22 May 2023 - CollaborationNew functions in heiCONF

An update to the university videoconferencing service heiCONF (and heiCONF-Audimax) offers new functionalities and a new whiteboard for better collaboration, in addition to improvements to the interface. The underlying open source software BigBlueButton has been updated to version 2.6, improving performance. Here is an overview of the most important changes.

Interaction and cooperation

Probably the biggest visible change for users is the integration of a new virtual whiteboard, which offers more extensive collaboration possibilities.

  • New Whiteboard (tl;draw): The whiteboard has been updated with TLdraw - a small application which includes improved drawing features and additional pen, text and note-taking tools.
Screenshot 2023-05-17 heiCONF-Update Whiteboard
  • Export shared notes to the whiteboard: Teachers can move the shared notes to the whiteboard presentation area to facilitate collaboration between participants.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - geteilte Notizen
  • Simplified survey setup: It is now possible to prepare polls in advance and set them up quickly and easily through the "Custom Input Option".
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Umfragen
  • Easier switching of participants between breakout rooms: A new dialogue allows participants to be moved easily from room to room using drag-and-drop.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Wechsel Breakout

Ease of use and personalisation

  • New dark mode: The new dark background can be easily selected in the settings. Light letters on a dark background can be easy on the eyes in dark environments.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Dark-Mode
  • Improved echo test dialogue: The Echo Test modal now has a new indicator for the volume of the audio sound instead of the separate confirmation window. This makes audio confirmation quicker and easier.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Echo-Test
  • Pinning multiple webcams: After the update, several webcams can be pinned simultaneously so that they are not rotated out when audio floor switching is enabled. To pin a webcam you can either left-click on the name of the person in the participants list (then "Pin participant's webcam") or left-click on the name of the person in their camera image and select "Pin" from the pull-down menu.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Webcams
  • Upload your own webcam background: You can now use your own pictures as a background for your webcam.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Webcam Hintergrund
  • Set the brightness of the webcam image: In the webcam settings window you can adjust the brightness of your webcam or your background image using the slider at the bottom.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Helligkeit Webcam
  • Simplified layout selection: Layout selection can now be done via the updated layout selection modal located in the Actions menu ("+" symbol).
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Layout
  • Download the presentation along with the whiteboard annotations: Teachers can now export their slides along with the annotations added during the presentation. Selecting “Send to Chat” in the presentation upload modal will send a link to the public chat where participants can download the file.
heiCONF-Update auf BBB v2.6 - Chat
  • Leave or end conference: “Leave conference” is now the penultimate menu item and “End conference” the last menu item. It is also highlighted in red.
Screenshot 2023-05-17 125955_heiCONF Konferenz verlassen

A detailed description of all improvements and bug fixes in BigBlueButton version 2.6 can be found in the linked blog post.