Using video in your courses this semester?

Person teaching on a computer screen

Video files are large and require specialized servers to provide an optimal experience for students. Blackboard is not a streaming server and media files will degrade system performance. Follow the do’s and don’ts below to provide the best student experience:

Don’t upload the video file directly in Blackboard, as you would with a word doc or pdf file.

Do upload videos to Panopto or Echo360 and embed or place a link in Blackboard in any content area so your students can access the video in the context of your instruction. Both those tools allow videos to be public, private to only UIC students and instructors, or limited to only the students in your course. Both tools also optimize the videos for streaming and mobile viewing.

Don’t request students to upload video files as part of a Blackboard Assignment.

Do create an assignment that allows students to upload a video via Panopto in Blackboard. Besides that method, you can also use Echo360 or VoiceThread to handle video assignments while keeping those videos protected.

Don’t record an hour-long lecture.

Do scaffold students’ learning by recording short (5 minutes or less) video segments with a clear concept or topic and check for understanding. Checking mastery of a concept using non-graded quizzes is a great way to let students try. If you plan to reuse your videos, using Blackboard is the best solution because if you create quizzes in Panopto, you will need to relink the quiz manually each time you use the video.

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE) multimedia specialists or instructional support staff in your college can help you move video outside of Blackboard into Panotpo or Echo360.

For questions on how to create and manage video in your course, schedule an appointment with a multimedia specialist here:

Visit for more tips, resources and strategies for online teaching.

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