This article describes how a Populi account administrator can set up Conferences for Populi courses. After the setup process is complete, faculty can then use conferences to share live video, discussion, presentations, files, and more with your students in real-time. Populi integrates with two services, both of which require you have an account set up with them:
- Zoom is a video-conferencing service that has gained a lot of traction in the world of online learning. Learn more at their education page.
- BigBlueButton (BBB) is an open-source, web conferencing service designed for higher education. It requires that it be hosted in order to work with Populi. Jump down for a look at your setup options for BBB.
- You can use one service or the other or even both.
Populi works with paid versions of Zoom's Meetings product that include access to the Rest API feature. The minimum plan you can use is the Pro account. Make sure to include as many hosts as you require for your faculty to conduct meetings—if you have questions about how many hosts you need, look through the FAQs on Zoom's pricing page or contact their sales department. To set up this integration, you will first need to set up the appropriate account with Zoom.
- Follow the instructions provided in Zoom's Create a JWT App article. Please refer to those instructions as you follow the next steps (especially when you're copying Verification Tokens and API credentials from Zoom).
- If you wish, you may enter
firstname.lastname@example.org the Developer contact fields.
JWT API KEYand
JWT API SECRETfrom the App Credentials section in Zoom and enter them in the Populi dialog.
- Populi primary email match: Populi will match the faculty user's primary email address with the corresponding email address in Zoom. Use this if you have set up specific Zoom users for individual faculty members.
- Choose from a list of licensed Zoom users: Populi will let the faculty choose from the licensed Zoom users associated with the Zoom account whose credentials (JWT Key, etc.) you entered in this dialog. These Zoom users are identified by email address. Enter the email addresses in the field and separate multiple addresses with commas. Use this if you want your faculty to share selected Zoom user accounts with one another.
- Choose from all licensed Zoom users: Populi will let the faculty choose from any of the licensed Zoom users associated with the Zoom account whose credentials (JWT Key, etc.) you entered in this dialog. Use this if you want your faculty to have access to any of your school's Zoom user accounts.
Setting up BigBlueButton
BigBlueButton requires that it be hosted in order to work with Populi; your school will need to have a working BBB account before you can set up this integration. All things considered, you have two options:
- Set up your own hosting situation. While this might be a lower out-of-pocket cost, it's also a lot of work.
- Engage someone to host it for you. You probably have a few options, but Blindside Networks runs BBB and provides hosting and support services for a lot of schools and other organizations.
To set up BigBlueButton in Populi, your school's Populi Account Administrator will need to do the following:
- Go to Account > Account Settings > Integrations.
- Scroll down the page and enter the BigBlueButton API Endpoint and Shared Secret settings. You can get these from your BigBlueButton host.
- Scroll back to the top of the page and click Save Settings.
If you'd like to take BigBlueButton for a test drive, you can enter these credentials in the above-mentioned settings:
BigBlueButton API endpoint:
BigBlueButton API shared secret:
A few notes:
- Recordings made using the test account will expire after 7 days.
- Certain features (like breakout rooms) are disabled.
- The following welcome message will appear in the public chat for all BigBlueButton sessions: For help using BigBlueButton watch these short tutorial videos. This BigBlueButton session is provided free of charge by Blindside Networks Inc. to Populi customers. Recordings are automatically deleted after 7 days. For permanent recordings and other premium features, please contact Blindside Networks.