discussed briefly below


  • BigBlueButton allows you to send messages both publicly and privately

  • By default, public chat will already be open when joining a session.

  • In order to toggle the public chat view on or off, click the "Public Chat" button near the top-left side of the page

  • To send a private message, click the user who you need to send a message to, then click "Start a private chat".  

  • You can then differentiate and switch between private and public chats through the chat buttons near the top-left corner

Screen Sharing

 As the presenter, you will have the option to share your screen.  

  • Click the Screenshare button located near the bottom of the page.  

  • You will then be prompted for the type of screenshare: The Entire Screen (With the option to choose which monitor, in case you have multiple), the Application Window, and Browser Tabs.

  • As mentioned previously, the Entire Screen option will allow you to choose which monitor to share

  •  The Application Window will allow you to share entire applications that are currently running

  • Browser Tabs will allow you to select a specific, single tab that is currently open in your browser to share

  • When you are finished sharing your screen, simply click the Screenshare Button once again


In addition to screen sharing, you also have the option of Sharing a webcam.

  • To share your webcam, click the Webcam Button to the left of the screen share button

  • You will be prompted to allow permission to use your webcam

  • When finished, click the Webcam Button again to stop sharing

Audio and Voice Control

  • To mute or unmute incoming sound, click the Audio button at the bottom of the page

  • To mute or unmute your Microphone, click the Microphone button just beside the audio button

Uploading a Presentation 

Be sure your documents are within size restrictions and are in a viewable format.

Maximum size is 30 MB or 150 pages per document; you can upload multiple documents into the BigBlueButton as long as they are under the size restrictions.

BigBlueButton will accept many major document formats such as .doc .docx .pptx  and .pdf; we recommend converting documents to .pdf prior to uploading for best results.

To Upload

  • Click on the "+" button near the bottom left corner of the whiteboard section to upload a presentation of your own

  • Select "Upload a Presentation" from the list of options

  • Drag and drop the desired file into the designated upload area. 
    Click the "Upload" button after you have selected a fileScreen_Shot_2019-05-01_at_4.14.05_PM.png

  • When uploading multiple files at once, be sure to set the file you'd like to be displayed by default, then check the green circle to the right of the document. Screen_Shot_2019-05-01_at_4.19.34_PM.png
  • Click "Confirm" when the file has finished uploading

  • Your presentation will now be displayed on the whiteboard area

(Note: Certain portions of a presentation may be unavailable, such as slide transitions and animations.

  • The presentation can be annotated with the tools provided on the right-hand side of the whiteboard

Full screen mode

  • You can enter full screen mode by using the full screen button at the bottom-right corner of the whiteboard

Viewer Permission:

BigBlueButton allows you to change permissions for other viewers in your room.


  • Click the gear icon located beside the viewer list

  • Click the "Lock Viewers" button from the drop-down menu to bring up user permissions

  • From here you can lock specific options for all users in the room who are not moderators. By default, all options are not locked



BigBlueButton also allows you to create polls during a presentation.

  • To create a poll, click the "+" symbol at the bottom left of the whiteboard 

  • Click "Start a Poll" from the menu

  • Select the type of poll you would like to use from the list

(Note: Choosing a custom poll allows you to create the answers for your question. The question itself needs to be manually entered onto the whiteboard, or spoken out loud).

Creative Commons License

This work by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.