Blackboard Tech Tip: Embedding Video in Discussion Threads

One of my friends and colleagues, Dr. Chareen Snelson, gave me this idea for a blog posting. One of her interests is in using web-based video to prompt student discussions and to enhance learning all around. I’ll also put a plug in here for her blog, Web-based-video, which is quite good.

Anyway, she was telling me that she is now embedding code from videos in her Blackboard discussion forums with much success.

Seems like just about any multimedia repository offers code that you can copy and then paste into your blog or wiki, but I honestly must say I never thought about doing it in a Blackboard discussion. Also, she so cleverly pointed out that putting the embed code was a safe way to get around copyright infringements, since you really aren’t copying the video and putting it there, but rather embedding a video link that enables the object to open in the discussion forum. So, thank you, Chareen!

If you don’t know how to do this, it’s really quite simple. Yeah, I know, I get sighs and strange looks from people when I say, “it’s really quite simple,” but believe me, I’m not the type of person who would say this and not mean it. Okay, it might be simpler for someone who has SOME tech experience, but this is not rocket science or brain surgery. This is technology, okay? 🙂

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Find a video that meets your discussion need. There are almost too many videos out there, but you can visit the Internet Archives and see what I mean.
  2. Get the “embed code” for the video. This will include more than the URL, so make sure it is the proper code. The secret is to look for the word “embed” in your blog or something like that.
  3. Copy this embed code. (Now it’s on your clipboard, your computer’s temporary memory.)
  4. Use either the Visual Editor in your Discussion Forum thread or make sure you have the HTML radio button selected in your text box.
  5. Type any message you want in the box, along with pasting the embed code.
  6. Click okay and then see how your video is embedded directly in the discussion board posting. Pretty cool, huh?

Try out this innovative way to get your students involved in a discussion. I think they and you will like it.

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