Videos make your course interesting; Canvas makes it easy!

Recording short videos for your class is a simple way to add that human element into your class—even if it is online. They can also be a big time saver. It could take five minutes to record a video for your class, but it might take an hour to directly respond to the same message received from a number of students.

While sending a personalized e-mail to a student does add a nice, personal touch, you can create the same effect by recording a short video in which you share a tidbit of personal information. Do you want to build some rapport with your students? Ask them to record a short video in response!

Canvas simplifies this entire process by allowing faculty to record two-minute videos directly into your course. You can use these videos to provide an overview for the work that students will do for the week, to address any commonly asked questions or concerns that you have been receiving, or to offer encouragement after an assignment due date. Videos are also a great way to show students how to do something rather than telling how something is done.

To record a short introductory video or video update for your course requires minimal equipment and set up. You should make sure you have some background light and a stable recording device. If possible, reduce background noise before recording by, for instance, shutting off your fan or putting your dog outside.

To record directly into Canvas, look for the “Record/upload media” button in the Canvas HTML editor. (It looks like the outline of the play button from your remote control.) Make sure you are in the Record Media tab, allow Canvas access to your recording device, and then start recording!

If you are using Panopto to record your videos, Canvas has a direct link to your Panopto recordings under the “Courses” tab on the left side of your course shell. From there, you can find the videos saved to any of your folders on the Pitt server.

You can embed one of your Panopto videos directly into your course by clicking on the green Panopto logo in the Canvas HTML editor. From there, you can select which video you want to add, select from the options, and then hit the blue “Insert” button in the bottom right of the pop-up box. Note that you may need to scroll down the pop up to find the “Insert” button.

In addition to recording your own videos, Canvas makes it easy to embed videos from external sources, such as YouTube or TED. To do this, use the “Insert/edit media” option in the Canvas HTML editor. (It looks like a play button surrounded by a film icon.) The easiest way to embed an external video is to click on the “Embed” tab and copy and paste the embed code from the original video into the box. The embed code from the original video source has an <iFrame> tag and is usually found by selecting the "Share" option. You can also paste the link to the video under the “General” tab. More information on this is found here.

For more information about recording videos for your class, check out this video from Educause.



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