Conferencing Systems Status: 18.10.2021

This clickable map below gives you an initial overview of which tool is suitable for your event setting. Afterwards, you can learn more about our individual audio/video conferencing systems that we offer at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg in the tabular comparison.

Contact persons

Christian Noack & Marie Troike

T +49 (0)355 69 3939
(Tue - Thu: 9 am - 12 pm)

We are available directly for consultation by appointment.

Recommended tools for web and video conferencing Status: 18.10.2021

 BigBlueButtonJitsi MeetCisco WebExDFNConf (pexip)
Max. number of participantsapprox. 60about 20up to 1000max. 23 (+streaming for any number of participants)
Data protection+++++++++
Access optionsvia web browser
  • via web browser
  • via desktop app (available at the link above)
  • Browser plugin available
  • alternative accesses:
    • Phone dial-in
    • Video conferencing systems or applications
    • Skype for Business
  • Web browser on Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux via link
  • with video conferencing systems or applications (H.323)
  • alternative accesses:
    • Phone
    • Skype for Business
    • Smartphone after installing Pexip app (Android / iOS)
Access requirements for lecturers / moderators / event organizers
  • BTU account
  • Role "Lecturer" in Moodle (meeting room is created as an activity)
  • BTU account
  • Webex account (assignment is made centrally upon request to the eLearning team)
  • Installation of the desktop app (Win, Mac) optional
  • Meeting ID number
  • Meeting password
  • Host password
  • Registration at DFNconf as host via IKMZ/ Multimedia Center
  • Setup of the meeting via DFNconf access:
Access requirements for students / participants
  • Role of participant in the respective Moodle course
  • for access via BBB portal: link to the meeting room
  • if necessary room access code
  • Link to the meeting room
  • PIN if applicable
  • Meeting identification number (access code)
  • meeting password
  • Enter name and e-mail address
  • Conference link with the conference number
  • PIN if necessary
Essential functionalities
  • Screen sharing
  • Recording
  • File upload
  • Share external video
  • Polls (always anonymous for participants, always public for organizers)
  • Breakout rooms (group rooms)
  • Chat
  • Raise hand
  • Create notes
  • Draw/annotate (also TN, save as screenshot)
  • Role management
  • Mute participants
  • Screen sharing
  • Chat
  • Raise hand
  • Collaborative document editing (Etherpad function)
  • Screen sharing
  • Record
  • Chat
  • Whiteboard
  • Polls (can be anonymous or public for participants)
  • File upload
  • Series appointments
  • Breakout rooms (group rooms)
  • Raise hand
  • Drawing/annotations (also participants, download as PDF)
  • Create minutes
  • Role administration
  • Create meeting for another person
  • Mute participants
  • Share screen
  • Chat
  • Streaming (by organizer) with text chat
  • Recording (by organizer)
Primary use scenarios
  • Online lecture
  • Exercise/seminar (with collaborative character)
  • office hours, consultation
  • oral online examination, disputation
  • Online meetings
  • Online lecture in small group e.g. exercise/ seminar
  • office hours, consultation
  • Online meetings
  • oral online examination,
  • Disputation with smaller numbers of participants (if necessary via a separate secure instance - please contact the MMZ if required)
  • Online lecture especially with larger numbers of participants
  • Exercise/ Seminar
  • Disputation with larger numbers of participants
  • Online meetings
  • Online conferences (on request)
  • Streaming (on request)
  • Online lecture in small groups e.g. exercise/ seminar
  • Office hours, consultation
  • Online reviews
    • Video conferences (max. 23 tln.)
    • Audio conferences (max. 50 tln.)
  • Installation on BTU's own servers
  • Installation on BTU's own servers, password protection possible
  • Cloud solution, Cisco video conferencing platform with separate BTU instance,
  • Password protection possible
  • Central DFN service for universities and research institutions,
  • PIN for organizers and for guests (optional)
Current notes
  • After updating to version 2.7, you can specify in the room settings whether recordings should be possible. The default setting is "NO".
  • Recordings are not visible immediately after the end of a conference. Depending on the workload, it may take a few days before a recording appears in the account.
  • Current notes to updates and new features of the Webex video conferencing platform!
  • at peak times (Mon-Fri in each case) there may be restrictions:
    • 09:00 - 11:00
    • 13:00 - 16:00
  • the partly strong restrictions in availability observed at the beginning of the Corona crisis have now not been observed/ perceived for a longer period of time
Further information/ instructions

Frequently asked questions

What do I do in case of technical problems during a videoconference?

What do I do if I can't connect to the video conference?

  • This is probably due to an excessive load on the system. If possible, use other communication channels such as e-mail, telephone, chat or forum to establish contact with the video conference participants and clarify the situation.
  • Alternatively, you could provide the content to be discussed elsewhere (e.g., as a recorded video) and reschedule the discussion for a later time.

What do I do if my microphone and/or camera are not working?

  • General:
    • check in the control panel whether the microphone/camera are active
  • Windows10:
    • in the Windows settings under "Privacy" release the app permissions for camera and microphone

What do I do in case of poor sound quality or feedback?

  • As an active speaker, always use headphones, or even better, a headset!
  • First check your audio settings via Meeting → Audio Setup Wizard.
  • All participants should switch their microphones to silent when they are not speaking.

What do I do if the transmission falters?

  • Turn off your camera if possible. The less data that needs to be transmitted, the better the quality should be.
  • Try using a different web browser - some systems work better with certain web browsers. For example, when using Jjtsi (meet.btu), it is recommended to use the Chrome browser.
  • Do not use a VPN connection during the video conference.
What are the general usage guidelines for participating in videoconferences?
  • If possible, use a headset; at least headphones or a special conference speaker with microphone and echo-canceling function.
  • Before the video conference, check that the video camera (WebCam) and microphone are working correctly. If necessary, the appropriate options must be set in the system settings of your notebook/PC, e.g. enabling of the camera and microphone must be activated in the browser or in the application.
  • As a rule, no VPN should be used during the video conference.
  • It is recommended to avoid peak hours. When using DFN services, particularly high load is observed during the times: 9:00-11:00 and 13:00-15:00.
  • Please take into account that not all students may have sufficient bandwidth.
  • In case of problems with the transmission, it is recommended to switch off the video cameras if necessary or to activate the microphone only when speaking.
  • If you want your video image to be easily recognizable, do not position your camera against light sources (e.g. opposite the window).
What do I need to know about digital etiquette and how do I incorporate it with my students in my online teaching?

Just as with face-to-face teaching and learning, (the) rules of respectful interaction are needed in the digital space. In a nutshell, here are some tips for your video-based, synchronous online teaching using services such as BigBlueButton or WebEx:

  • Familiarize yourself with the digital service in question before the event begins. Log in at least 5 min. before the start of the event.
  • Advise your participants if you are recording the event and be sure to obtain consent.
  • Enter your name in the format [first name last name] when joining a digital course.
  • Deposit (in Webex) a profile picture of yourself (that would be nice!) or another icon picture. This will appear once your camera is turned off.
  • Unless there are special reasons (system overload, technical problems, etc.), always turn on your camera in online events.
  • When setting up your teaching and learning space, make sure the background is as neutral as possible.
  • You turn your microphone on when you are speaking, but off when you are not. This will help avoid distracting feedback. Use a headset if possible.

(borrowed from TU Dresden (November 3, 2020). Digital Etiquette)

The document [PDF] "(N)etiquette for online teaching" from Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences" (German) gives you recommendations for digital interaction in virtual teaching/learning scenarios. Summarized in a clear way, you will find hints that you should consider before, during and after the virtual teaching event. Please note: In the document, technical settings refer to the video conferencing service "Zoom". All of these points can also be applied to the "Webex" service used by BTU-.

To design a common etiquette with your students, you can use the document [PDF] "Code of Conduct: Rules for Digital Coursework at Freie Universität Berlin" (English) as a suggestion. You are welcome to agree on your own rules of the game for joint interaction in the digital space with your students.

How can I record my online courses (a-)synchronously and make them available to students later?

We have compiled the tutorial "Recording of Online Courses" (German) for you, in which the recording of your course content in the video conferencing systems "Cisco WebEx" and "BigBlueButton" as well as the browser-based tool "Opencast Studio" is shown step by step. This way you are well prepared for recording in synchronous as well as asynchronous teaching settings.

We would also like to refer you to the sample form for the declaration of consent (German) for the production and publication of recordings of online teaching events, if you plan to record students with their image and spoken contributions during live events.

Other tools and platforms for video conferencing

PlatformFeaturesHints for use
Talk appin the BTU orgcloud  
  • P2P solution for video communication between people with BTU account
  • recommended for groups of up to approx. 5 people (based on practical experience to date)
  • OrgCloud can be set up for BTU structural units upon request (webmaster(at)
  • Works best when either
    • all participants uniformly use VPN access to the campus network or
    • are located in the campus network or
    • uniformly none of the participants use VPN and none are located in the campus network.
  • Currently, there are reports of technical difficulties in establishing the connection (long duration); once the connection is established, the video conference functions stably.
  • Quick guide Talk-App BTU-Orgcloud
  • Microsoft solution as part of Office 365
  • Video conferencing/online seminars possible up to approx. 250 participants
  • Prerequisite: a Microsoft account for setting up a team or a meeting are required
  • Invitation of participants without MS account is possible via link.
  • A client app is available for different platforms.
  • Recordings are possible.
  • Unfortunately, the current BTU regulation states that the software may only be used for private use due to data protection reasons. Therefore, as it stands, we cannot recommend the system for regular official use.

Further information on platforms and tools can be found, among other places, on the websites of the University Forum for Digitization.