Online Learning- How To Make a YouTube Introduction of Your Blackboard Course!

Mary Baldwin Instructional Technology Committee Newsletter 1

Rachel Potter – Director, Graduate Teacher Education

May 2012

Sometimes in an online learning environment, students are slow to connect with the instructor. An introductory video, much like what you would do on the first day of class in a face-to-face setting, can help jump-start that connection.  I do this for each individual course that I teach.  I do not do a generic one because I think students prefer to see the one that is exactly for the course they are taking.  One thing I could have done differently is that I could have enrolled myself as a student in my own course and provided the orientation through the eyes of a student instead of my faculty login.  I choose not to do this because I want them to see where to find things that under a student login they can’t see yet, such as where the final exam is located.  It is a matter of personal preference.

  1. Ensure that you have a YouTube account.  Since the college uses Gmail, you should be able to log in to YouTube as a user with your Mary Baldwin email and password.  Once signed in, click “upload.”  Below where it says “select files from your computer,” you will see a notation that says “Upload HD videos in various formats up to 15 minutes. Increase your limit.” Click “increase your limit” and follow the instructions that ensue.  Unless you do this, you will not be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes.  If you cannot see the “increase your limit” link, click on Longer Videos here:
    Editor’s note: Updated documentation for uploading YouTube videos is here.
  2. Download SMART Notebook to your computer.  It’s a large download, so plan time accordingly.  The download website is under Support, Software Downloads here.  DO NOT download Notebook 2014.  Download Notebook 11.3 or 11.4.  Contact Beverly Riddell for the product key if you need a copy for more than 30 days.
  3. Start SMART Notebook Recorder. On the task bar in Windows is an icon that looks like a blue square with a white circle.  If you are not connected to a SMART Interactive Whiteboard, there is also a small red square on it with a white “x.”  Click this icon and select “recorder.”  You will see a new small window open up on your screen with a record, pause, and stop button. Open up your desktop to the location where you wish to begin recording.  I suggest the Blackboard login page.
  4. Record Session. Click the record button (red circle).  You may, if you wish, minimize the small recorder window.  Using a built-in or external microphone, narrate as you navigate through the items you wish to show students.
  5. Stop Recording. When you are finished recording, push stop (the square).  This will automatically prompt you to save your .wmv movie file into a location of your choice.  Remember where you saved it.
  6. Sign in to YouTube.  Click “upload.”  Click “select files from your computer.”  Locate and select your saved file and follow the prompts to upload it.  Depending on your file size, this may take some time.
  7. Adjust settings.  While it is uploading, you will have the ability to change the settings.  Change from “public” to “unlisted.”  This means that only people who have the specific link can view it.  Enter a title and description for your video clip.  Make note of the specific URL for your video.  This is the link you will send to students.

To view an example I did for an earlier course, please feel free to view . For about a third of the video, I am just going over my syllabus, but before and after that, you can see how I provide students with an orientation to navigating Blackboard. 

About the Committee:

The Instructional Technology Committee is an ad-hoc faculty committee made up of representatives from the faculty and the Instructional Technology staff at Mary Baldwin.The Current Committee is:
Carol Creager
Doris Dodson
Bob Klonoski
Chandra Mason
Reid Oechslin
Rachel Potter
Beverly Riddell
Susan Stearns
Laura van AssendelftThe charter of the committee is to:Provide a forum for input to the Instructional Technology staff on the relative value of technological improvements from a pedagogical perspective.
Be a champion and example for technology enhanced teaching within their schools
Try out new technologies that seem promising
Develop and share best practices & rubrics for technology enhanced teaching
Recommend equipment and management for mixed use (instructional and non-instructional) space
This committee meets as necessary.