Session tools in BBB?

Here are queries regarding tools available in a BBB session. Specifically, voting, polling, and feedback from multiple breakouts to the main session.

These are immediate questions for Open2020. But a general question, so new thread . . Please say if there’s handbook available, where I should be looking for these answers?

When a group wants to arrive at a decision - what tools does BBB provide? Voting/polls?

When a main session has multiple breakouts, what tools are available for bringing feedbacks to the main session? Whiteboard? Polls?

  • Can a breakout whiteboard be brought into the main sesion?
  • Can people in breakouts register votes in a main-session poll while still in breakout - so that results are already available when main session resumes?
  • Can a shared document be created in breakout and used in main session?

Are there tools I haven’t mentioned?

@mikemh there are polls of various kinds in Discourse, would these work?

To add a poll to a post click the cog link in the post editing window, for example:

  • I could use Discourse polls
  • I couldn’t use Discourse polls

0 voters

Thanks @chris Hadn’t spotted those. :slightly_smiling_face:
I think the interface here in Discourse isn’t as clean as a dedicated poll page in the browser (eg the Framadate poll in Disroot). For conference participants we want the simplest possible presentation - there will be so much else going on, on the desktop. I don’t think I would want to require everyone to get into Discourse?
Messing about here with Cryptpad
and Framadate

The polls are of the simplest kind. But probably we shouldn’t be trying anything more sophisticated in these circumstances.

So - no polls within BBB?

Would a LimeSurvey site be suitable?

Thanx again. A hosted LimeSurvey package at £25 monthly Should cover our conference need. So maybe OpenCoop needs to think about this. Will check.

Hi Mike,

user tutorials and support
at the wiki we have set up this page on BigBlueButton which can be added to; there’s quite some documentation at the domain that we can link to in an organised way. Please help.

decision making tools
BBB has built in tools for collaboration:

  • whiteboard for presentation and drawing
  • polls for getting participants to vote
  • pad for collaborative notetaking
  • text chat
    Please follow the tutorial “Getting started with BBB for presenters and moderators” and you will how easy it is to run a poll and share the results on the fly.
    Is it good enough? Well, that depends, you can indeed use Loomio, Discourse, Framadate, Limesurvey as options that each have their pros and cons.


  • uploading presentations to the whiteboard is easy, but I don’t know how about exporting the results from a session and bring them to another (breakout or plenary). Interesting topic!
  • people can be in the plenary and in a breakout at the same time
  • shared documents as in NextCloud for example or an etherpad server? I’d say that’s something to do outside of the BBB session and work with parallel screens. In fact it is something we want to explore in relation to for collectively documenting events.
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At CommonsCloud we run a LimeSurvey service - rented through the LimeSurvey project - under our domain and authentication through CommonsCloud: so people don’t need to have other accounts. We share this between projects from the cooperative.

In any case, it is a very good option to rent it from

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Good to have the pointers on BBB documentation, tutorial and tools thanx @wouter - will check them out.

Whiteboard - I think we may have so many breakouts in parallel, that using a whiteboard to record ‘Our top three points’ in one phrase each might be the most efficient way of doing feedback to the plenary. So I will want to check how whiteboards work.

Can the BBB tools be accessed by session organisers. for experiment and setup, at any time?

shared documents as in NextCloud for example or an etherpad server . . something to do outside of the BBB session and work with parallel screens

Parallel screens is my hunch too. This is why I’m checking out Disroot/Cryptpad

@mikemh I’m aiming to have a development BBB server up and running early next week, at the latest, on which you and @osb and any other Open 2020 organisers can have admin accounts on, so you can experiment with inviting users, setting up rooms etc etc.

Terrific @chris :clap:

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Three of us had the basics working today. What I couldn’t find, and what I need a lot of practice on, is the breakout rooms.