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maria_wilbar1
Community Member

CONFERENCES: Students can't see each other

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CONFERENCES: STUDENTS CAN'T SEE EACH OTHER

Greetings everyone - I am having an issue when meeting with my students in Conferences: They can't see each other. They can see me and I can see them clearly, but as I said before, they can't see each other. Is anyone having the same issue? Any help with this issue will be highly appreciated!

2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
emily_allen
Community Team
Community Team

Hi again,  @maria_wilbar1 ‌. I've done some more digging and it looks like the Conferences provider (BigBlueButton) has restricted the ability for students to see each other's webcams. The reasoning is that it significanly reduces the load, which could lead to disconnections or disruptions. I know it's not ideal, but I hope this information helps provide some clarity. Please let us know if there's anything else we can help you with!

Thanks!

Emily

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Emily, thank you so much for your reply and forgive my late post. Your response was very helpful. I am disappointed with the decision from the BigBlueButton of restricting the use of the webcam so that all users could see each other. Seeing each other is essential for creating a sense of classroom community.

After reading your reply, I decided to use Zoom. I must say that I am delighted with the results. It is by far a much more robust video conferencing tool than the one offered by the BigBlueButton. I would love it if Canvas would consider teaming up with Zoom so that the access to Zoom is automatic under the conferences tab. 

Warm regards!

View solution in original post

19 Replies
emily_allen
Community Team
Community Team

Great question,  @maria_wilbar1 ! I can't think of a reason why that would be happening off the top of my head. How large is your course? I'm wondering if there might be a limit to how many webcam feeds are able to display. And are you sharing your desktop during the conference?

Thanks,

Emily

emily_allen
Community Team
Community Team

Hi again,  @maria_wilbar1 ‌. I've done some more digging and it looks like the Conferences provider (BigBlueButton) has restricted the ability for students to see each other's webcams. The reasoning is that it significanly reduces the load, which could lead to disconnections or disruptions. I know it's not ideal, but I hope this information helps provide some clarity. Please let us know if there's anything else we can help you with!

Thanks!

Emily

View solution in original post

Thank you for this; I was just encountering the same thing. The "Lock Viewers" setting to allow them to share a webcam should be more specific, as in, "share a webcam with the teacher(s)." I am disappointed in this; how can you have a meeting and not see each other?

Do you think if I had a small group of people who were all teachers/moderators, they would be able to see each other's webcams? I'd like to be able to set up a situation where faculty members could interact with each other, including seeing each other on the screen.

Hi nlatimer‌, a small group of moderators should still be able to see each other. It sounds like this is currently planned to be a temporary change to the free tier of the service and should only be affecting larger groups. I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Emily

Thanks so much,  @era14 ‌, for the quick reply. This does help! I am in a high school and most of the teachers don't want the kids to see each other's webcams anyway. But we are going to be closed for awhile, and I think it would be nice if they could see each other, even if for only a short portion of the conference.

loren_barnhurst
Community Member

This is a flaw IMO.  I'm trying to keep 'community' in my courses which were just forced online.  Community involves seeing their classmates, not just me.  I understand 'bandwidth' issues, but at least let us try 'low quality' sharing.  This is going to force me to go outside Canvas if a fix isn't provided.

rislis
Community Champion

Has anyone looked at the paid version of Big Blue Button recently? I'm curious about cost. 

Adding all as moderators does fix the problem, but for students, I'm with  @loren_barnhurst ‌. An idea I shared with my High School teachers was to use meet.google.com and share the link as an announcement that is posted at the top of the course via the optional setting of "Show most recent announcement." However, that is not an option for my middle school students, who can't use Meet due to COPPA rules.‌  @canvas_admin ‌ 

I already have people disappointed in this feature. It's hard when we're trying to convince them to stay in Canvas and not head out to Google Classroom!!

Emily, thank you so much for your reply and forgive my late post. Your response was very helpful. I am disappointed with the decision from the BigBlueButton of restricting the use of the webcam so that all users could see each other. Seeing each other is essential for creating a sense of classroom community.

After reading your reply, I decided to use Zoom. I must say that I am delighted with the results. It is by far a much more robust video conferencing tool than the one offered by the BigBlueButton. I would love it if Canvas would consider teaming up with Zoom so that the access to Zoom is automatic under the conferences tab. 

Warm regards!

View solution in original post