Kaltura: Media Streaming

Overview

Kaltura logo

The Kaltura/eLearn integration allows you to easily upload large video files directly within eLearn to the Kaltura system, and easily publish and stream videos in eLearn courses. In addition, Kaltura allows you to easily create original recordings using your webcam, and integrate them into your courses.

How it works

As a rule, video files tend to be too large to store in eLearn courses, and generally should be streamed from a dedicated media server in order to be practical for distribution and playback. The Kaltura/eLearn integration is such a system, allowing all staff and faculty at Mohawk to upload and store huge video files, regardless of format, and make them available to learners within the Content and other eLearn tools.

Media streaming allows video or audio content to be sent in compressed form over the Internet from the media server (Kaltura) and played back immediately, rather than being saved first to the hard drive. With streaming, a user does not have to wait to download a file to play it, and because the media is sent in a continuous stream of data, it can play as it arrives.  The video packets are reconstituted within the video player itself.

Using Kaltura and streaming media, rather than uploading a media file directly into an eLearn course’s Content/Manage Files and requiring users to download it, provides a more efficient use of bandwidth because only the part of the file that's being transferred is the part that’s being watched. Also, the stream delivers a quality viewing experience based on the bandwidth available; if the user is on a slow Internet connection, the stream characteristics will change to allow a reasonable viewing experience with minimal buffering. Another advantage for faculty is that streaming allows more control over the intellectual property, because the video file is not stored on the viewer's computer. Once the video data is played, it is discarded by the media player.

Use at Mohawk

The basic workflow for making large custom (or publisher-supplied) videos available to learners in an eLearn course involves uploading the file to the Kaltura server, and then embedding a specific video player within a webpage in the course. Video and audio files can be embedded in any webpage in your course- new or existing pages- and in many different tools, including Quizzes, Discussions, News, etc.

Uploading Files: Media files are first uploaded to the system using the Insert Stuff framework in eLearn’s HTML editor, the tool that is used in eLearn to create and edit webpages. Open a new or existing webpage in the HTML editor, and choose the Insert Stuff option on the editor’s toolbar. Selecting the My Media option will reveal thumbnail images of your previously-uploaded media will display, as well as the Add New button. Using the Add New wizard, you will be able to upload and name your media file.

Embedding the Player in a Webpage: To add an existing (stored) video to a webpage, you must open (edit) an existing webpage or create a new one in the HTML editor. Choose the Insert Stuff option on the editor’s toolbar. Selecting the My Media option will reveal thumbnail images of your previously-uploaded media. Select the desired video and complete the wizard to embed the player on the webpage.

Who can help you at Mohawk

In-person help

Contact an Instructional Designer for assistance with Kaltura.

Online help

Using Kaltura for Video INFOsheet