Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a significant increase in the use of video in teaching and learning on campus. Using the right video can enhance a lecture and increase student engagement. With the rise of YouTube, iTunes U, TED Talks among others, there is plenty of content that can be used to illustrate a concept or give further explanation. On Blackboard, it is easy to embed such videos into your course, allowing students to review in their own time. To embed a YouTube video, just choose the YouTube Video option, under Build Content. For more information see the Blackboard support site.
We also know that many staff are now producing their own videos, perhaps to demonstrate laboratory skills or the use of a particular piece of software. For example, take a look at the Microbiology channel on YouTube. In some cases, students are creating their own videos, as part of an assessment, and sharing them with classmates. The use of video in blended courses is particularly popular.
The problem has traditionally been: where to host the video files? We don’t encourage staff to upload them directly to Blackboard, because video files are huge and we don’t have the storage space for them. YouTube, BlipTV (see, for example, Setting up an Oscilloscope) and Vimeo are all services that host video in the cloud, and can be embedded or linked in Blackboard. For anybody worried about privacy, HEAnet Media Hosting Service also provides hosting, transcode and streaming of video content for HEAnet member institutions.
More recently, we’ve started a pilot scheme using the Kaltura Video building block for Blackboard. This allows you to upload and embed your video and control sharing options from within Blackboard. You can created clips from existing video content, and even record directly from your webcam. Once uploaded, it’s also possible to generate embed code, so that you can use the video on your website or blog, and you can control whether students on your course can share the video or not.
This facility is already available to you in your Blackboard course, and we hope to extend the functionality in the future to allow students upload video assignments, where video content will be approved by instructors before being added to a course gallery.
For more information and a detailed how-to guide, see our Blackboard support pages. We’d love to hear about your use of video in your courses, or if you’d like a little help getting started. Just use the comment facility below, or contact us directly.