The Helix Media Library (HML) is a new feature that makes it easier to incorporate media like audio and video into Blackboard by encoding and converting media so that it is optimized for streaming and able to play on most devices.
With the Helix Media Library, audio and video files are added from within a Blackboard course, but the content is uploaded to a streaming server. This means that the content does not consume space in the Course Quota and is able to handle multiple students viewing the content simultaneously. Unlike using public services like YouTube or Vimeo, content posted through Helix is private and secured on a locally-based university server. From within a Blackboard course, users have the ability to determine access permissions to posted content. The three permission options include 'Personal' (only instructor and students can view), 'Protected' (only NIU affiliated users) and 'Public' (anyone online can view content).
The Helix Media Library is a Mashup tool on the Visual Text Box Editor. This means that video/audio content can be uploaded anywhere there is access to the text box editor, by both faculty and students. For faculty, this could include adding items to a content area, creating announcements and assignments, or posting a Discussion Board topic. Students could upload their own media for an assignment or when collaborating on the discussion board, blogs, wikis, or journals.
NIU Faculty, staff, and students have 4 Gigabytes (GBs) of storage space for their media content on the Helix Media Library. However, if needed, they can submit a request to ITS through the Computing Access Resources (CAR) form to increase the quota for free in 4 GB increments. Individual files can be up to 2 GB in size, which allows users to upload longer video segments.
Faculty and students who post content should be aware of the copyright status that applies to the videos they post. Preferably, posted content should be created by the individual uploading the file. Otherwise, it is best to have permission to use the materials from the copyright holder.
There are a number of practical and pedagogically effective uses for the Helix Media Integration:
Last updated: 3/11/2015