FAQs

General

What is Mediasite?

Mediasite is a video and media platform managed and fully supported by Queen's University Belfast Information Services. It affords University staff the ability to create, manage and distribute video content, presentations and podcasts.

Mediasite integrates with learning environments such as QOL, Moodle and Canvas; it is a one-stop shop for all of your media content. See the video below for more information:

Why not just use YouTube, Vimeo, etc.?

The Mediasite server is entirely maintained and supported by Queen's University. This provides the benefits of:

  • Direct access to support when needed, via the IT Service Desk.
  • Protection of intellectual property (IP) – all content is housed on servers within Queen's, with backup systems in place, so there are no issues with third parties obtaining your data, or for instance, unexpected changes to privacy rules or terms & conditions.
  • Accessible to all Queen's (and subsidiary college) users around the world: for instance students and staff at China Queen's College (CQC), where access to YouTube has been locked down nationally.
  • The Mediasite server authenticates directly via staff and student logins, making it easy to ensure that only the right people have access to content.
  • Mediasite is integrated with Canvas, the virtual learning environment (VLE) at Queen's. See How can I add Mediasite content to Canvas?
  • No advertising.

Additionally:

  • Multiple streams
    The Mediasite player is capable of showing multiple streams at once, such as a slideshow alongside video of the presenter. This increases engagement for viewers and also improves accessibility for those that may have difficulty hearing or interpreting the presenter.
  • Low bandwidth capabilities
    Slideshow content (such as that recorded in Desktop Recorder using the Slideshow format) is extremely low bandwidth compared to video, and is also searchable - so the viewer can type a keyword into the player and it will search the slides for the moment that the phrase appeared in the slides.
  • New functionality
    The system, which is created by Sonic Foundry, is on a continuing development programme, meaning that every so often new releases are made which add improvements and further functionality.

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How do I request access to Mediasite?

Note: Mediasite user accounts are currently only for staff members. Students do not need a user account in order to access content on Mediasite.

To apply for a Mediasite account, complete the online registration form. After submission, we aim to have your account up and running within 2–3 business days.

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Help! A video embedded in my CMS website or VLE course is not working.

Try the following suggestions:

How do I set my video to viewable?

Help! When trying to watch my video, viewers are getting a 403 security message.

Help! I've moved my video to a shared folder, but no one can watch it.

I've deleted a video by mistake. Can I get it back?

 

If your content is not hosted on Mediasite, but was on the pre-2018 server, Mediator, see:

What happened to Mediator?

 

If you have not found a solution here, contact us via the IT Service Desk.

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Mediasite Desktop Recorder

What is Mediasite Desktop Recorder?

Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) is an app which can be installed on your computer or tablet, by downloading from My Mediasite. It is also pre-installed on all centrally-bookable teaching room PCs.

MDR gives staff the ability to generate content on their own computer, with minimal setup and equipment required. These video/audio/slideshow presentations are automatically uploaded to My Mediasite, where the staff member can review the video, manage permissions, make basic edits if required and share with their audience (see What is My Mediasite?).

Screenshot of Mediasite Desktop Recorder - front page

For more information on how to use Mediasite Desktop Recorder, see our Resources page.

See also:

What equipment do I need to create content/record a lecture?

Slideshow, screencast, audio and video – what do they mean?

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What equipment do I need to create content/record a lecture?

The minimum equipment required for generating content using Mediasite Desktop Recorder is a microphone connected to your PC or Mac. This could be connected by USB or by the computer's microphone port. For maximum functionality, we recommend additionally:

  • [optional] a webcam (some computers and screens include a built-in camera which would suffice) to record video of yourself;
  • [optional] a second screen, to allow recording one screen while keeping the recording controls accessible on the other.

For more detailed information, see the Equipment page.

See also:

How do I go about recording a lecture, seminar or event?

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Slideshow, screencast, audio and video - what do they mean?

In Mediasite Desktop Recorder, you can produce recordings in the following modes:

  • Audio only
    Mediasite Desktop Recorder button - record audio only
    Records only the feed from your microphone. This could be used to create podcasts.
  • Slideshow & Audio ** preferred format
    Mediasite Desktop Recorder button - record slideshow + audio
    Records audio from your microphone, as well as an area of your screen (taken as a series of static images). This is ideal for a PowerPoint presentation, but can also be used for any situation that doesn't involve on-screen video content.
    When uploaded to the server, any text in the screen images is automatically made searchable, which adds functionality and accessibility for viewers.
  • Screencast & Audio
    Mediasite Desktop Recorder button - record screencast + audio
    This is similar to Slideshow & Audio, however instead of taking static images, your screen is recorded as a continuous video. This should only be used if you have video content in your presentation, as it provides less functionality to the viewer than Slideshow & Audio.
  • Video only
    Mediasite Desktop Recorder button - record video only
    Records only a camera feed, e.g. from your webcam, and audio from your microphone.
  • Slideshow & Video ** preferred format
    Mediasite Desktop Recorder button - record slideshow + video
    Records a camera feed, e.g. from your webcam, and audio from your microphone as you deliver the presentation, as well as a series of static images from your screen.
    When uploaded to the server, any text in the screen images is automatically made searchable, which adds functionality and accessibility for viewers.
  • Screencast & Video
    Mediasite Desktop Recorder button - record screencast + video
    This is similar to Slideshow & Video, however instead of taking static images, your screen is recorded as a continuous video. This should only be used if your presentation contains video content, as it offers fewer features to the viewer than Slideshow & Video.

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Help! Desktop Recorder says "Register to Sign In".

Note: Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) can only be used by a Mediasite user account holder.

When MDR runs for the first time on a computer, it needs to register with your user account via My Mediasite, the online portal. This ensures that you are authenticated, and that your content is uploaded to the correct folder. If your computer setup changes, or if it is a shared computer which regularly wipes user data (such as on centrally-booked teaching room PCs), this will need to be repeated, but on private computers this should only be required once.

Assuming you have a Mediasite account, follow the steps in: Help! Desktop Recorder will not upload my video to the server.

If MDR is still failing to register you as a user, contact us through the IT Service Desk.

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Help! Desktop Recorder will not upload my video to the server.

The first thing to check is the top left corner of the Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) window. Does it show your staff number? If it doesn't, this will show the words "Register to Sign In" – see the screenshot below:

Screenshot of Mediasite Desktop Recorder, where the software is not registered to a user and therefore will not upload presentations.

If your staff number is not shown, the software is not registered to you as a user. You just need to:

  • go to My Mediasite in your browser
  • click on Add Media (top right of page):

  • click on the link that allows you to register Mediasite Desktop Recorder:
    Button for registering Mediasite Desktop Recorder

You may see a few security messages from your browser, checking that you want to open up the link using Mediasite Desktop Recorder. You can allow these.

If MDR still fails to upload your presentation, contact us through the IT Service Desk.

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My Mediasite

What is My Mediasite?

My Mediasite is the online portal to which staff users have access. If you have signed up, you will find a link to the portal in your Queen's Online quicklinks.

Screenshot of My Mediasite interface after 7.2.2 update 2018

 

My Mediasite is the centre of your Mediasite content management. Any videos you create (or which someone has shared with you) will be accessible here, to review, edit, set security access, obtain links and, if necessary, delete. Here is a detailed rundown of the main functions available:

Edit your presentations

  • Perform edits to video content, such as cutting out sections or adding fades;
  • Remove or replace individual slides (where the presentation has been recorded as a slideshow);
  • Add "chapters", which aid the viewer in navigating through longer videos;
  • Add a custom thumbnail to be shown wherever your video is embedded, such as on CMS or your VLE.

Manage access to content

  • Allow or deny viewing access for groups, such as all students, all staff, the world at large, or custom groups (contact the Mediasite team for information);
  • Allow editing access for individual staff members;
  • Move content into shared folders (see What are shared folders?);
  • Manage "channels" and "catalogs" (a kind of dynamic playlist) of presentations, which can be linked to folders;
  • Share content by obtaining a direct viewing link (URL) or embed code to insert into CMS pages or VLE courses.

General administration

  • Rename content and add further descriptions;
  • Provide bio details of presenter(s);
  • Add links to related material, to appear alongside the presentation.

For more information on how to use My Mediasite, see our Training and Support page.

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What are shared folders?

As a Mediasite user, you have your own drafts folder. Any content you create using Mediasite Desktop Recorder or upload to My Mediasite will be placed here. The drafts folder is private, and any content residing in it will be inaccessible to other users, unless you manually change security settings on each video.

To make it easier to set permissions on video content, and to provide central locations for content to be managed (such as for an individual teaching module), we provide shared folders. These are set up with the permissions required for the right people (e.g. only students and staff) to be able to view the content within. By moving your content to one of these shared folders and ensuring that the security permissions are "inherited" from the shared folder, you can easily:

  • Make your content accessible to the right people;
  • Keep track of and manage your content, e.g. teaching materials for different modules;
  • Collaborate with other staff, where they have been given editor access to the same folders.

Shared folders can be created on request by the Mediasite admin team. To request access to an existing shared folder or to request the creation of new folders, file a ticket using the IT Service Desk. Make sure to provide your specific requirements, e.g.:

Folder for module ABC9999 in the School of EEECS

Viewing access: students and staff only

Editing access: myself, Joe Bloggs and Jane Doe.

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Where are my shared folders?

Your "favourite" shared folders are shown on the left hand side of the My Mediasite interface. If you don't see your folder present here, click on the Shared Folders heading and you will see all of the folders to which you have access.

Clicking on the name of each folder will display the contents of that folder.

On the right of each listed folder is a button labelled Favourite. You can select/deselect whichever folders you wich and they will then appear in the quick list on the left side.

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Help! I've moved my video to a shared folder, but no one can watch it.

The most common reasons for a video/presentation not being visible to other people are where:

To set the security settings on a video to inherit from the shared folder:

  1. Go to the details page of the video.
  2. Scroll down to the Security section on the right hand side. Click on the Edit Security button.
  3. On the Security window, tick the box that says "Inherit permissions from parent folder".
  4. Click on the Save button at the top right.

See also:

What are shared folders?

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Help! When trying to watch my video, viewers are getting a 403 security message.

The most likely causes for this are where:

The URL, or web address, that you share with your viewers is a direct link to view the video. It should look like:

https://mediasite.qub.ac.uk/Mediasite/Play/[ID number]

If it does not look like the above link, it is incorrect. For instance, you might have mistakenly copied the My Mediasite URL from your browser address bar. This would only send a viewer to the editing/details page for the video, and is inaccessible to anyone without a Mediasite user account.

The correct link can be obtained from My Mediasite bydoing the following:

  • Go to the details page of the video in question;
  • Scroll down to the Share section on the right hand side;
  • Click on the Share Presentation button;
  • Beside the Quick Link field, click on the Copy button.

The link can then be pasted into an email, a website, or whatever media you are using to propogate the video.

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How do I set my video to viewable?

Note: When a presentation/video is set as "private", this setting overrides all security settings. So no one will ever be able to watch the video if it is set to private, regardless of your security settings or whether it is in a shared folder.

By default, when content is uploaded, it is set to private. This is to avoid making content visible before you have reviewed it for errors. To ensure that the video is available for people to watch, you need to set it to viewable. There are two ways to set this in My Mediasite:

      1. On your list of videos, you will see that each thumbnail has some icons along the bottom of it. One of these icons is a padlock:

        The padlock shows the current status of the video.
        •  – closed: the video is currently private.
        •  – open: the video is currently viewable.
        By clicking on the padlock, you can toggle this status.
      2. On the details page of each video, if you scroll down you will see a section labelled "Visibility":
        Screenshot of My Mediasite details page for a video, with visibility section highlighted
        If you change the dropdown from Private to Viewable it will make the video viewable.

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I've deleted a video by mistake. Can I get it back?

If you contact us within 90 days of deletion of a presentation, it should be possible for us to retrieve it. File a ticket on the IT Service Desk with details (ideally the full title of the video and any other known information) and we will try our best to get the content back.

After 90 days, content that has been deleted will be permanently removed from the system.

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Virtual Learning Environments

How can I add Mediasite content to Canvas?

Canvas is the new virtual learning environment (VLE) for Queen's. Mediasite is integrated into Canvas, so you can manage your Mediasite content and add videos to your courses without leaving the Canvas interface. It also has the benefit of not using up your limited storage space on the Canvas server.

For instructions on how to use Mediasite within Canvas, see the Mediasite in Canvas Guide on the Canvas team's blog.

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Lecture Capture

How do I go about recording a lecture, seminar or event?

It depends on what you want to record:

  • If you're happy to just record the presenter's voice and an on-screen presentation, use Mediasite Desktop Recorder (see What is Mediasite Desktop Recorder?).
  • If you would like to record video of the presenter while delivering the lecture/seminar/event, and the presenter will be standing/sitting in one place throughout, you might want to think about using Mediasite Desktop Recorder with a webcam (see What is Mediasite Desktop Recorder?).
  • If you would like a more professional recording of a presentation, the Mediasite team can record this for you using a camera and tripod, or larger setups if required. Book us early in the planning process, so that we can ensure availability and equipment requirements. Go to the Contact page.
  • It you want a more "produced" video, such as promotional material from an event, interviews or other documenary-style content, this is not within the remit of the Mediasite team – speak to our colleagues in Video Production. However once completed, the video can be uploaded to Mediasite and treated like any other streaming content.

See also:

What equipment do I need to create content/record a lecture?

Do I need permission to record other people?

What if the presentation includes footage of people, or copyrighted material?

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Won't lecture capture reduce attendance in class?

Numerous studies have looked into the link between lecture capture and attendance. Some, like Nordmann, Calder, Bishop, Irwin & Comber (2017), found “no evidence for a negative effect of recording use, or that attendance and recording use were related” while others such as Edwards & Clinton (2018), found that the “availability of lecture capture is associated with a drop in attendance”. It should be noted that the latter study was over a three-lecture setting, while the former was a four-year study.

What most studies agree on, however, is that:

  • Attendance is key to high attainment – thus, reliance by students wholly on recorded lectures rather than attending live, is detrimental to grades. Students should still be encouraged to attend in order to gain the best learning experience at the university;
  • There are far more benefits to be considered in lecture capture and (related topics such as blended learning) rather than the binary issue of attendance. Such as:
    • Far increased accessibility for those with hearing, vision and learning difficulties, as well as those with physical disabilities which may preclude them from classes.
    • Enhanced ability for students to revise the subject by review lectures later during term, or before exams.

References:

Nordmann, Emily & McGeorge, Peter. (2018). Lecture capture in higher education: time to learn from the learners.

Edwards, M.R. & Clinton, M.E. High Educ (2018). A study exploring the impact of lecture capture availability and lecture capture usage on student attendance and attainment.

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Legal Issues

Do I need permission to record other people?

The short answer is yes, you do. To obtain proof of this permission, get the participants in the recording to sign a release form. This is available from Video Production.

In more detail:

  • If you record only yourself, and only content that you have created (i.e. your presentation contains no copyrighted content) you do not need to sign a release form.
  • If a member of staff is recorded while in the course of their duties (i.e. teaching), permission is not specifically required as the content they create is owned by the university as standard educational practice. However it doesn't hurt to obtain a release form if uncertain.
  • In all other situations, such as students, visiting lecturers/business people, or where a presentation is to include copyrighted material, a release form is required.

Groups of people / audiences:

  • It is best to avoid filming groups of people, as it can be difficult to obtain permission from them. However, where people may be caught on camera, such as in an audience at a filmed event, at minimum it should be made clear to all people present that the event is being filmed, and that if they have an objection to being on film they should make themselves known to the person in charge of filming.

If you have any legal queries regarding content, contact the Video Production team.

See also:

What if the presentation includes footage of people, or copyrighted material?

Jisc (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) has produced this detailed guidance: Recording lectures: legal considerations

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Can I upload copyrighted content to Mediasite?

No. Unless:

  • this material is covered by (and used within the restrictions of) the university's Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence (see Broadcast Content for Education)

or

  • express, written, signed permission has been obtained from the copyright owner and passed to the Mediasite team. This must include:
    • details of the specific content being uploaded;
    • allowed usage of the material.

If you have any queries, contact the Video Production team.

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What if the presentation includes footage of people, or copyrighted material?

It is up to the presenter to ensure that they have written permission from:

It is up to the person recording to ensure that the presenter has signed a release form which outlines where permission has not been obtained for copying and showing the recorded presentation elsewhere. This is available from .

In some cases, permission may only have been obtained for a closed group of people to be able to watch the presentation after recording – in which case, the presentation will require specific security settings on the Mediasite server. File a ticket on the IT Service Desk if you need support with this.

If permission has not been obtained for the above, or if there is any uncertainty, edit out or add a watermark to obscure the sections in question, using the My Mediasite web video editor.

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Mediator

What happened to Mediator?

Mediator was formerly Queen's University's video streaming server, and the predecessor to the current Mediasite service. The Mediasite server was introduced in 2015, and Mediator was eventually decommissioned in 2018.

Any files still on the Mediator system were backed up by the Video Production team before decommissioning. If you have videos/media that were on the Mediator server and need to be retrieved, contact Video Production.

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