Let’s Get Video Into Canvas

Filed in LMS, Multimedia, Useful Tools by on July 7, 2017

Hi everyone!

With our recent switch from Blackboad to the Canvas LMS, many of you have probably already noticed that storage space for files within course sites is generally limited to 1 GB. That’s plenty of space for lecture notes and other regular documents that you’re sharing as part of the course, but it’s not nearly enough space for video files.

Storage within Canvas has limits for a good reason:
The Canvas (and previously Blackboard) servers are optimal for storing and organizing small files, and for presenting course materials. To deliver a video, though, you need a different type of server that can detect various internet connection speeds, web browsers, and mobile devices and can make adjustments on-the-fly to keep the videos playing consistently.

We’ve got 2 streaming media servers here at WPI. Many of you are already familiar with the Echo360 system, which can record video in the classroom and post to a section of your course site.

I want to introduce you to our second server, Ensemble. You’ll be seeing a link for it pretty soon, right from within Canvas!

Ensemble Media Button

The Ensemble Media Server is a great place to upload course video files that aren’t intended to appear within your course Echo360 page.

When you add a video to Ensemble, you have options to share a link, embed into websites, permit (or forbid) downloading, and more. Videos can easily embed into any of the full text editor boxes in Canvas, too–including Pages, Discussion Boards, and Piazza discussions.

If you’ve never used Ensemble before, the new link will take you straight to your personal media library, with 2 GB of storage space. Every WPI community member can have their own personal library, so it’s a great place to have students upload project videos! They can manage their own media files, and share the links as assignments or on discussion boards. It’s all kept on our servers, so their work doesn’t have to end up Youtube anymore.

If you’re making videos for class, or for departmental or organization purposes, you might need more space than the personal 2GB library permits. That’s ok! Just reach out to your friendly ATC-ttl office and let us know what you need. We can make libraries with more storage space, and we can add multiple contributors to one library, so you can have a whole group of people managing a library.

There’s lots to explore in there! We’ve put together a brief page that covers the submission options (with screenshots!) right here: Submitting a Video

We’ve also got a page showing how to share or embed videos, once you’ve got them on the server: Sharing a Media Server Video

And as always, any questions, concerns, advice–contact us through our atc-ttl email, or via the Helpdesk, and we’ll get everything squared away.

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