Blackboard: Embedding video files into your Blackboard course

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Introduction

Caution!You should not upload video files directly to Blackboard, except in a few exceptional circumstances.

Recorded lectures and other videos which you create for teaching and learning purposes should be saved in Microsoft Stream, then embedded into your Blackboard course.
Unlike Blackboard, this is a dedicated video streaming platform and offers a better user experience. In particular, it supports captions, thus helping to meet the University's legal obligations under accessibility legislation.
Please see our guides, available from Using Microsoft Stream for Teaching and Learning.

This guide shows you how to upload MP4 video files to your Blackboard course, for the rare cases where this might be appropriate.

Other related guides:
Blackboard Tests: Embed Audio and Video Files in Questions
Embed videos and other media from media hosting websites

How to embed Video

Prepare your files

To ensure that your files play correctly you will need to ensure that they are in the MP4 file format.

If your files are in a different format e.g. WMV, MOV or AVI then you should be able to convert them to MP4 using free software such as Handbrake (accessible via https://appsanywhere.reading.ac.uk)

See our guide on audio and video file formats for more information.

 

Upload your files

There are two routes you can use to upload and display video files in Blackboard.

1. Create Item and embed the video

Helpful tip!
The main advantage of this method is that it allows you to add accompanying text before or after the video file.

 

Click on Build Content > Item, then click on the Upload icon.

Screen shot of Toolbar with upload button circled

A new, smaller window opens.

Select from the Add content list, then Browse for your file.

screen shot of Upload options window

The video will appear in the Content Editor window.  It is possible to play the video at the point to check it is the correct video.

screen shot of video edit menu

Blackboard sets the Dimensions for all videos as 320 x 240, regardless of the size of the original, so you may want to edit these settings.

Right click on the video and select Media. The Insert/Edit media window will open.

screen shot of video edit page

From this screen you can change the video player’s dimensions to suit that of your video.

 

You can check the video’s dimensions by selecting the file in Windows Explorer, and viewing the information displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Showing the dimensions of a file as viewed in a windows folder

Press Save to return to the editing screen. When done, press Submit.

The video will display as shown below.

Students will be able to click on the Play button and play the video directly within the browser.

Showing a video playing within the content area, with the fullscreen function button highlighted

Click this icon to view the video fullscreen (regardless of the dimensions chosen when embedding the video).

embedded video file - play full-screen

2. Create Video

Click on Build Content > Video.

Build Content - Video

Provide a name, then Browse to locate your file.

Select video file

Once you have selected the file to upload, you can set the desired options.

video options

By default, the video will display within Blackboard as 320 x 240 pixels. You can edit this by choosing Dimensions > Custom – although whatever size you set, students can opt to view the video full-screen.

View video full-screen