Documentation:Intellectual Property Office/Using Video in Course Materials

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A number of options exist for using video materials in distance learning courses:

Linking to a video

This option involves putting a url link in the course materials which takes a course viewer to the page where the video originates and it navigates away from the course by opening in a new tab or window. A link will only direct course viewers to the materials as long as the website page remains active. This option is good for recommended or additional materials in web based courses.

Embedding a video using an “embed code”

The embed code symbol is often shown on YouTube or similar video clips. Posting the embed code on a learning management system or another system which is connected to the internet allows the video to be shown in the page of the course instead of having to go to another url. Using an embed code is similar to providing a link to a url: nothing actually is copied or transferred to the learning management system.

An embed code on a video is an indication that the video is meant to be shared by connecting back to the original source. If the original material is removed from the originating site, or the site goes down or is moved, the video will no longer be available to the course viewer. To see if embedding is an option, try clicking the Share button seen below a YouTube video. This option is only available to web course viewers where there is an internet connection and best suited to recommended or optional resources.

Downloading a video

This option exists on some YouTube and other media sites. Be aware that by downloading material we may still be bound by terms and conditions for reuse. If the chosen material can be copied and hosted on our server this is the most stable and reliable way of providing materials to the course viewer.

In some instances we may download material for free. Once we download material and host it on our server, it is there permanently and available to the course viewer, subject to any change in the licensing arrangement. Some download options are tied to licenses. We may only distribute the video as long as the license is valid; the material would have to be removed from the course if the license is not renewed.

Downloading video clips is a good option for web based viewers who are accessing the materials by computer, so long as the license is not too expensive. Each license may or may not allow the video to be copied to DVD for print based students.

Streaming a Video

This is another option which might be provided under a license with the copyright owner. A streaming license allows the course viewer to watch the video content on the screen of his or her computer. The content is stored on and streamed from a TRU server. It is only available to the students as long as they have access to the learning management system. This is usually the least expensive of the licenses as it is a view only license.

Often with a streaming license, you are required to buy a DVD copy of the video before entering into a license. There is often an initial, one-time cost and then a charge per viewer or charge for unlimited viewers for a fixed period of time.

This option is good for web based courses where the material is required. It is often the preferred option for students accessing materials by means of an ipad or notepad.

Streaming Video with Download option

This type of license allows the course viewer to not only watch the video content on his or her computer but to also make a copy for later viewing such as on a notepad or phone. Usually an extra fee is charged for this type of permission. This also is a good option for required materials.

Duplicating a video on DVD

This usually involves a license to duplicate the video material at a fixed rate per unit. It is generally more expensive than streaming options as it provides a permanent copy. The advantage of a DVD is that it is playable on most home theater systems or computers.

It is the recommended option for print students where enrolments are large. It is not a good option for ipad, tablet or notepad users as they would need an external device to access the media.

Obtaining Video Licensing

When the Intellectual Property Officer is asked to obtain permission to use video materials, certain core information is required to obtain video licensing. Like books, feature videos have ISBN numbers and this is the quickest way of identifying a video.

The exact title of the video, its year of production and its producers are essential pieces of information. Where you located the video is also important as videos may be shared from site to site by means of download and embed codes. It may take some work to find the true copyright owner.

Please tell us how you want to use the material and whether the material is critical for the course, such as when an assignment is based on it. It is important to have an idea of the expected number of students who will be viewing the media and the means by which they will be accessing it.

Some video permissions take longer than standard permissions, particularly where the video requested was not originally intended for an educational purpose. Please also allow sufficient time for OL Media team to make the appropriate changes to the content to host it on our server or make copies to put on DVD.

Still have Questions? Contact the Intellectual Property Office at