Blackboard- portraits and cap and gownGuest post from Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan, and a Blackboard MVP. Eric’s primary role focuses on collaborating and supporting distance learning initiatives at the university while exploring future trends in emerging technologies in teaching and learning. Follow Eric on Twitter @ekunnen



Video is one of the most powerful, motivating, and visual ways to learn.  Student achievement is directly connected to the level of engagement they feel with their peers, instructor, and the content.  In an era of greater expectations, increasing importance of student persistence and retention, there has never been a more important time to leverage the use of video in teaching and learning.

The good news?  It’s never been easier to integrate video into your teaching.

Video Everywhere

The benefits of video can easily and effectively be incorporated inside a learning management system (LMS). In Blackboard Learn, this built-in feature is called Video Everywhere.  This tool allows students and faculty to place video in nearly any location in the LMS, from discussion board posts, to assessment feedback, to blog posts, journals, wikis, and of course in announcements and content areas.

To provide just-in-time feedback or to build in spontaneous interaction, users can record video directly via their webcam or reuse an already recorded video.  Furthermore, by leveraging the power and ease of use of YouTube, this tool allows you to add rich media into courses quickly and efficiently.

Campus Video Repositories

In addition to the Video Everywhere tool, Grand Valley State University (GVSU) provides video solutions for faculty, staff, and students through Blackboard integration with the Ensemble video platform.  Ensemble offers a robust video solution that assists in the management of campus wide video repositories.  Through Blackboard Building Block integration, faculty can leverage campus video content through the Mashup feature linking in playlists and submitting video directly into the Ensemble system which handles processing and converting the video into a mobile friendly format.

Along with Ensemble, there are many other applications and video solutions available for institutions that can help better manage and streamline large video collections. A couple of examples include: Kaltura and ShareStream.

Lecture Capture

In an effort to empower faculty to easily and cost effectively capture their lectures, GVSU leverages the use of Techsmith Relay.  This lecture capture system is easy-to-use and provides a quick way to capture a lecture, demonstration, tutorial, or other content to support traditional, online or hybrid classes, as well as new models such as flipped classrooms.

Content from Techsmith Relay can be sent to YouTube, Ensemble Video, iTunes U, or other destination points.

In addition to Relay, there are many other lecture capture systems available in the market today. A few examples include: echo360, Mediasite, Panopto, Tegrity, and other personal camera solutions such as Swivl.

External Video and Embedding

Finally, Blackboard Learn also supports embedding and/or linking to video from many other systems and solutions.  Sites such as YouTubeTeacherTubeVimeoViddler, or other video repositories can be embedded easily by switching to html mode in the content editor and then pasting in the embed code.

The benefit of embedding video into a course is that it enables the students to stay within the context of the course and within the sequence of instruction, rather than linking out away from course content.

Value of Video

Kim Kenward, Instructional Designer at GVSU, underscores the value of video for students: “Through the use of informal surveys in several of our online courses, students indicate that they value instructor made videos and they appreciate the personal touch they provide to course content.  Statistics generated from our videos, also indicate that students are watching the instructor-made videos multiple times throughout the semester.”

In addition, we have collected many student comments at GVSU including the following:

“Continue to make videos! I learn best by listening, so I appreciate having heard requirements and expectations rather than reading them!”
– Quote from Online Graduate Education GVSU Student

“The videos help to put a personal feel to the course, and again, it shows the organization and thoroughness of the course setup.”
– Quote from Online Graduate Education GVSU Student

“Various forms of media always help me learn better. Sometimes it can be difficult to read or write after a long day of work where I spend a lot of time reading and writing. Videos make it easy to be engaged in the material. “
– Quote from Online Graduate Education GVSU Student



Related Posts

Share This Article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Email