Adding streaming video to your course

This is a guest post by Kelly M. Blanchat, E-Resources Librarian at Rosenthal Library.

Streaming videos to students online is a great way to share video content with a whole class: you don’t need to bring equipment to your classroom or devote in-class time for the video, and you won’t have to worry about students being absent when you screen the video because students can view on their own time.  YouTube can be a good resource for video content, but there is one collection you should know about, Alexander Street Press (ASP), one of the library’s most innovative resources.

ASP contains over 10,000+ educational films in dozens of subject areas and includes documentaries, archival film stock, newsreels, and other moving images.  The collection is a resource designed and curated for research, teaching, and learning purposes, so finding quality content might be easier in ASP than in other online venues.

Alexander Street Press adds an exciting new layer to the way students and researchers learn, interact, and teach for virtually every discipline. Each film is transcribed, making it easy to search within individual films.

A representative from Alexander Street Press will be on campus to discuss this resource on May 21, 2014 from 12:15pm to 1:30pm. Register at: http://goo.gl/ys5LS6

Embedding videos

Video can be embedded in such platforms as Blackboard  for use outside the classroom.

To link to videos in ASP:
Screen shot showing link for embed code/link located below video player in Alexander Street Press

Screen shot showing link for embed code/link below video player

  • Identify a video in the ASP database
  • Click on the “Embed/Link” icon at the bottom of video playback display
  • A new window will open displaying a URL for the video
    • Example: http://search.alexanderstreet.com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/view/work/2101076
    • The last component of that URL is a number identifying the specific video
  • This URL is ready to be linked from Blackboard, syllabi, documents, or web page because it already includes the off-campus access text!
  • Notice that the link routes through the Queens College libraries proxy.


To embed videos in Blackboard:
Screen shot of embed code from Alexander Street Press video.

Screen shot of embed code

  • Identify a video in the ASP database
  • Click on the “Embed/Link” icon at the bottom of video playback display
  • The code can be embedded from ASP directly into your Blackboard course.
    • Example:
      <iframe id=”iframe-05a0u800ncsg” frameborder=”0″ name=”uniplayer-embed” src=”http://search.alexanderstreet.com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/embed/token/05a0u800ncsg” style=”height:390px; width:470px;min-width:420px”></iframe>


Editor’s note:

We successfully tested the embed code in Blackboard with the following browsers and platforms

  • SeaMonkey 2.0.13 (Windows 7)
  • Safari 5.1.7 (Mac OS X 10.6.8)
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13 (Mac OS X 10.6)


Custom clips and playlists

Users can create custom clips and playlists. Alexander Street Press will be going over these features and more on May 21, but until then take a look at these instructional videos:





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