The Big Blue Button- an In-depth Look

Students and staff had a lot to say about the Big Blue Button


As the need for small group interaction become more and more widespread during online school, teachers are turning to the Big Blue Button. BBB is built into Schoology where teachers can assign students to a breakout room where they can talk amongst themselves.  The problem though, is that teachers and students alike both agree that there are some issues facing the new video chatting platform. At the same time some of the feedback is also very positive. Here is an in-depth look at the Big Blue Button, along with some opinions from our students and staff.

How It Works

You may be wondering how it actually works. It’s really very simple. Schoology has provided teachers with a way to assign student to their own room. They can mute and unmute student as they please, and also monitor what is going on in each individual room. It seems simple enough, but there have been a lot of unneeded problems to arise. In my classes, I have yet to be a part of a successful breakout room. “If you make a mistake in the way you put your mic off, then you can’t turn it on without restarting the same room with video feed,” Alexandre Day, a student, said. It is a mistake in the program that many students are having trouble with.

Overall Feedback

Most of the students and Staff that had been asked about Big blue Button had mixed thoughts. “It is really good for breakout rooms, but the quality is bad, and it is very glitchy,” Arjun Rajan, another student said. Even staff feedback was not particularly strong regarding Big Blue Button. “I have not had much success with the BBB so far. I know that fellow teachers have used it and seem to make it work into their instruction time, but I’ve attempted to use it four times and have had to move back to meet all but once.

I wish we could create our groups ahead of time rather than having to wait for students to be in the conference. I wish presentations/ slides could be easily embedded to play. (Again, this could be user error but I’ve tried and it wasn’t intuitive and I’m pretty good at problem solving on Schoology in general.),” Aidan Larson, an 8th grade Language Arts teacher said.


The Big Blue Button is something most of us will encounter in the future, and will have to get used to. Schoology is constantly working on updates, and ways to improve their material, so even if the BBB might be a problem now, it will probably get better in the future. Although teachers are switching to Google Meet breakout rooms, the Big Blue Button is more convenient, so with improvement you could see it a lot more.