LITE 115 Course: Enhancing Course Videos with PlayPosit

Is there a teaching technology that you’ve heard CATL talk about but haven’t gotten the chance to try out yet? Want to learn a new tool alongside fellow instructors so you can swap ideas and tips? In addition to the three courses in the DE Certificate, CATL is offering supplemental professional development training courses that explore certain teaching tools and techniques in more depth!

Learning and Integrating Technology for Education (LITE) 115: Enhancing Course Videos with PlayPosit will equip you with the guidance you need to start building interactive videos, called “bulbs,” for your own courses. Work through each module at your own pace as you discover the basics of PlayPosit, build your first bulb, and finally implement PlayPosit bulbs in one of your courses. Participants will also learn how to monitor bulbs and use PlayPosit’s analytics to reveal data on student engagement and achievement that may be informative for planning future iterations of a course.

Prerequisites: None (though completion of LITE 101 is recommended)

When: Registration from the Winter/Spring 2023 cohort is now closed. Stay tuned for registration information for future semesters!

Badges

Participants will earn a digital badge for completing each of the three modules in LITE 115 that you can include in your email signature or embed in online portfolios or resumes as evidence of your commitment to professional development! Participants will not be obligated to complete all three modules and may participate at whichever level fits their interest and capacity.

Questions?

If you have any questions about LITE 115 or PlayPosit in general, please contact CATL (CATL@uwgb.edu). You can also check out our blog resources on PlayPosit as well as a selection of step-by-step guides in the UWGB IT Knowledgebase.

PlayPosit: Time-Saving Tips

What is PlayPosit? And what can PlayPosit do for you?

What is PlayPosit? PlayPosit is a video resource tool integrated with Canvas that allows instructors to create interactive videos. Using PlayPosit terminology, these videos are referred to as bulbs. Instructors can embed questions or other engagement check-points, called interactions, into recorded lecture videos, YouTube videos, or other Kaltura video recordings. For a more detailed summary of PlayPosit, please see this previous blog created by CATL.

What can PlayPosit do for you? PlayPosit can be used to create alternative learning materials for your course and offers more options besides traditional text-based resources for students to engage with.  Using bulb interactions, you can check student knowledge during a recorded lecture video, provide extra materials via external URL links to highlight a key learning point, provide space for students to anonymously ask clarifying questions, or even allow students to record time-stamped comments and notes for later review. A more detailed breakdown of the different types of interactions offered within PlayPosit bulbs as well as a few use cases like creating quizzes, breaking up long lectures, and much more can be found here.

Increasing Dialogue: How can PlayPosit help you collect student feedback?

Another powerful feature of this tool is that you can also use PlayPosit within your Canvas course to get live, synchronous feedback from your students. In the past, clickers or Kahoot! may have been used as live polling tools, or even Zoom Polls or Microsoft Teams. Now, you can use a similar feature included with UWGB’s PlayPosit license called PlayPosit Broadcast

If you do not wish to use PlayPosit Broadcast as a live polling feature, you can still increase course dialogue by utilizing the Discussion interaction within your bulbs. This type of interaction allows students to leave timestamped comments and questions within a video, creating a discussion forum within the PlayPosit activity itself. Instructors can modify the discussion forum interaction settings to prevent students from seeing their classmates’ comments until they have posted a comment themselves. You can also moderate discussion forum interactions as the instructor within the PlayPosit interface. Creating PlayPosit discussion forums for points may also offer students an alternative to traditional Canvas Discussions.  

Assignments and Beyond: How can PlayPosit be used for low-stakes or ungraded activities?

A common misconception about PlayPosit is that you can only create PlayPosit bulbs as graded Canvas Assignments. This is not the case. If you would like students to take a PlayPosit assessment or engage with an interactive video activity for points that are reflected within your Canvas gradebook, you can indeed build the PlayPosit bulb as an assignment within Canvas, however you can also build ungraded PlayPosit activities for your students. 

Student self-assessment activities and interactive, supplemental video resources can encourage active learning within the classroom, especially for asynchronous learning environments. Both types of student engagement activities can be created using PlayPosit, and may work best as low-stakes assignments or as ungraded items in Canvas. To create an ungraded PlayPosit bulb, add your PlayPosit bulb as an embedded item in a page or as an external tool within a Module. If you still want students to see some sort of grade for self-assessment purposes, you can assign each bulb interaction a point within the PlayPosit interface. While these interactions will display point values within PlayPosit, the points earned by completing interactions will not push back to Canvas and the PlayPosit activity will not be reflected in the Canvas Gradebook. More information on how to create PlayPosit activities that are graded or ungraded in Canvas can be found in the UWGB IT Knowledgebase, UKnowIt.

How can PlayPosit help save instructors time?

PlayPosit isn’t just a resource that will benefit your students and their learning experience within the classroom. It also has many benefits for instructors. There are several features of this tool that can be time savers for you as an instructor! Not only is building a PlayPosit bulb a quick way to enhance your existing course videos, but PlayPosit automatically saves interactions you make for your bulbs within a personal interaction library. PlayPosit also allows you to create templates for individual interactions or sets of interactions. You can then access these individual interactions, located under My Interactions within the PlayPosit interface, or your saved templates for use in future bulbs to make the bulb creation process even faster! For more information on how to access and use these timesaving PlayPosit features, see this PlayPosit resource. Remember, since UWGB possesses a license for this tool, you as an instructor have access to all of these features.  

Beyond saving the interactions and templates you personally create, PlayPosit also allows you to co-edit bulbs with colleagues using the collaborations feature, or to share out PlayPosit bulbs to fellow instructors by using the folders feature. These sharing features can be used together or separately depending on if you wish to include your colleagues as editors, or to simply provide them with a copy of one of your bulbs. For directions on how to share and copy bulbs, please review this PlayPosit resource. Not only can you share individual bulbs within PlayPosit, but you can also collaborate and share interaction templates with your colleagues! For more information on how to collaborate with other instructors, please see this resource provided by PlayPosit.

Questions?

These are only a few of the features PlayPosit offers instructors and students. If you have any questions about PlayPosit, please feel free to reach out to the UWGB Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning through email (catl@uwgb.edu) or for troubleshooting you can contact PlayPosit customer support through their website (PlayPosit Knowledge) by clicking on “Contact” in the upper right corner. For a more detailed discussion of PlayPosit use cases and how you can harness the tool in your own Canvas course, you can schedule a consultation with CATL here

Helpful Terms and Hints

Bulb – The term used to refer to a PlayPosit interactive video.

Interaction – The term for the different questions, images, audio, or other media resources which can be embedded into a PlayPosit bulb. There is no limit to how many can be included within a bulb.

PlayPosit Designer – This is the interface used to create PlayPosit bulbs, insert your video source, embed interactions, and select bulb settings.

PlayPosit 3.0 Designer – This refers to the current version of PlayPosit software being used.

Learner Made Content – This refers to PlayPosit bulbs and interactions created by learners and submitted for assessment to instructors.

If you do not wish to work in the PlayPosit interface within Canvas and prefer a larger screen to build and edit your videos, you can open your PlayPosit account in any browser. In order to do so however, you must have already opened PlayPosit within your UWGB Canvas account. If you have not yet accessed PlayPosit at UWGB, follow the instructions below. 

How to log into PlayPosit through your UWGB Canvas Account: 

  • First, log into your UWGB Canvas account in one tab of a browser of your choice. 
  • Navigate to the Assignments section if you wish to build a graded PlayPosit activity or to the Pages section for an ungraded PlayPosit activity. 
  • For a Page, create a New Page by clicking on + Page and then click the down arrow to the left of the plug-in icon in the Rich Content Toolbar. The plug-in icon looks like a two-prong plug with a cord. Then click on View All and select PlayPosit. This will open a window with the words Set Link in the top right corner. Click on the words Enter PlayPosit in the middle of the window or Set Link in green on the right side of the window. You should now be in PlayPosit, skip to the last step in these instructions to open PlayPosit in a browser. 
  • For an Assignment, create a New Assignment by clicking on + Assignment, then under Submission Type, select External Tool. Next, click on Find under "Find an External Tool URL" and scroll down then select PlayPosit. A window with the words Link Resource form External Tool will open, click on either Enter PlayPosit or Set Link in green. You should now be in PlayPosit, skip to the last step in these instructions to open PlayPosit in a browser. 
  • Now, in a separate tab in the same browser where you logged into Canvas, open PlayPosit Knowledge. Click on the PlayPosit logo in the upper right portion of the screen. The PlayPosit logo is the image of the dog. This will open your PlayPosit account provided by UWGB. Here you can build, share, and collaborate on bulbs using the larger screen view provided by the browser. To set the link to your desired bulb for a graded Assignment in Canvas or in a Canvas Page however, you should follow the instructions above to open PlayPosit in Canvas then select your bulb. 

Yes, in PlayPosit you can include several video segments into a single bulb. Do this in the Video Segments screen when creating a new bulb. If you would like to change the order of the video segments within your bulb, you can toggle on the Enable drag and drop recording option at the top of the Video Segments screen. Move videos into the order in which you would like them to be seen. Once you are finished, toggle off the Enable drag and drop recording.

Note: For new PlayPosit playlists, you should reorder your video segments before you add interactions. Interactions in a playlist will not move with the video when it is reordered. 

Yes, with the UWGB institutional license PlayPosit will automatically pull in caption files that are already associated with your videos (such as YouTube videos with captions or Kaltura videos. You can also upload caption files directly to PlayPosit such as .vtt and .srt files. 

To check your video for captions, navigate to the My Bulbs page in PlayPosit and follow the steps below. 

  • In the far right of the screen under Actions, click on the three vertical dots to the right of the video you wish to check and then from the dropdown menu select Edit. 

  • Click on the Video Segments tab in the PlayPosit Designer and click on the edit icon (it looks like a gray pencil) for the video you wish to caption. The edit icon is in the upper right corner of the video segment.  

  • Select Edit Video Segment from the options presented. Then click on the Captions tab in the Edit Video Segment screen. 

  • In this screen, you can now have PlayPosit search for available captions, or you can upload your caption file.  
  • To search for captions, click on the View Available YouTube Captions, then select from the available options PlayPosit was able to fetch by checking the box to the right of the desired language choice. Once your choices are finalized, select Download in the bottom right corner to save your choices. 

Follow-Up: PlayPosit “Replicate and Repeat” Training

On Nov. 15, 2022, PlayPosit held a training that focused on how to replicate and repeat content in PlayPosit. These features can help create a more streamlined workflow for users that would like to reuse bulb content or share bulbs with other instructors. Some of the content covered in this training includes:

  • How to duplicate/copy a bulb
  • How to reuse an interaction (question, discussion, pause point, etc.) from a previous bulb
  • How to use PlayPosit interaction templates
  • How to save an interaction or a group of interactions as a template
  • How to share a bulb with a collaborator
  • How to send a copy of a bulb to another instructor

A recording of this training is embedded below.

Questions?

As you explore PlayPosit, we encourage you to consult PlayPosit’s extensive knowledgebase of instructor guides, including this guide on building graded bulbs in Canvas. You can contact PlayPosit support directly by clicking the “Contact” link on their support site and filling out their web form. Guides on how to build a bulb, share a bulb with your students, use PlayPosit for peer review, and more, can also be found on the UWGB IT knowledgebase. 

As always, we also welcome you to request a CATL consultation if you’d like to see a demo of PlayPosit or talk through how you might use it in your course!

Session Recording: “Using PlayPosit in the Classroom to Collect Live Student Responses” (Aug. 29, 2022)

Session Description

Looking for an audience response system or “clickers” solution for your classroom? Join this session with PlayPosit and CATL to learn how to collect live responses with PlayPosit’s “broadcast” mode.

Session led by vendor representative with CATL input.

Recommended Tools and Methods for Using Audio and Video in Canvas

Using audio and video in a Canvas course can open the door to many possibilities, including multimedia discussion boards, recorded student presentations, using a flipped classroom model, and more. Still, instructors must make a number of choices regarding what tools to use and how to use them, from picking a webcam recorder to figuring out the best way to share videos in Canvas.

In this article you’ll find our recommendations on what tools and methods to use to support audio and video in your Canvas course, including:

  • Kaltura Capture, Kaltura webcam recorder, and Kaltura (My Media), the university’s supported solutions for recording, storing, and sharing media. Both tools are available to you and your students for free. We will also discuss the recording features in PowerPoint and how you turn your PowerPoints into lecture videos.
  • YouTube, Vimeo, and other third-party video platforms. Though the university doesn’t support these platforms, we will cover recommendations on how to embed or link to these sources.
  • PlayPosit, a powerful tool for making your audio and video content more interactive.

Recording Audio and Video

Kaltura Capture

When you or your students need to record audio or video content, Kaltura Capture will suit your needs in most instances. The app is simple to use and offers screen recording and webcam recording capability, making it an ideal tool for video lectures or prerecorded student presentations. After downloading and installing it on your device, you can use Kaltura Capture to:

  • Record the content on your computer screen. If you have a second monitor connected to your computer, you can choose which display to record.
  • Record video of yourself with your computer’s built-in or external webcam.
  • Record audio of yourself speaking with your computer’s built-in or external microphone.
  • On Windows, you can also record the audio from your computer system, such as when playing a video during a screen recording. (You must enable this feature in the application settings first.)

Kaltura Webcam Recorder

If you don’t need Kaltura Capture’s screen recording features, you can use Kaltura webcam recorder to record audio and video of yourself instead. It can be launched from your browser without downloading any software. Simply open the app from My Media in Canvas or within the Rich Content Editor while editing a Canvas page, discussion, assignment, quiz, or announcement. The webcam recorder is a quick and easy option for providing video feedback or recording a video introduction for a discussion board.

The "Kaltura" button in the Canvas Rich Content Editor, along with the "Add New" media dropdown menu
To launch the webcam recorder while editing an item in Canvas, click on the Kaltura icon (rainbow flower) in the toolbar of the Rich Content Editor. In the pop-up menu, click the “Add New” button and select “Webcam Recorder” from the dropdown menu.

Microsoft PowerPoint

If you already use PowerPoint to develop your lecture materials, consider using its built-in audio and video recording capabilities to create your pre-recorded lecture videos. Audio narrations can be recorded within PowerPoint slide by slide. Additionally, you can enable your webcam and record video footage of yourself during your narrations. To make your presentations mobile-friendly and more accessible, we recommend exporting your narrated PowerPoints as video files, uploading them to Kaltura (My Media), and then embedding the videos in Canvas. This LinkedIn Learning video is a great resource for getting started with recording narrations in PowerPoint.

Other Tools for Recording Audio and Video

Kaltura Capture and the Kaltura webcam recorder are not the only means of recording audio and video out there, and they may not work for every situation. You are welcome to explore other recording software, but know that if you use a tool that is not provided by the university, it also means that you will be on your own in terms of finding support if you need help.

It’s worth mentioning that there is one recording method we would discourage instructors from using: the “Record/Upload Media” option in the Rich Content Editor. First, Canvas has a limit on file size for media recorded with this feature. And second, captions (both machine-generated and professional) cannot be added to recordings made with this tool. To maximize accessibility and save yourself a potential headache, use a different recording software and store your recordings in Kaltura.

Storing and Sharing Your Media

Kaltura (My Media)

Whether you choose to record with Kaltura Capture or another application, we highly recommend uploading your recordings to Kaltura. One of the biggest advantages is that Kaltura provides unlimited long-term cloud video and audio storage at no additional cost. Once an audio or video file is in Kaltura, it is also incredibly easy to link or embed it anywhere in a Canvas course.

Kaltura makes it easy to manage your media as well. You can apply tags and add descriptions to help organize your content, sort and filter by a variety of attributes, and even make simple edits to your media with the Kaltura video editor, such as trimming out unwanted sections at the beginning or end of a screen capture recording.

The Kaltura video editor as it appears in Canvas
The Kaltura video editor is great for when you need to cut out sections of a video clip, trim the beginning or end of a clip, or create a short clip from a longer video.

Using Kaltura is also best practice for accessibility. When you upload your media, machine-generated English captions are automatically applied. When a student makes a formal disability accommodation request for captions through Student Accessibility Services, professional captions can be easily ordered and applied to your Kaltura media as well.

Quick Tip: Uploading Media from a Smartphone to Kaltura

What do you do if you want to have students create audio or video content, but they don’t all have access to a computer with a webcam? Fortunately, an Apple or Android smartphone can do the trick in these situations. First, students can record their media with the camera application on their phone. To upload a recording from your phone to Kaltura, download the Kaltura MediaSpace GO application for iOS or Android and then follow these instructions to configure the app’s setup. Once the app is configured, you can upload to Kaltura (My Media) in just a few taps.

Other Tools for Storing and Sharing Your Media

Since video and audio files can be large, it is best to pick a storage solution in which your videos are saved to a cloud or hosted on a website. YouTube, while not a technology supported by the university, is still an option that supports both share links and embed codes. If you are comfortable with using OneDrive, you can also store recordings in your UWGB OneDrive cloud and share links to those recordings, though there is not currently a supported method for embedding these recordings in Canvas.

Please note that it is not advisable to upload media to your Canvas course’s files area. Video and audio files will quickly take up your course’s limited file storage space. Using a cloud storage system for your media helps solve this issue, as media embedded from platforms like Kaltura or YouTube do not count against this quota.

The "files" tab in Canvas
The “Files” area in Canvas is good for storing documents and images that are linked or embedded in your course, however it is not ideal for larger files like audio and video.

Sharing Media from External Sources

For media that you do not own and that is hosted outside Kaltura, such as YouTube videos and Ted Talks, you have a few options for sharing. Depending on the source, you might be able to search for and embed the content from within Canvas’s Rich Content Editor. For the rest, you can use an embed code or a simple hyperlink.

Canvas Integrations

Films on Demand, TedEd, Vimeo, and YouTube all have Canvas integrations that you can access from the Rich Content Editor. While editing a page or post, click on Apps (the plug icon) in the toolbar of the Rich Content Editor and then “View All” to select a tool. Use the tool’s interface to search for and embed your video.

The YouTube video search using the YouTube Canvas integration
The YouTube Canvas integration lets you search for and embed media from within the Canvas Rich Content Editor.

Embed Codes

If your video source is not listed above, check to see if there is an embed code available on the website where the media is hosted (often this will be an option when you click to “share” a video). If you have the embed code, you can add the media to a Canvas page, discussion, etc. by going to Insert > Embed in the Rich Content Editor and pasting the embed code.

Hyperlinks

If all else fails, you can add a hyperlink to the media using the Links button in the Rich Content Editor and then “External Links.” Make sure to give the hyperlink a descriptive name, rather than just pasting the whole URL on the page. This is not only best practice for accessibility, but it also helps contextualize the links before a student clicks on them.

Enhancing Audio and Video Activities

Want to bring your audio and video content to the next level? Tools like PlayPosit can help by adding interactions for students to engage with while they watch. PlayPosit bulbs can include content from Kaltura, YouTube, and Vimeo, so you can mix and match content you’ve created yourself with other videos you’ve found online. Adding a few simple interactions to a video takes just a few minutes of setup. You can learn more about this powerful media tool in this overview guide and another guide on potential use cases.

Questions?

Using audio and video in a course can seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and training, it can also be harnessed for effective teaching. As always, we also welcome you to request a CATL consultation if you’d like to learn more about developing learning materials or activities with audio and video. As you explore your media options, you may also find the resources below useful.