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Community Member

Big Blue Button vs. Zoom

Our campus is rolling out Canvas soon, and we're trying to decide whether to use Big Blue Button or Zoom. Does anyone have experience with both of these conferencing tools? Which do you prefer? Which is easier for instructors and students to use? Do you know if either has a way to take attendance or track who was in the conference?

23 Replies

Hi Tamy,

We have used BBB before and have decided to move away from it because there wasn't any easy way to get recorded conferences out of it. 

I am going to share this question over with the Instructional Designers‌ and Canvas Admins‌ as I am sure users in both of these groups will have some valuable knowledge of conference tools that they can share with you. 


Thanks, Brian.

Adventurer III

The inability to record for longer than 2 weeks is definitely a hardship!  I'll look forward to hearing more about this!

Community Coach
Community Coach

We looked into Big Blue Button when we first implemented Canvas, this was around two years ago I will say (so things may have changed since).

Back then, we used BBB and we found the user experience wasn't spectacular, some elements still used Flash (which was a big concern for us), and the user interface felt quite dated.

Since then we have adopted Zoom which we have had exceptional feedback with. The user interface is clean, crisp, can work fully in browser if needed, has great mobile apps, and a big one for us, comes with telephone dial in.

I don't remember any ability for either to track who was in the conference, though have never specifically looked for that.

To sum up, I think Big Blue Button is great as a starting point. For our institution however, we wanted something a little more polished with some serious focus on UX principles, and some of the more enterprise-like features of integration with Kaltura, phone dial in, personal meeting rooms and the like which made Zoom an easy decision.

Hope that helps!


Learner II

BigBlueButton version in Canvas is their "Lite" version. If you want to upgrade for more features, it will cost more $$. I have used the full version of BBB and it is nice, but now that we have been using Zoom. I would say it is much better. I was told that there is a way to add Zoom to Conferences and it will integrate with Canvas.  

I have not found a way to add it to Conferences, though I've made that suggestion since that would make the most sense. The LTI integration adds as its own Zoom course navigation item.

If it is possible, and someone knows how to do the Conferences part, I'd love to know!

Oh, right. I remember that about Canvas. Thanks for the reminder.


Steps to Integrate Zoom with Canvas found here

Learner II

Hi  @tamychapman ,

I took a look at BBB for the first time today and gave it a spin. It looks great, but between the requirements of Flash and Java to run the software and share screens respectively, I think we will be steering clear of this conferencing platform. We just can't expect our instructors to troubleshoot issues with Flash and Java in the event they are blocked/disabled or need updating.

Zoom is relatively seamless, requires little or no intervention to run, and is a very flexible and feature rich conferencing tool.