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How to Engage Students Better with the Mediasite-Blackboard Learn Ultra Integration

June 30, 2020

Your learning management system is at the center of your teaching and learning strategy, but LMSs are not designed to handle video files.

Video-based learning is gaining popularity, and there is an increased demand for learning platforms to integrate with video technologies. After all, faculty and students are creating massive amounts of video lectures and assignments daily.

We’ve done our own research on this and found that at minimum, a student watches a Mediasite-based video every single second of every single day. Our views are growing by 89 percent and video creation is growing by 49 percent year-over-year. Simply put: video and learning are fast becoming inseparable.

So, it’s only natural that video and LMSs go hand-in-hand to enhance student engagement, learning experience and retention. Luckily for you, Mediasite integrates with several LMSs like Blackboard Learn, Canvas, BrightSpace, Moodle and Sakai and we just announced our integration for the Ultra experience in Blackboard Learn. Here’s what it means for you.

Why should I care about the new Mediasite/Blackboard Learn integration?


Traditionally, Blackboard has supported integration via the Building Block approach, which it’s moving away from. Mediasite still includes the Building Block approach as a legacy integration for Blackboard Learn. However, as we see adoption of the Ultra experience continue to rise and Backboard increasingly investing in the Ultra Experience, we’ve implemented this new state-of-the-art integration for Ultra. Our seamless integration uses standards like LTI, Deep Learning and Blackboard Learn-provided REST API’s that now support Blackboard Learn Ultra and Blackboard Learn Original experiences alike.

As a Blackboard partner, our priority is helping users by offering a single solution that works for both experiences. It’s all about working together, and that’s easy with Mediasite and Blackboard.

By seamlessly combining Mediasite with Ultra, you can better engage with students through video interactivity tools and measure the impact with analytics. It lets faculty better engage students with video directly in Blackboard, without changing the way they teach.

The integration makes it easier than ever for faculty and students to record, upload, share, watch and grade Mediasite video lectures directly in any Blackboard Learn Ultra course, without jumping back and forth between systems. Mediasite is working on expanding the integration to manage student-generated content like video-based assignments. [Read: Press release]

How does it work?

Combining Mediasite with Ultra gives students instant access to course videos in the place where they’re most comfortable. Isn’t that the ultimate goal – making it easy for students to learn?

Ultra has a cleaner, modern interface with streamlined workflows, so users can dive right into My Mediasite personal capture directly in Ultra. They can create all their video lectures for active and micro learning using their computer’s webcam and microphone or upload videos into Mediasite. Those presentations are automatically published to the corresponding course using Ultra.

With Mediasite in Blackboard you can:

  1. Search for existing videos and video collections to be added to a course page
  2. Upload or record a new video directly using My Mediasite and add it to a course page
  3. Launch My Mediasite to create, edit and manage videos in Mediasite and add these to specific areas in Blackboard
  4. Launch a collection of videos that is automatically aggregated for a unit/module/class

Mediasite can be configured to automatically create units/modules/courses on the fly, when you first launch Mediasite in Blackboard Learn.

Mediasite creates all necessary resources needed for faculty and enrolled students to browse the content and auto-configures the access control, which ensures a secure and seamless experience. You can also update security at any time by opening up certain courses or single videos to all students or individuals.

Plus, Mediasite creates a search-based channel in Ultra to automatically curate videos for a unit/module/course rather than scrolling through a long list of content.

What’s in it for you?

The combined power of Ultra with Mediasite means all course videos have a central, secure home benefiting from Mediasite’s in-video search, engagement tools, security and analytics.

With the Mediasite-Ultra integration:

  • Protect and streamline video access: Not every video is meant for everyone. Mediasite guarantees only authorized students have access to course content by leveraging standards like Learning Tools Interoperability. Plus, support for single sign-on means students and faculty use existing Ultra logins to access and watch videos. School’s can also seamlessly exchange authentication and authorization data for security domains between Mediasite and Ultra.
  • Deepen engagement and improve learning: Instructors can incorporate interactivity tools such as annotations, commenting, polling, ask-a-question and quizzing and view results in Blackboard, promoting the use of active and micro learning.
  • Measure videos’ impact: Mediasite shows instructors exactly who is watching what videos, when and for how long. It’s a powerful tool for correlating student viewing behaviors to learning outcomes. Each video’s at-a-glance dashboard and intensity map immediately show student engagement, most viewed segments and viewing drop-off points.
  • Create more searchable, accessible course content: Mediasite brings its powerful search capabilities to the Blackboard experience. Within any lecture or across an entire course, Mediasite gives users full-content search for everything said and shown in many languages by indexing a variety of metadata from areas like user comments, speech-to-text, captioning, optical character recognition and annotations. Plus, a caption editor creates cleaner transcripts, more accessible videos and better study tools for all.

How to add a Mediasite video in the course feed in Ultra

You can add Mediasite content into Blackboard via the Content Market. Use the Ultra Editor to add links to Mediasite videos.

Step 1: Select ‘Content Market.’

Step 2: Select the ‘g’ tool set up with Deep Linking that lets you add the video’s URL to share.

Step 3: Search for your content, add in your course’s content feed and add presentation links.

You can also add an existing video from your computer via the Ultra Editor.

Don’t worry about those video links in older Blackboard versions either.

We’ve got you covered there. Mediasite will continue to integrate with Blackboard’s Original Experience. The legacy links embedded in Blackboard will still work, ensuring continuity and a seamless migration path.

The integration is free for all Mediasite users, works with both on-premises and cloud implementations and available now.

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