How to Integrate Moodle and BigBlueButton for Virtual Classes

Are you looking for, during this crisis season, how to launch online classes with zero investment? Then this blog is for you. In such a case, the only thing (s) you need is your computer. Just install the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) and plug in BigBlueButton and start your lectures straight away.

BigBlueButton is a web conferencing system that paves a way for online classes. The software is available as a plugin for Moodle platform users. And the biggest benefit is that it is an Open Source project. Absolutely free!

The Moodle BigBlueButton Installation helps you with:

  • Whiteboard with video, audio, chat & emoji
  • File sharing during the class
  • Record session
  • Access the recorded sessions/classes
  • And more

Before we get into the business of this blog, let me share with you whom this BigBlueButton for Moodle integration stuff is very much helpful. Owing to the current situation, these folks apart from the regular Moodle educators can greatly benefit:

  1. Individual teachers/trainers
  2. Online training institutions
  3. Small schools, organizations, government agencies, etc.
  4. Mid-sized industries
  5. Departments of corporates

Even if you go for custom Moodle integration service from a Moodle Partner, the budget doesn’t go beyond a shoestring.

Now, let’s go through a step-by-step guide on how to integrate your Moodle LMS and BigBlueButton.

How to Install BigBlueButton Plugin in Moodle

Remember I assume that you’ve a little or no knowledge at all in Moodle.

# Step 1: Login to Moodle LMS

Login to your Moodle platform with your admin credentials. Then you will be directed to your Admin page.

Login to Moodle LMS

#Step 2: To Plugins

From your admin dashboard, click on ‘Site Administration’ link on your left-side menu.

And in the site administration, click on ‘Plugins’ from where you can install BigBlueButton tool.

And again from the plugins, click on ‘Install plugins.’

Moodle site administration

#Step 3: Install BigBlueButton Plugin

In this step, you have two options to choose from. One: install the plugin from the Moodle plugins directory. Two: install the plugin from a Zip file.

Note:

  1. You can use the former way of installing BigBlueButton, if you have an account with Moodle.org. Otherwise, go manual way of installing the tool like I do here.

Since I do not have an account with Moodle, I’m installing the tool manually by choosing, “Install the plugin from a Zip file.”

Install BigBlueButton Plugin zip

Note:

  1. For doing that, you have to search manually for BigBlueButton tool from the search and download it beforehand.

Install BigBlueButton Plugin

#Step 4: Upload Zip File

Choose the zip file and upload it before you click on “Install plugin from the Zip file.”

BBB plugin zipfile upload

BBB plugin zipfile install

#Step 5: Continue Installation and Upgrade Database

Click “Continue.” And then click again on “Upgrade Moodle database now” to further continue the installation process.

Continue BBB Installation and Upgrade Database

BBB Installation Upgrade Database

#Step 6: You’re Almost There!

Once you upgrade, you’ll be guided to hit “Continue” again. Afterward, you will be in a HUGE settings page. Do not touch anything. If you have any no-reply mail, just supply it and other two required fields. That’s all.

Hit “Save changes” again. Huff, the installation is done!

Upgrading BBB to new version

#Step 7: Cross-check Whether BigBlueButton is Installed

Go back to “Site Administration.” And from there to “Plugins.” Click on “Plugins preview” link. And there it is, BigBlueButton to launch your first ever virtual classroom.

BigBlueButton Installation check up

BigBlueButton Installation plugin overview

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course

Follow these simple steps, which don’t take not more than 10 minutes to launch your online classes.

# Step 8: Select Your Course First

Select your course and click “Turn edit on” from the gear icon to your right. And then click on “Add activity or resource” link against a topic.

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course 1

# Step 9: Select BigBlueButton

From the course activities, select BigBlueButton and click on “Add.”

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course 2

#Step 10: Name Your Class

Give a name to your virtual class along with the timings. And click on “Save and return to course.”

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course 3

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course 4

#Step 11: Back to the Course

Click on “Join session” to launch your class.

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course 5

#Step 12: We’re All Ears!

This is how your virtual class looks like for that schedule. It’s your time, señor!

How to Add a Virtual Classroom for a Course 6

That’s all with the setting up with BBB.

But does BBB have any set up requirements?

BigBlueButton Minimum Server Requirements

BigBlueButton minimum server requirements are listed down here for smooth and seamless production.

  • Ubuntu 64 Bit Server (If you’re an individual teacher, maybe you can go for cloud server services?)
  • 4 CPU cores ( 8 CPU cores better)
  • 8 GB memory (16 GB better)
  • 500 GB free disc space for recordings
  • 250 MB/s net speed or more
  • 150 concurrent students (50 students each in 3 classes at a time)

That’s all with the server requirements.

In case you want to look for a BigBlueButton activity report in Moodle, try this.

BigBlueButton Activity Report in Moodle

The report is developed by LearnerScript, a Moodle analytics plugin. You can read more about this report on this blog.
BigBlueButton Activity Report in Moodle