Educational videos and streaming your lectures

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This section contains information on the different tools that you can use to create and stream videos of your lectures.

 

Videos in distance teaching

There are a couple of ways to utilize videos in distance teaching. Material can be recorded in advance with your tool of choice and made available to the students through the course platform. The other option is to teach in real-time by streaming, which also enables the use of interactive components depending on the system used.
 
Recordings can be made for example with Screencast-O-Matic or Zoom. Creating videos usually only requires your own laptop as the very minimum.  Unitube lecture halls and -studios can be used to record high quality videos with the built-in equipment of those rooms. Mobile devices are perfectly all right for recording short educational clips.

The Zoom web-conference system is the primary alternative for real-time interactive distance education within the University of Helsinki. Zoom can be used to arrange distance teaching for a larger group of people (up to 300 participants per meeting). The sessions can also be recorded in Zoom and distributed to the students afterwards. In order to provide as stable and high-quality a connection as possible, direct streaming is recommended to be performed with a computer that is connected to the local internet (with a LAN-cable). An external USB-microphone or headset often improves audio quality and separate webcam improve the video quality. Please avoid strong back light as well as using both the built-in microphone and speakers of your device simultaneously.

Note! When using your own computer over wifi, please disable your VPN-connection. Zoom or Teams, for example, do not require a VPN connection to work and VPN might constitute a bottleneck in the network speeds.

One-directional streams can be broadcasted using Unitube lecture halls and -studios. We recommend using a separate back channel for interaction, for example Flinga or Presemo
 
Recorded videos are easiest to distribute through the Unitube Uploader, in which you can create a video series linked to one or more Moodle courses.

On this page you can find instructions for the use of these tools provided by the University.  

SUPPORT ADDRESSES:

Educational technology services and training: edutech@helsinki.fi 

Moodle: moodle@helsinki.fi 

For services provided by the Center for Information Technology (eg. Teams, Office 365, Zoom) you can get support by contacting Helpdesk: helpdesk@helsinki.fi 

Zoom

Zoom is a web conferencing system suitable for remote teaching or streaming and recording of lectures. Zoom offers user-adjustable views and multiple tools for activating learners including chat, polls, whiteboard, annotating shared views and sharing of files.    

Using Zoom requires a microphone (and optionally a webcam if you want lecturer video). We recommend using Zoom through the Zoom app and an ethernet connection.   

Staff and students at the University of Helsinki can create and manage Zoom-meetings. 

Additional information

Teacher's checklist - Creating and recording a Zoom-lecture step-by-step (.pdf in Finnish)
User instructions (Helpdesk)
Zoom has great instructional videos in english, which we recommend highly. (Zoom website)
Security - new meetings created in Zoom through the university account are now password protected by default (Flamma news)

 

Zoom - most common problems and solutions

Below is a list of common problems that may arise during Zoom use.
(updated 20.4.2020)

  • As a Host, check that you have signed in with your university account either directly in the Zoom application ("Sign In with SSO") or through the helsinki.fi/zoom -portal page before you try to start/enter a meeting through an ID-code, calendar appointment or link
  • Do not keep a VPN connection on during Zoom use. It forms a possible bottleneck for the internet connection speed.
  • It is recommended that the presenters computer is using a wired connection. A wireless connection is more susceptible to disturbances and in many cases slower too. Remote participants also benefit from a stable connection. If the connection is unstable, it probably affects Zoom negatively even if you haven't noticed it during casual browsing.
  • Use the dedicated Zoom application. Using Zoom simply through the browser is more of a backup solution in case someone cannot install the application. Chrome is the most supported browser, Internet Explorer is not recommended.
  • During connection problems, closing the camera video is a possibile way to save bandwidth and - in theory - keep the connection more stable. 
  • If the Host connection is unstable, enabling the ”Enable join before host” -setting when creating the meeting can prevent participants from having the meeting abruptly ended if the Host gets cut out of the internet for a while.   
  • Good audio is especially important. Audio problems usually have to do with the microphone and how it is used. Make sure from the audio settings that the microphone you want to use is selected. Speak in the direction of the microphone and try to stick close to it. 
  • If audio problems only affect a few participants, it is probably related to their equipment. They must then check their audio settings in their own Zoom application and possibly also the computer settings, and also make sure that they have an audio capable browser if they have joined the meeting with a browser (Internet Explorer is unsupported for audio). 

Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-O-Matic offers functionality for creating screen capture videos and video assignments as well as editing video and audio. Moreover, captioning videos is also possible either manually or through Speech-to-text. Thus, it also provides a way of meeting the accessibility requirements for videos through subtitling.

Screencast-O-Matic can additionally record video from a webcam and mix it with the screen capture. The audio quality of the recording can be improved by using an external microphone instead of the built-in mic of your device. However, recording in a quiet environment is by far the most effective way of improving intelligibility and reducing listener fatigue. 

Additional information

Install the software yourself to centrally administered University of Helsinki computers.
User instructions (Helpdesk)
The supplier’s website has plenty of concise video tutorials in English covering most functions of the software.

Thinglink

ThingLink is a platform that makes it easy to augment images, videos, 360° material and virtual tours with additional information and links. Thinglink is integrated with the university's Microsoft Office 365 account and an educational license is provided to both students and staff.

Here is an example Thinglink  tour.

Getting started

How to activate your Thinglink account and add Thinklink icon to your Office 365 launcher menu.

How to create & publish ThingLinks

Introduction to ThingLink for Educators webinar

 

Additional instructions

How to use the ThingLink editor

ThingLink Virtual Reality (VR)

Unitube – the university’s own video service package

UniTube services include space for storing lectures as well as self-service studios and a platform for publishing and watching videos.

UniTube facilities

Certain facilities at the University of Helsinki have been equipped with UniTube lecture recording equipment that allow you to create recordings of your lectures and stream them. The recording equipment is not remotely scheduled. Instead, the organiser (lecturer) must always start and stop the recording device. List of the facilities.

UniTube Studios

You can use the UniTube studios to create instruction videos of presentations or group discussions. 

The facilities can be booked through the Office365 calendar. The studios can be booked by all members of the University of Helsinki staff. Use of the facilities is free of charge.

Studio at Aleksandria (A-studio): calendar
Studio at Exactum (K-studio): calendar
Studio at Info Centre Korona (V-studio): calendar

Unitube Studio user instructions

Publishing a video  

You can use the UniTube Uploader to make your video/audio recording public or share to a Moodle course with your students. You can find UniTube Uploader at http://lataamo.helsinki.fi/. The recordings can include videos recorded using a tablet, a smartphone camera or a video camera, or audio files created using a dictation machine. UniTube lecture and studio recording will be saved to your UniTube Uploader Inbox where you can administer them.

UniTube Viewer is a viewing interface for video and audio files. It can be accessed at https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/unitube.

Further information:

UniTube news: UniTube area in Yammer (University of Helsinki O365 login required)
Unitube user instructions
Support requests unitube@helsinki.fi

Adobe Connect (AC) [no longer in general use from 2020 onwards]

Adobe Connect is no longer in general use at the University of Helsinki. Only personnel from the Open university or Social och Kommunalhögskolan may login to the service and use it.

Adobe Connect (AC) is/was a tool meant for distance teaching or streaming and saving your lectures and their materials. AC includes a wide range of activation tools, such as a chat, quizzes, a whiteboard, notes and file sharing tools.   

To use Adobe Connect, you need a microphone and a web camera. A fixed-line broadband connection is recommended.  

AC rooms can be created by members of the University of Helsinki Open university or Social och Kommunalhögskolan -staff.

Additional information
User instructions
Technical support
Training

 

Lifesize

Lifesize online conference system can be used with a browser, application, phone or video conferencing equipment. The service is suitable for video conferencing, lectures, recording and streaming.

Additional information:
Lifesize instructions online
atk-videoneuvottelu@helsinki.fi

Teams, Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams tutorial videos now available in Suffeli! More information.
https://tinyurl.com/msTeamsohjevideot

Video based Teams instructions by Microsoft: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/microsoft-teams-video-training-4f108e54-240b-4351-8084-b1089f0d21d7 

See the Office365 instructions

Teams
Skype for Business

 

Rooms equipped for distance education

Unitube-equipped rooms as well as three rooms specifically outfitted for distance teaching  (Metsätalo hall 12, Chemicum A128 and Biomedicum kok. 2) offer the use of the room's AV-equipment through a single USB-cable courtesy of Extron MediaPort. Thus, it is possible to use the installed camera(s) and microphones with all software and hardware supporting USB-audio and webcams. The PC installed in the room is already connected to MediaPort and a cable labelled either VIDEOVIESTINTÄ or SKYPE provides connectivity for laptops or other personal devices. In order to use camera or microphones with for example Zoom or Screencast-O-Matic you need to select either MediaPort 200 or Extron 200 as the video or audio source. The camera and microphones can be adjusted using the control panel in the room. 

The same basic principle applies in meeting rooms equipped with webcams, SoundBars or other devices offering USB-connections. 

Unitube-equipped lecture rooms require logging in with a Uniflow card in order to access the camera controls even if Unitube is not used for recording or streaming.  

Please note Unitube studios do not have the USB-connectivity described above. Therefore they provide only recording and streaming through Unitube. In Aleksandria, however, the Unitube studio has limited USB-connectivity for experienced users. 

Comparison of the tools

Tool Purpose of use Features Equipment Number of participants Additional information
Adobe Connect  Distance teaching, web conference Chat
Group rooms
Real-time interaction (sound, picture, text)
Recording
Streaming*
Camera and microphone

Adobe Flash -plugin required for recordings.

Recommended browser Firefox

around 100 If you book a UniTube or distance teaching facility, you can use the facility’s fixed camera and sound system for distance teaching or an online conference (see: UniTube facility, distance teaching facility)

PC/Mac:Adobe Connect add-in or browser with Adobe Flash plug-in
Mobile: Adobe Connect app

Zoom Distance teaching, web conference Chat
Group rooms
Real-time interaction (sound, picture, text)
Recording
Streaming*
Camera and microphone

Local recordings currently, cloud recordings coming spring 2020

Recommended browser Chrome

300 If you book a UniTube or distance teaching facility, you can use the facility’s fixed camera and sound system for distance teaching or an online conference (see: UniTube facility, distance teaching facility)

PC/Mac: Zoom add-in or browser
Mobile: Zoom app

UniTube facilities Distance teaching Recording
Streaming
Delay (approx. 1 min)
Streaming = broadcasting the lecture or meeting to your audience in real time. 
   
Logging in to the software is usually not required unlimited A separate software is required for interaction (Flinga, Presemo)
Skype for business Web meeting Chat
Real-time interaction (sound, picture, text)
Recording

 

Camera and microphone
Desktop application or mobile app
50  
LifeSize Web meeting Real-time interaction (sound, picture, text)
Recording

Recommended browser Chrome    

  25 Camera and microphone
** (or UniTube facility, distance teaching facilities)
LifeSize web app for mobile use
Teams Web meeting Chat
Real-time interaction (sound, picture, text)
Recording

 

Camera and microphone
Desktop application or mobile app
250  
UniTube studio videos used in teaching

Recording instruction videos in a studio independently
Possibility of UniTube streaming

   

  unlimited you can use your own laptop in the studio