I have several video files I would like to upload to a Blackboard course I teach frequently (twice a year). 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.

There are many video formats/types available for online distribution (ex. WMV, MOV, mp4, m4v, FLV, RM). The better choices use encoding processes that compress video, reducing file size and enhancing streaming. The specific video format selected are based on where the video file will be played on a (i.e., computer, mobile devices) as well as the media player used (Windows Media Player, Flash Player, QuickTime, Real Player).

Video files are inherently large files, so video encoding applications that reduce their size can facilitate online distribution. Nevertheless, depending on the length of the video, files can still be quite large (approximately 4 MBs per minute). Since the current limit for file size on Blackboard is 300 MB, files exceeding this limit cannot be uploaded to Blackboard.

Video files can be uploaded to a faculty member’s Personal Content Collection in Blackboard where they can be linked to specific courses. When a course is copied, only the link to the video file will be duplicated in the new course – not the video file itself.

Alternatively, faculty may choose to post their video content to the University Media Server, and then create a link from their Blackboard course. Faculty must request space on this server by filling out a Computing Access Resources (CAR) form:

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 assigment 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 by Rebecca P. Butler.

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Last Updated: 05/23/2012