Introduction to Microsoft Stream

What is Microsoft Stream?

Stream is a video streaming platform from Microsoft. It is available to all staff and students at the University through your Office365 account. Sign in to Stream at https://web.microsoftstream.com

You can use Stream to upload, store, play and share videos you have created (much like YouTube, but restricted to University of Reading staff and students).

You can upload most video file formats – see Video file formats accepted by Stream.

Advantages of using Stream over Blackboard for video content

  • Unlike Blackboard, Stream is a dedicated video streaming service with features for managing and playing videos (like YouTube).
  • It is easier for students to play videos in Stream, via a web browser or the Stream app.
    • Large video files in Blackboard can take a long time to load for students.
    • Some file types – including PowerPoint presentations – can’t be viewed inside Blackboard and have to be downloaded. Downloading large files can take a long time and may even time-out in some situations or might use up a student’s monthly download data allowance.
  • Uploading large video files to Blackboard (or PowerPoint with embedded audio/video) uses up the University’s limited storage allowance, and can cause performance issues; Stream has a generous storage allowance.
  • Stream can automatically generate a transcript / captions of your video for improved accessibility.

Controlling access to your videos

When uploading to Stream, you can control access to your video using the following permission settings:

  • Only visible to you.
  • To specific people you name.
  • To a Group – this equates with the members of a specific Microsoft Team or Blackboard course.
  • To a Channel – a collection of videos which you can share with one or more Groups.
  • To everyone – staff and students within the University.

You cannot make Stream videos visible to people who do not have a University account.

Videos should normally be shared only with Groups or Channels or individuals – not made visible to the entire organisation.

To view screenshots of these settings go to Setting Permissions.

Sharing videos with your students

You can share video content with your students via a Blackboard Course.

For details see MS Stream: How to Add Permissions for a Blackboard Module

It will usually be best to embed videos in a content area of your course, alongside other related learning activities.

You can get a link or an embed code, and paste this into your Blackboard course. See Embed A Video in Blackboard.

The link/embed code will only allow permitted viewers to access the video, so you will need to set permissions on the video to allow access by the Group linked to your Blackboard course.

Uploading Video Content

The most common ways you will upload content is from a narrated Power Point, a Teams Meeting recording or from video content you have created yourself. Go to Upload Video Content to view the steps for each method.