Staff FAQs

The following list of support articles have been created to help you use the different features of the Podcast system.

Automatic lecture recordings

All lecture podcasts for your enrolled courses can be accessed on the Podcast Video Portal at:

There are instruction in this support article

The opt-out page checks which units are scheduled in the timetable for your staff ID – so you are able to see which of your units will be recorded by the podcasting system. Please note this link will only work for members of staff.

You can use this page to manage upcoming and recorded events for your courses, you can:

  • Opt-out of having specific events recorded
  • Choose to hold recordings for editing/review before they are published
  • Opt back in to recordings if you have previously opted-out
  • Recall published podcasts in order to edit them

Please see this support article for further details: Managing Podcast Recordings.

The opt-out page can be accessed at:

You can use the Opt-out page to manage your upcoming and recorded events, including:

  • Opt-out of having specific events recorded
  • Choose to hold recordings for editing/review before they are published
  • Opt back in to recordings if you have previously opted-out
  • Recall podcasts which have already been published in order to edit them

Full details of how to use the opt-out page are included in the following support article:

The podcast system synchronises with the timetable to receive updates on scheduled events and courses. These updates can include changes to dates, times or locations for lectures, or DASS students being added or removed.

Whenever a change is detected to a course which is scheduled to record for podcasting – the system automatically sends an email to all staff associated with that course in the timetable. This is to prompt staff members to check their recording preferences using the opt-out link sent in the email.

If you make a recoridng preference and then receive the opt-out email again – your previous preference will still be applied (the exception to this is in the case that previous events are completely removed from the timetable and then re-added as new).

Please note that where multiple staff are linked to a course unit; any one of those staff members can set a recording prefernce at any time and the system will always use the last decision made. This means that when a staff member chooses a recording preference for one event – that choice will override any previous choices.

Opting out of recordings means that podcasts are still made but will only be visible to staff and any DASS students on the course. If you have previously opted-out but now wish to make the podcasts available to all of the students on the course, there are two ways to do this.
You can either download and re-upload the podcasts to the course to remove the permission restrictions, or you can embed the existing podcasts into your Blackboard page in order to allow all students to view them. The steps for both options are detailed below.

Embedding podcasts in Blackboard to remove the DASS restriction

  1. Click the small ‘i’ icon beneath the podcasts to see the embed code and then highlight and copy this code.
  2. Paste this code into the HTML of the page in Blackboard within which you want the podcast to appear. Note the video will then appear in that page as part of the content, so students will not need to go elsewhere to view it, an example is shown in the image below. This will mean that all students on that course can now see the podcasts.

Re-uploading podcasts to remove the DASS restriction

  1. Download the opted-out podcasts from the Video Portal using the download button beneath each video.
  2. Upload each podcast back into your course using the My Videos upload page. See the ‘How to upload videos’ section further down this page for help.
  3. You can remove the original (now duplicated) podcasts from your course by visiting your Opt-out page and clicking the Remove button next to the appropriate lectures in the Recorded Events section.

If you need any further help, you should raise a support ticket.

If you want to be able to edit podcasts before they are published to students, you need to select this option on the opt-out page:

Select the events you want to edit before they are published and choose the “Hold for editing” option.
Full details of how to use the opt-out page are included in the following support article:

You can go to the Opt-out page at any time to check and update your recording preferences for the units you are associated with in the timetable.

Please note that the podcasting system schedules recordings based on information from the timetabling system – so it is important that the data in the timetable is accurate and complete. The podcasting system cannot make changes to the timetable.

If you find that some details are incorrect, you should contact your local School or Faculty timetabling team to get this information updated.

If you are unsure who to contact, please submit a support ticket to the Support Centre.

You can manage your podcast recordings on the opt-out page. See the following support article for details: Managing Podcast Recordings.
Sometimes you may wish to provide students access to a podcast from another year or course which you teach. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the Video Portal and locate the Podcast you would like to move.
  2. To the bottom right of the podcast video, click on the ‘Download’ button and download the podcast onto your computer. It will be saved as an MP4 file.
  3. Go to the My Videos tab in the Video Portal and upload your podcasts directly into the areas that you have access to. This may include Faculty, School and individual course units. Follow the instructions on the page to upload a podcast and be sure to select the correct area to upload to. See the How to upload videos FAQ further down this page for more instructions on uploading.
  4. That’s it! Once the video has been processed, you will receive an email informing you.

If you experience any problems or want to move multiple podcasts, please contact Podcast Support.

This video goes through the process of using the Podcast Video Editor to remove sections of video from the recording

View the support article for using the Video Editor by clicking here: How to edit a podcast recording.

If you need any help, you should raise a support ticket.

Editing a recording using the QR codeQR code

The podcasting system is able to detect the presence of a special type of bar code known as a QR code. When this pattern of black and white squares is displayed on the projector the system automatically pauses the recording. The recording will remain paused for as long as the QR code is displayed and resume once it is no longer shown on the projector.

The QR code editing system allows staff to identify content in their lecture that they do not wish to be recorded by simply adding this picture to their slides, ensuring it occupies 15% of the width of a power point slide.

Please be aware that using the QR code to pause recordings will also remove content for any DASS students on the course and should only be used when appropriate, for example when there is a break during a lecture.

Questions & Answers

Q: How large must the QR code be?

A: At least 15% of the width of the power point slide.

Q: Will the QR code remove all content?

A: The QR code takes 1/30th of a second to be recognised and a brief flash of the content may be seen. In order to remove an entire section of a lecture you may wish to have a QR code slide before as well as on sensitive content.

Q: Can I use any QR code?

A: No, this exact QR code has been specially selected due to its high levels of redundancy.

Q: Can I position the QR code anywhere?

A: Largely yes, but we recommend not placing it directly at the very edge of the power point slides. Some projectors crop the edges and this will prevent the QR code from being detected.

Q: Can I distort, animate or cover the QR code?

A: No, doing any of the above will limit the ability of the system to recognise the QR code.

Q: Does the QR code work with document cameras (visualiser)?

A: Yes, however it is more difficult to assess minimum width as the zoom level of document cameras can be changed.

In semester 1 of the 2017/18 academic year we will be testing a type of ‘on air’ light with our lecture capture system. The on-air light can be found in all CTS rooms in the Roscoe and Renold buildings. The different coloured lights are:

  • Yellow – begins 1 minute before the recording is about to start.
  • Red – remains constant while the recording is taking place.
  • Flashing red – the recording has been paused (i.e. using the QR code).

The images below shows examples of where the lights can be found – in the window of the projector room at the back of larger lecture theatres, or on the lectern/desk at the front of smaller rooms.

on-air light on desk
On-air light on the desk
on-air light at the back of the theatre
On-air light in the projector room window

Manually scheduled/uploaded videos

If a lecture is scheduled in a centrally timetabled location the podcasting system will automatically detect it and schedule it for recording in line with the University’s Lecture Recording Policy.
To schedule other types of events (such as meeting or workshops) please use the scheduling tool linked below. If the event is linked to a course module it will automatically be made available to students on the course.

Staff are able to upload their own video content to their relevant Faculty/School or teaching courses within the Podcast Video Portal.Videos uploaded to specific courses will appear alongside any podcasts which are already recorded by the lecture capture system, meaning students can access all of the video resources for that course in one place.

The video tutorial below takes you through the steps for uploading a video to the portal.

If you need any help, you should raise a support ticket.

Staff are able to edit, delete or download any videos they have uploaded by logging in to the video portal and going to the My Videos tab.
The video tutorial below takes you through the steps for editing the metadata of a video, deleting it or downloading it to your local machine.

You can view the knowledge base article for managing uploads here.

Using podcasts in Blackboard/web pages

Videso can be embedded into Blackboard course pages to allow students to view them without having to leave the Blackboard environment. Note that this method can be useful for providing access to podcasts/videos that students are unable to view on the Video Portal (for example, podcasts from last years course).

The video guide below takes you through the steps of embedding videos in a Blackboard course.

A support article can also be found here.

The simplest way to link to podcasts is simply to include a link to the Video Portal lectures page – https://video.manchester.ac.uk/lectures.

When students login to this page, it shows a list of all the podcasts for the courses that they are enrolled on, so they can choose the appropriate course from the list and view the podcasts.

The second option is to include a direct link to your course series on the Video Portal, which means you should first go to the Video Portal, find your course and then copy and paste the URL into Blackboard. The direct link to your course podcasts will look something like this: https://video.manchester.ac.uk/lectures/9511d5bc-1393-4cb2-8a67-56005cfe817b/ (example URL).

Techsmith Relay recordings

See support article for help on using Techsmith Relay.

Need more help?

If you are having a problem that isn’t covered by one of the above articles, please raise a ticket with the Support Centre.