Kaltura Upgrades Canvas Media Experience

Baylor has added Kaltura to Canvas, facilitating easier media creation and sharing for all users.

Kaltura is an added application that expands options and creates opportunities for faculty and students to incorporate multimedia into courses on campus and online.

“Kaltura adds new abilities that weren’t there before,” said Tanner Osborn, academic consultant of Student Technology Services.

The app is an open source online video platform created and hosted by a company of the same name. Baylor’s Electronic Library added the Kaltura app to Canvas, allowing students and faculty to upload and create media for courses.

Canvas, Baylor’s new learning management system, has basic media tools. However, Kaltura adds to and expands what Canvas can do.

“Canvas was simple in terms of function,” said David Burns, assistant director of student technology services.

A user could record video directly to Canvas. However, the video wasn’t reusable or searchable. This meant if a user wanted to upload a video multiple times, they would have to record it multiple times.

The app is managed by Student Technology Services and is accessible on the Canvas sidebar. Once users have signed in using their Baylor login, they have access to Kaltura’s media tools.

Users have access to a personal media gallery labeled “My Media” on the Canvas sidebar. Users can add existing video, record from a Web camera and add other types of media to create an integrated media experience.

Features such as presentation and lecture capture give faculty users more options in recording and creating content. After installing CaptureSpace, an instructor can record video with their Web camera, capture their screen and record audio. Media content can not only be recorded but also edited in Canvas. Users can add captions and transcripts, enable comments, and allow students to download content.

Kaltura gives instructors and users the ability to organize and integrate content. Search terms can be added to make media easier for users to find. Attachments such as slide presentations and word documents can be added. Powerpoint presentations can be uploaded, used as chapters for lectures and are searchable for viewers. Faculty can also allow other faculty members and graduate students to collaborate on videos and other media.

Burns said Kaltura’s video player allows viewers to customize their viewing experience. If an instructor has posted a lecture including footage of themselves and slides, viewers can choose what footage they wish to view. Powerpoint slides can also be accessed as a timeline. Additional functionality to the video player includes adaptive bit rate technology. This technology avoids buffering by changing the rate at which a video runs, ensuring content is viewable.

“While the switch to Canvas and the increase of number of online courses and online first content increase the use of video, we needed a way to create, edit, manage, and organize media content directly in the Canvas environment. Kaltura provided that,” Burns said.

Kaltura’s functions expand Baylor faculty and students access to video and media creation and distribution. This opens possibilities for different uses. Video adds a level of engagement said Osborn.

“There’s something personal about video,” Osborn said.

Kaltura is already being used on campus. The School of Education created faculty and graduate student introduction videos for students taking course. Kaltura is being used in the Modern Foreign Language department, the School of Education, and the Communications department. At the moment, there are no individual limitations on how much media a course or an individual can have, however, there is a maximum amount that the campus can hold.