- 1 Overview
- 1.1 Registering as a uView user
- 1.2 Copyright
- 1.3 Video sources
- 1.4 Uploading videos
- 1.5 Sharing your videos
- 1.6 Adding videos to Blackboard
- 2 Creating a playlist
- 3 Captioning
- 4 Related Articles
The University of Windsor has created a system called uView to help you upload, convert and stream videos to be used within Blackboard or other university Web sites.
Registering as a uView user
Copyright permission is vital to this process. You should not upload or convert any material that you do not have permission to use. For more information on copyright, please see the copyright support Web site hosted by the Leddy Library.
Once you have determined that you have the appropriate permission to use the video(s), the following instructions will get you started on adding videos to your Blackboard site.
uView can accommodate videos created from a variety of sources, including video cameras, Webcams, DVDs, screen capturing software (e.g. Camtasia) and others. Most of these video sources will produce a "video file" which can be directly uploaded into uView; but some of them (DVDs, VHS tapes, older video cameras) must first be converted into video files from their original format.
If you're not sure how to convert your video for upload into uView, please contact the uView Team.
Here is a short video on how to upload a video to UView approximately 8:22. It is best to view in full screen and select the HD option.
- From the menu across the top, select Upload.
- Click on the Browse button and find the video you want to upload.
- Provide a title for the video. (If you skip this step, the name of the video file will be used as the title.)
- Repeat the steps above for each video.
- Complete by clicking the Upload files button located at the bottom left of your screen.
- Please wait until the upload is complete before leaving the page.
Waiting for encoding
After you've uploaded your video, please wait for it to be encoded (converted into a format suitable for Web viewing). The longer your original video, the longer it will take to encode it.
Low and high quality
For most types of video, we encode two versions of your video: a low quality version, suitable for playback over wireless and other slow networks, and a high-quality version suitable for full-screen playback over a faster network.
The low-quality version will encode fairly quickly; the high-quality version takes more time. As soon as the low-quality version is complete, you'll be able to view and share your video. (Once the high-quality version is ready, your shared video will automatically become available to viewers in both qualities.)
- When playing the video, you can activate the high-quality version by clicking on the "HD is off" button, which appears when you hover your mouse over the video. ("HD" stands for "high definition".)
- Note that HD (high quality) is normally turned off when viewing videos from off-campus, or on wireless; from a wired computer on campus, HD is usually turned on, automatically.
Sharing your videos
Sharing by URL
The easiest way to share your video is simply to share the URL for the video. We offer two URLs for the video:
- the public viewing URL can be viewed by anyone who has the link; no login is required.
- the login-required URL requires the viewer to log in with a UWin ID and password.
Which one you choose is up to you; but typically, the public-viewing URL is the appropriate choice.
You can share this URL by creating a link in your Web site to it (see Adding videos to Blackboard below) or even by emailing it to someone: simply paste the URL into your email message.
Sharing by embedding
You can also embed your video into a Web page. The video plays in the context of the page; the viewer doesn't have to leave your Web site to view the video. In Blackboard, this HTML embedding option is visible from the Content Editor, when selecting the HTML button on the third row of features.
Advanced Option with EmbeddingIf you are comfortable with HTML code, you can even embed a viewer size by using the width and height attribute in the
For help with embedding, please contact the uView Team. If you're embedding your video into a Drupal site, please submit a service request to IT Services Web Support.
Adding videos to Blackboard
- Visit the "My Videos" page on uView. Find the entry for your video, and click on it.
- Look for the public viewing URL near the bottom of the page. Copy this URL to your clipboard:
- Select the text with your mouse, right-click, and choose Copy.
- Or, right-click on the "preview" link immediately below the URL, and choose Copy Link Address.
- Ensure Edit mode is ON
- Click the "+" to add a menu item
- Select the Web Link option
- Copy the full link from the public viewing link (described above) and paste the link into the text field for the URL. Provide an appropriate name for the video link
- Ensure the link is selected to be Available to Users
- Click Submit to complete
Embed the video by using the insert Web Link icon in the content editor when creating new content such as an Item, or Blank Page. Note: Avoid trying to embed the video by using the Insert / Embed video links, because this option does not work with uView content. If you do use the embed video option, select the iFrame type of video (not Flash that is the default) to embed the player into your Item or choose to embed the HTML code (advanced function). To add a link to a Content Area, see steps below:
- Select the Content Area. For example, Resources is the name of the default Content Area in auto-generated course shells.
- Click Build Content to access the menu and select Web Link.
- Type a name and paste or type the URL. Use the http:// protocol, such as http://www.uwindsor.ca/.
- Type an optional description. You can use the functions in the editor to embed content in your text and add formatting. You have creative control over how your content appears and the flexibility to change the order and appearance when you want. To help describe the link, you can use the Content Editor's functions, including uploading files from your computer. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. The file is saved in the top-level folder in your course's file repository: the Content Collection. You can also attach a file from the Content Collection. -OR- Drag files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. If your browser allows, you can also drag a folder of files. The files may upload individually. If the browser doesn't allow you to submit the web link after you upload a folder, select Do not attach in the folder's row to remove it. You can drag the files individually and submit again. You can use the file name or provide another name for the file.
- Select the appropriate options for availability, tracking, and display dates. Display dates don't affect a web link's availability, only when it appears.
- After you submit, the web link appears in the content list. You can change the content at any time. Access the web link's menu and select Edit. You can change where the item appears in the list with the drag-and-drop function or the keyboard accessible reordering tool.
Creating a playlist
Playlists let you present a series of related videos in a single video window, by providing a built-in "menu" alongside the video display.
To create a playlist, please contact the uView Team. Please indicate the name of the playlist, and whether you want the menu to appear at the right side of the video, or below it.
Adding a playlist
It is the same process to at a playlist into your course site as adding a single video. You need to copy the public viewing link and insert it into the Content Area or Menu Link in Blackboard.
You can retrieve the public viewing link in uView by selecting your playlist in the playlist menu at the top. Once you click on your playlist title you will see the public viewing link below the playlist preview. Right click and copy the link address which will need to be pasted into the applicable text field.
Adding videos to your playlist
- Once your videos are done encoding go to uView. You should see them at the top of the list.
- Click on the name of the video and it should start to play.
- On the right-hand side click on Add to Playlist and in the list select your playlist name. The system will automatically add the video to the top of the playlist and it will become immediately available on your course site.
- Repeat these steps for each of your videos.
- Tip: Try to add your videos in reverse order. New videos are added to the
top of the playlist; so the ones you want at the bottom of the playlist should be added first. (You can also re-sequence the videos after you have added them to the playlist.)
The primary goal of captioning is to improve the accessibility of your videos. We have a moral and legal obligation to make information accessible to our clients, regardless of their disability, and providing captioned video is one way to meet these obligations.
For more information on the Ontarians for Disabilities Act, visit Making Ontario Accessible.
Captioning uView videos
You can provide captions for your videos by providing a caption file after the video has been encoded. A caption file contains all of the captions for your video, along with their timings. It has a very specific format; if you open a caption file in a text editor, it will look something like this:
In uView, you can upload this caption file, and it will be automatically associated with your video.
There are three main ways to generate a closed caption file:
- uView Caption Tool (a work in progress, not yet ready for use).
- A desktop or online captioning tool.
- A captioning service company.
uView Caption Tool
- Note: the uView caption tool is a work in progress, and is not yet ready for public use. We are continuing to develop the tool. Please email email@example.com if you have specific questions about its availability.
Description: uView Caption Tool is an integrated system that allows the person uploading a video to create and add captions to their videos from within the uView system. Since it runs in your browser, you will not have to install additional software on your computer.
Overall this method is a good choice for those users who:
- do not have a budget for closed captioning,
- prefer not to have to learn how to use special programs, ,
- don't mind spending the time to do the captioning themselves, and
- are not looking to customize the look of the captioned text.
Things to consider with this approach include:
- can take your time to do properly, and
- captioning cannot be customized.
There are a large variety of programs and online tools to create closed captioned files. To see a list of programs and online tools available, please visit Caption It Yourself.
Some of the positive aspects of using a third-party type of captioning software includes:
- the ability to provide precise control of caption timing, and
- the ability to customize the look of the text.
When considering using a desktop or online tool, you may want to consider the following drawbacks:
- not many of these tools support all operating systems,
- they can have a steep learning curve, and
- they support a fairly limited number of video and audio formats, which may require you to convert your video before you are able to caption it.
After creating the caption information you will need to export a timed text XML file, which you will need to open in a text editor. You will need to copy and paste this information into the caption text box within uView.
Captioning service companies
The final option is to use a caption service company who can create a transcript of the video and the caption file. There are a lot of companies who will do this for you but the one we use in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Windsor is call Automatic Sync Technologies. Their price is under $3 for each minute of video with approximately a $15 dollars minimum charge. This is the best price we have found for educational clients.
Automatic Sync, like many of these companies have moved their services online. This means that you must submit a smaller file size version of your video, usually less than 1GB, through their web interface. This may require you to transcode your video to get it under the file size restriction. Once they get your video and create the caption file they will either email or make it available to you through their web interface. You will than need to open it in a text editor, and copy and paste the information into the uView caption text box.
The positive aspects of this process include:
- you do not have to caption the files yourself,
- you will likely save time on preparing the captioning,
- good caption companies have an accuracy of over 98 percent, and
- captioned files can be customized to meet your needs.
The down side of using these services is:
- the cost of having to pay someone to do it for you, and
- you lose some control with customization.