Canvas - Responding with Video in a Discussion (UW-Madison)

This document provides instructors an overview of different options for student use of video in discussion posts. It describes two scenarios for how instructors could have their students participate in video-based discussions.

Scenario 1: Students Upload Videos Directly to Canvas

Things to Consider

  1. Completely Mobile Solution - This scenario allows the student to record and post videos completely from their mobile device.
  2. Student Cognitive Load - This scenario has the potential to cause less cognitive overload since the students could use their phone to do the entire process.
  3. Storage Limits - Videos can have a large file size. Canvas has storage limits for what can be uploaded. Students may hit these storage limits and not be able to upload their videos.
  4. Students Directly Uploading Videos (Separate from Webcam Recording) - According to this Canvas document, “Any attachments added as part of discussions are copied to [the student’s] user files. Attachments for graded discussions are not counted against [the student’s] user quota and cannot be deleted”.

    According to this UW-Madison KB document, individual users have a storage limit of 512 MB. In other words, students, in total, have a storage limit of 512 MB that they cannot exceed. Video files can get large rather quickly, so students may hit this storage limit if they upload many videos.

    Warning - Instructor Prerequisite If the instructor plans on allowing students attach files to discussions, they need to make sure the option “Attach files to discussions” is selected. This is described in the following Canvas guide: How do I allow students to attach files to a course discussion?.

  5. Webcam Recordings - According to the same UW-Madison KB document, “Webcam recordings and media comments created directly in Canvas are stored on a separate media server and do not count toward your course's storage quota.

    This means if students are using the webcam recorder via a laptop or desktop computer, those videos will not go against any quota. This would also require that students have a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam.

How to Use Your Android or iPhone to Get Video Into a Canvas Discussion Reply (Student Guide)

Instructors: Provide the following instructions to your students by linking to this KB doc: Canvas - How to Use Your Android or iPhone to Get Video Into a Discussion Reply (UW-Madison).

  1. Use the recording option that works best for you to record your video.
  2. Add the video as an attachment to your discussion post:
    1. How do I add an attachment to a Discussion in the Canvas app on my iOS device?
    2. How do I reply to a Discussion in the Canvas app on my Android device?

How to Use Your Laptop or Desktop Computer to Get Video Into a Canvas Discussion Reply (Student Guide)

Instructors: Provide the following instructions to your students by linking to this KB doc: Canvas - How to Use Your Laptop or Desktop Computer to Get Video Into a Canvas Discussion Reply (UW-Madison).

  1. Use the recording option that works best for you to record your video.
  2. Depending on which recording option you use, you will use one of the following options for getting your video into the Canvas discussion post:
    1. Pre-recorded using an app: How do I upload a video using the Rich Content Editor?
    2. Using the Canvas Webcam Recorder: How do I record a video using the Rich Content Editor?
    3. Using the Kaltura Webcam Recorder: Kaltura - Recording video with Webcam Recorder in Canvas

Scenario 2: Students Upload Videos to Kaltura and Embed in Canvas

Things to Consider

  1. Not a Completely Mobile Solution - Adding videos to Kaltura can be done on students’ phones, but embedding content into a Canvas discussion post cannot be easily done on a phone. Therefore, students using their phones would have to record the video on their phone, upload to Kaltura via their phone, and then use a computer to embed the video into a discussion post.
  2. Student Cognitive Load - As mentioned in the section above, this scenario may require students to use multiple apps and therefore multiple interfaces. This may increase cognitive load. Students using their phones would have to:
    1. Use their phone’s camera app to record a video
    2. Use a mobile browser to upload video to Kaltura
    3. Use a computer browser to embed Kaltura video in discussion post
    Hopping between this many interfaces may cause confusion.

How to Use Your Android or iPhone to Get Video Into Kaltura MediaSpace

Instructors: Provide the following instructions to your students by linking to this KB doc: Kaltura - How to Upload Videos to MediaSpace using Your Phone (UW-Madison).

Warning! Uploading videos takes a lot of data! The Learn@UW team recommends that you wait until you are on WiFi to upload videos to Kaltura.

There are two methods to upload media to Kaltura: 

  1. Kaltura MediaSpace Go (KMS Go) app  
  2. Your phone's browser. 

Kaltura MediaSpace Go (KMS Go) app

The preferred method utilizes Kaltura's KMS Go App. Basic instructions on installing KMS Go are available in Kaltura - Installing and configuring Kaltura MediaSpace Go (KMS Go) app for mobile devices . Kaltura has additional documentation in: Kaltura MediaSpace Go (KMS Go). Kaltura has additional documentation on creating or uploading content in their documents:

Using your phone's browser

The second method to upload content is through your phone's Internet Browser. To do so, follow these steps:

    1. Record your video with your Android or iPhone Camera application.
    2. Open a browser application on your smartphone and navigate to
    3. Click the person icon in the top right corner. Click "Media Upload".

    4. (Optional) If you have not yet logged in to Kaltura MediaSpace, you will be prompted to log in.
    5. Click Choose a file to upload.
    6. Either select a previously recorded video (recommended) or record a new video.
    7. The video will begin to upload. "Upload Completed!" will display when finished.
    8. (Optional) Kaltura will automatically set the file name as the name of the uploaded video. The file name is not always the best for identifying the video at a later date, so it is recommended that you give your video a more relevant title by changing the "Name" field.
    9. Once finished modifying the metadata, click Save at the bottom of the screen.

    How to Embed Kaltura Video into a Canvas Discussion Reply

    Instructors: Provide the following instructions to your students by linking to this KB doc: Canvas - How to embed a video in Canvas with the rich content editor (RCE) using Kaltura Media (UW-Madison).

    Kaltura MediaSpace is UW-Madison's media streaming service and is integrated with Canvas. Kaltura media can be embedded wherever Canvas allows you to use the rich content editor. Embedding Kaltura media in a Canvas Page or other Canvas tool is generally how we recommend instructors include media in a course at UW-Madison. Embedded media provides more context and keeps the student in Canvas rather than sending them to an external link outside of Canvas. It also allows Kaltura to collect more detailed analytics.

    1. In your Canvas course, go to the Canvas page, discussion post, or quiz discussion you want to embed Kaltura media in. Click Edit.
    2. Move your cursor to the point in your Canvas item where you want to insert Kaltura media.
    3. Click the blue V icon to view the More External Tools menu. Select Kaltura Media from the drop-down list:
      A screenshot showing the Canvas rich content editor. The user has clicked on the blue "V" icon to open the external tools menu. The cursor hovers over "Kaltura Media" which is outlined in red.

      For those using the new Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) available as a feature option in Canvas on January 18th, 2020 this step is slightly different (click this text to expand):

      On January 18th 2020, a new Canvas feature option will allow instructors to enable "RCE Enhancements". RCE stands for "Rich Content Editor". If you have enabled this feature this step is slightly different. Click the new Apps button which looks like an electrical plug on the far right of the menu. You may need to click on the three dot button on the right to expand the menu to see the button:
      A screenshot showing the new Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) toolbar. The user has clicked on the three dot menu on the far right and expanded the menu. The mouse hovers over the "Apps" button which looks like an electrical plug. The button is outlined in orange to help draw attention to it.
      A Select App window will open. Scroll down and click on Kaltura Media to open the Kaltura Media window and proceed to step 4:
      A screenshot showing Canvas's "Select App" window. The user has scrolled down so that "Kaltura Media" is available. The cursor is hovering near the text, ready to click  on it to open the "Kaltura Media" window. The text is outlined in orange to help draw attention to it.

    4. A window titled Kaltura Media will open showing the media content associated with your Kaltura account. By default it is on the My Media tab. If you are using a course media gallery, first select the media gallery by clicking on the Media Galleries drop-down menu at the top of the screen and clicking on your media gallery. These directions assume you select a media entry from My Media. More information on using media galleries is available in Kaltura - Using Kaltura course media galleries and analytics in Canvas .
      • If you'd like to upload media at this point you can also click Add New and select Media Upload or another option to add new media to your account.
    5. Scroll to or search for the media you want to embed. Click the </> Embed button next the media you want to embed:
      A screenshot showing the "Kaltura Media" window. A video named "Test - Very basic Kaltura video" is displayed. The cursor hovers over the "</> Embed" button.
      Optional: If you would like to customize how your media is embedded in Canvas, instead of clicking the </> Embed button, click the gear button:
      A screenshot showing the gear button in isolation.
      An Embed Settings window will display:
      A screenshot showing the Kaltura "Embed Settings" screen. There are options to (1) choose the player, (2) choose the max embed size, (3) turn thumbnail embed on or off, (4) turn autoplay on or off, (5) set these settings as the default settings for this media type, (6) set the start time, (7) set the end time, and (8) the </> Embed button.
      1. Choose Player: Users can now choose between the "Main Player" and the "Main Player with Download Button" if they want users to be able to download the media file locally to their computer. If you choose the "Main Player with Download Button", viewers can download the original version of the video you uploaded to Kaltura by clicking the Download video button in the upper right of the video:
        A screenshot showing a zoomed in view of the "download" button in the upper right of the Kaltura download player.
      2. Max Embed Size: Users can choose how large the media is displayed within the Canvas rich content editor.
      3. Thumbnail Embed: Turning thumbnail embed on renders an image that will display instead of the video player. The student needs to click on the image to load the player. Generally we recommend keeping this option turned off.
      4. Auto Play: Turning auto play on plays the media immediately when the student loads the page with the embedded media. We recommend you keep auto play off and let the student choose to play the media by clicking the "Play" button.
      5. Set as my default settings for media type: Video (or Audio, or Image): If you like the settings you have selected you can check this box to make future embeds use them without having to set them every time.

        Some users have reported that this feature does not actually allow them to set the embed settings as their default.

      6. Start at: Set the start time for the media item.
      7. End at: Set the end time for the media item.
      8. </> Embed: When you have set the options you want, click the </> Embed button to embed the media.
    6. The video will show up on your Canvas page. You can continue to edit the page and add text if you'd like. Once you're done click the Save button.
    7. Canvas will display your page with your embedded Kaltura video.

    Recording Options

    NOTE: Of all the recording options listed below only Kaltura Capture, the Kaltura MediaSpace webcam recorder, and the Canvas Webcam Recorder are supported by Learn@UW-Madison. We can not provide assistance with any other applications. The options below are a good place to get started. For current tutorials, use Google to search for “[Name of your device] record video”.

    Device/App OS Instructions
    Kaltura MediaSpace Webcam Recorder Browser-Based Link for using in MediaSpace
    Link for using in Canvas
    Canvas Webcam Recorder
    Browser-Based Link
    Kaltura Capture
    Windows or macOS Link
    iPhone iOS Link
    Google Pixel Android Link
    Windows Computer Windows 10 Link
    Windows Computer Windows 8 and 8.1 Link
    Windows Computer Windows 7 Link
    Apple Computer macOS Link
    Chromebook Chrome OS Link
    Linux Computer Ubuntu 16.04 Link (YouTube Video)

    See Also: