Student FAQs

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

To view podcasts for the courses you are enrolled on, you simply need to visit the Podcast Video Portal and login.

If podcasts are not held for editing/review – they will automatically publish once they have finished processing. This can be relatively quick in most cases, however sometimes there can be a delay, and they can take up to 24 hours to publish.

If, after 24 hours, a podcast you expect to see still isn’t available, contact the Support Centre for help.

If you are enrolled on a course but cannot see it in the list of podcasts on the Video Portal, there may be a number of reasons:

  • The lecturer has opted-out of having recordings made so they are unavailable to view
  • The lectures take place in a location which is not podcast-enabled

If you have recently changed courses – this should update automatically (and fairly quickly) but log out and back into the Video Portal to reset your enrolments.
If you still have issues, you should raise a support ticket and include the course code (looks something like BIOL12345).

Once you log in to the University’s Central Authentication Service (CAS) there is a timeout period of 4 hours – so if you have been logged into CAS for longer than this time, you will find that podcasts no longer play. To remedy this – you need to completely log out of your current authentication session and log back in. Ideally if you can – log out across all tabs, and then log back in (closing and re-opening the browser should also do it).

If you find that videos still do not play, this can sometimes be caused by temporary network problems as the browser fails to download the complete video. Try a full refresh of the page, which can be achieved by pressing the CTRL and F5 key. You can also try playing the video in a different browser, or clear the cache in your current browser to force the video to download again.

If you notice a problem with one of the podcasts (such as black video or no audio) this could be for a number of reasons, such as technical failure or a microphone being muted. We do monitor the system as best we can to try and prevent such issues, but sometimes they do occur.

To download a podcast onto your machine, you can press the download button beanth the video window when viewing a podcast on the Video Portal. The behaviour of this button can vary between different browsers/operating systems – sometimes it may download the MP4 file directly, whereas others it may open the video in a new tab.

If the video opens and plays in a browser tab rather than downloading, you can either right-click on it and choose “Save video as…” or if there is a download button on the controls, press that to save the video.

Note that you can only download videos on a desktop/laptop device as the download button will not be visible on a mobile device. Downloaded recordings are for your own personal use only – you are not permitted to share the recordings with anyone else, post them online or distribute them in any way. Students found to be in infringement of this may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

If you expect to be able to see a podcast but it is not available, this could be for one of the following reasons:

  • the lecturer has held the recording for editing before it is published
  • the lecture was opted-out of being recorded
  • there was a technical failure which prevented the podcast from being published

If an expected recording is missing, you should raise a support ticket and include the course code (looks something like BIOL12345).

As part of our ongoing commitment to support disabled students a special adaptation has been made to the lecture capture service.

If you are a student registered with the DASS Office and they have specified that you need recorded lectures as part of your support plan, we will record all lectures in equipped rooms, even if the lecture has been opted-out of the recording process.

In order to see even opted-out podcasts, you do not need to take any extra steps; simply visit the Video Portal, and all podcasts will appear for you as usual.

For further information and advice relating to podcasts as a form of disability support, please contact the DASS Office.

You must be logged into the Video Portal in order to request subtitles for any media content. Simply click on the options button beneath the video window, select the Request subtitles option and complete the steps.

Please note, it can take up to 24 hours for subtitles to become available for a video due to the different services involved and you will not receive a notification – the subtitle icon will simply appear on the player controls when they are ready.

More information can be found on the Subtitles page.

You can view subtitles for any media on the Video Portal by clicking the subtitles icon on the player control bar, as explained on the Subtitles page.

Students can upload videos to the Video Portal and send the link to the video (depending on the visibility setting) or embed it into Blackboard to share it with others.

Upload videos

Log into the My Videos tab of the Video Portal.

The following video formats are supported: MP4, AVI, MOV, WMV and M4V – up to 5GB in size. When producing videos, it is recommended to keep settings aimed at 720p – which is what the Video Portal will encode to, and this should help keep filesizes reasonable also.

Add a title and description if desired, and select who the video should be visible to (options are Public, only you, or all staff and students).

Under the Advanced Options button,you can select the date and time for the video upload: note that videos are shown in descending date order in the video portal, so the date you use will determine where the video will appear in the list (i.e. older videos appear below more recent ones). For quality there are 3 options available for uploads.The Default option is what we would suggest as it will encode videos at a 720p resolution, but you can select High Quality for 1080p.

If you wish to include a subtitle file it must be in the .vtt format. A custom thumbnail is automatically taken from the video at the 15 second interval but if you wish to use your own image, you can upload a JPEG or PNG file.

Press submit to upload the video. You will receive an email when the video has been processed and published.

Embedding videos in Blackboard

If you want to share your uploaded video with students in your Blackboard course, you need to copy the embed code for your video – which can be found by going to Options > Video Info. This code needs to be copied and pasted into Blackboard (for example in a Discussion Board) and the video will then be visible there.

You can find instructions on embedding here

Manage uploaded videos

You can edit or delete an uploaded video by visiting the My Videos tab and clicking the ‘Manage my videos’ button. You will see a list of the videos you have uploaded – you can press delete to remove a video, or edit it to change things like the title, description, or visibility, for example.

If you have any issues, contact us for support.

If a podcast contains inappropriate content, you have the option to report the podcast – which means you can either add a comment (for system administrators to view), or opt to remove the podcast immediately. You must be logged in to the Video Portal to do this.

Note that removing a podcast will not delete it; it will simply remove it from the Video Portal so that it can no longer be viewed.

To remove a video, click on the Options button beneath the video and click Remove video. In the box that opens, you need to provide a reason for the remove request, choose whether or report anonymously, and agree by checking the box.

Please note that all removed podcasts will be checked by system administrators.

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How to report a problem

To get in touch with us, please raise a ticket via the Support Centre.