Using Video in Blackboard

Video and other multimedia, such as images and audio, are powerful ways to enhance your courses. However, delivering multimedia content via the Internet, such as in Blackboard, can be tricky. Most of these files are large, which can make them difficult for students who may have a slow or unreliable Internet connection. Fortunately, there are several tools in Blackboard that can make this easier.

YouTube Videos

If you are using a video that is already available on YouTube, whether it is a video you found or one you made and posted, you can use the Mashup tool to embed it directly in Blackboard in the Original Course View. This allows students to play the video directly within Blackboard instead of clicking a link to watch the video within YouTube. Mashups can be created within a Content Area or anywhere the Text Editor is used, such as Announcements or Discussion Boards.

A video embedded onto the page using the Mashups tool

In the Ultra Course View, you can embed a YouTube video on a Document using the Insert/Edit Video from the Web button on the text editor toolbar.

Kaltura – Posting Videos You Create

If you have recorded a video and do not want to post it to YouTube, you can post it in Kaltura, instead. Kaltura allows you to post audio and video content in Blackboard but stores the files on a secure server and optimizes them for streaming and mobile use. With Kaltura Capture, you can easily create videos with your webcam and a recording of your computer screen. Kaltura Quizzes allow you to embed questions within the video, as well.

In the Original Course View, Kaltura is available within the Mashups menu in the Text Editor. Students may also use Kaltura to store and share video in Blackboard courses, such as on the Discussion Board or as an Assignment submission.

In the Ultra Course View, Kaltura is available within the Content Market. 

Other Online Video Sources – Embedding via HTML

If you want to use video from another source, such as Vimeo, you can post it in Blackboard by using a Web Link. However, you may be able to embed the video manually, using embed code. Note: Embedding via HTML is only available in the Original Course View.

On the video site, look for an icon or button to Share the video. If there is an embed option, follow these steps:

  1. On the video site, select and copy (Ctrl+C) all of the text within the Embed Code field
  2. In Blackboard, create an Item (or any other Blackboard tool that includes the standard Text Editor)
  3. Click the HTML button at the far right; this opens the HTML editor
  4. Paste (Ctrl+V) the embed code within the HTML window and click the Update button
  5. Click the Submit button

Your video should now be embedded. If this did not work, use the Web Link option instead to post a link to the video.

What About MEDIAL?

Kaltura is replacing MEDIAL as NIU’s campus-wide video hosting platform. Beginning in May 2020, MEDIAL will no longer accept video uploads. The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) is currently developing a migration strategy for videos in MEDIAL that need to be migrated to Kaltura or otherwise preserved. DoIT will be communicating the migration strategy to faculty and staff who have content in MEDIAL in May 2020. Faculty and staff who have content in MEDIAL or other hosting platforms will be able to receive assistance and advice regarding migration options once the strategy is in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have several video files I would like to upload to a Blackboard course I teach. What is a best practice for doing this?

There are several issues to consider before uploading video content to an online course: video format, file size, destination, and copyright infringement.

We do not recommending uploading video directly to Blackboard. Video files are inherently large and require specialized servers to provide an optimal experience for students to view the videos. 

Instead of uploading the video file directly, we recommend using Kaltura to post video files. Kaltura videos can be public, private to only NIU faculty, staff, and students, or limited to only the students in your course. Kaltura also optimizes the videos for streaming and mobile viewing. 

I have a video that I use in class for instructional purposes. It is ok to select segments that I want students view and use for an assignment and add just those segments to my Blackboard for the course? Or would this be a copyright infringement problem?
The issues surrounding copyright and material use within education are complex, with each individual instance unique. Faculty Members seeking to use small segments of copy written materials need to be aware of the acceptable instances for doing so. Several helpful resources include the article entitled, Copyright basics for the Academic Classroom.

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