How to Live Stream Video for Classes

An array of webcams
(Image credit: Shutterstock/ESB Basic)

While all video platforms for education are designed to enhance and support the educational process, a platform that also supports live streaming will greatly enhance the connection between learners and instructors. Video platforms such as Echo360, Kaltura, Mediasite, Panopto, and YuJa all offer live streaming. 

Even if you’re just setting out but know that you eventually want to livestream lectures, it’s important to take the time to investigate the robust solutions specifically designed for higher education that can integrate with your learning management system (LMS). These video platforms are designed to enable comprehensive video workflows including lecture capture, video management, live streaming, flipped classrooms, blended learning with video, video analytics, and much more. 

“We recommended that faculty host their class times synchronously,” says Ernie Perez, Director of Educational Technology, Digital Learning, and Innovation at Boston University. They asked that instructors not change the day or time from the original course schedule. “If the class was Monday, they hold it at the same time, synchronously, via Zoom,” says Perez. They also recommend recording the class. “After they record, they post into Blackboard in Kaltura, which we call My Media,” he says. This maintains rights management, so only the students in that class have access to the recordings, and no one has access to download the materials. 

“We can also do accessibility [captioning] through Kaltura,” Perez says. “We can do machine capturing for all the videos, and for accommodation requests we can do ‘person captioning,’ which has 99 percent accuracy.”

Beware Zoombombing

As if the many ramifications of COVID-19 weren’t bad enough, internet trolls have been invading unsecured online Zoom classes and streaming violent and pornographic videos using Zoom’s screen sharing feature.

“When you move fast, you’ll skip essential steps and not think everything out,” says Joe Way, PhD, CTS, Director, Learning Environments at the University of Southern California. “Due to a Zoom-bombing incident, we had to institute a university-wide ‘waiting room’ policy, auto-muting of participants and auto-recording of sessions, and we turned off the ability to screen share without permission from the host.”

How to Avoid Being Zoom-bombed

  • Don’t post links on social media to a Zoom class, because anyone with a link can join. 
  • Require passwords to join a meeting. 
  • Institute a waiting room for anyone not using a university log-in. 
  • Use the lock meeting feature to prevent new participants from joining.
  • The instructor should control who can share screen.
  • Disable file transfer, annotation, and private chat for participants. 

Check out these resources from Zoom and USC for more detailed recommendations on how to prevent Zoom-bombing.

Video Continuity Tips and a Worksheet

Both Echo360 and Mediasite, two well-established companies that serve higher education online video needs, are helping institutions make the overnight transition from face-to-face instruction to remote teaching and learning. Following are their top tips for facilitating this transition.

Tips from Echo360 

Echo360 supports several online learning methods, including remote video learning with active engagement and video embedded into the LMS/VLE for online courses. 

  1. Re-use recordings from previous courses. Many instructors teach similar courses across multiple academic terms and have saved recordings from previous courses. Since these videos are likely still available in your LMS library, all you need to do is publish them to your current course and you and your students can engage in active discussion linked to each video.
  2. Create discrete video learning objects. While repurposing previous class videos can get you started, the best practice for remote delivery is to break instruction down into shorter videos that cover a single topic or related set of topics.
  3. Livestream your classes. When classes are live streamed, students can participate fully during classes and even ask questions and answer polls. In the event of a full campus closure, keep in mind that livestreaming alone might not be your best option as students return home to many different time zones and may not all have stable internet access. In such cases, providing both live streaming and on-demand playback options may be more beneficial for your students.
  4. Use engagement analytics to identify struggling students. An engagement score is a key indicator of student success, and monitoring engagement for remote learners is critical. Instructor dashboards will identify students who are most at risk, and you can sort your entire student list by least-engaged to most-engaged on the student tab for a more holistic view.

Check out the full Echo360 Guide to Academic Continuity During Campus Disruptions.

Tips from Mediasite 

Mediasite video capture, management, and streaming solutions support online and remote teaching and learning. Below are excerpts from a worksheet created by Mediasite for video continuity planning.  

Take Inventory: What video do you already have? 

Prioritize: Find a video initiative that gives you the biggest bang and gain for your video buck. 

What video will be most valuable? Who needs to capture knowledge or create video? How frequently? What’s the most effective and engaging way to share the content? From where will video content originate? 

Video streaming and management: From what screens or devices will users watch video? 

Infrastructure: What resources do you have?

For content creators: It's important to be able to create content anywhere, on any device.

For viewers: Viewers need to be able to watch content anywhere, on any device.

For administrators: A complete platform for capture and video management will be most useful for administrators.

Download Mediasite’s complete Top Things to Consider When Developing a Campus Continuity Plan