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To alleviate known technical limitations and improve the overall experience for students watching media posted in LEARN courses, consider applying the following best practices. (Note that Tips for playing media are provided to students under the Learnhelp heading in the IST Knowledge Base.)

Step-by-step guide

Keep file size manageable

While the LEARN file size limit is 1GB, it is recommended that uploaded media files be no larger than 500MB, to benefit students who have slower internet connections. Using smaller files may mean that longer lectures, including those prepared for face-to-face classes, need to be divided into segments (which has pedagogical benefits also.)

Enable media to be played at variable speeds

Students report benefits in being able to control the speed at which they can watch recorded lectures.

You cannot affect their ability to do this by applying particular settings in LEARN or by posting your media to LEARN in a particular way. A student’s ability to control playback speed is based on their choice of browser and or/player. We provide guidance to students in the Tips for playing media section of this site.

YouTube and similar media streaming platforms offer playback speed control; however, if students are overseas, their access to YouTube, Vimeo and other social video sites may be restricted. In addition, the file would be open to any viewer (not restricted to just those students in your classlist.

MS Stream provides steps to allows users to configure the playback speed.


PowerPoint

PowerPoint with narrated audio doesn’t play within LEARN. The LEARN PowerPoint viewer does not recognize the audio. Choose one or both of the following two options:

Export the PowerPoint presentation as an MP4 video and then embed in LEARN using ‘Insert Stuff’, or

Upload the native PowerPoint .pptx file to LEARN. Students can open the file using Office 365 and play it in Slide Show mode. (This method is inherently more accessible than posting an MP4)

For more information on PowerPoint and narrated audio see this page.

Note: Do not post the .ppsx slideshow format as this may not open in all versions of PowerPoint (older versions) and/or across all devices.


.MOV

.MOV files (Apple/QuickTime) don’t play in LEARN:

Convert the video to MP4 and embed on a LEARN page using ‘Insert Stuff’;

Alternatively, .mov can be uploaded to YouTube or a similar video platform and linked to from LEARN. However, if students are overseas, their access to YouTube, Vimeo, and other social video platforms may be restricted. In addition, the file would be open to any viewer (not restricted to just those students in your classlist).

Need Help?

Contact LEARNhelp at learnhelp@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 41744 for assistance.

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