How to embed video into a Moodle Forum Posting

MY FORUM VIDEO RECORDER 1.0

I was faced with no easy way to integrate video into Moodle Postings for a Moodle 1.99 Server.  Faced with this challenge, I decided to create my own plugin armed with no previous knowledge and just the drive to get this done, the “My Forum Video Recorder – 1.0” was born.

MY FORUM VIDEO RECORDER – OVERVIEW

  1. Users can record and preview video while directly into a Moodle Forum.
  2. Users can pause a recording and add more to the video recording.
  3. Users can preview a video before sending it to the server.
  4. Users can stop a recording and start a new recording.
  5. Users can choose to Start the Moodle Video Recorder or not and just leave a text based message.
  6. Video is captured transparently on the user side.
  7. Video is not captured directly on a server needing no specific ports open.
  8. Video is captured and encoded as an MP4 on an individual’s computer and uploaded in the background to the server.

EXISTING ISSUES

  1. Currently only tested and working in Safari, FireFox and IE.
  2. If a video is not given time to encode and upload it may result in truncated videos, will need to implement upload timer to avoid issue.
  3. By default MP4 Videos in Moodle 1.99 loop.  Here are the instructions to remove the MP4 loop setting in Moodle.
  4. No delete video feature meaning all videos stay on the server even when a posting is removed.
  5. Videos will need to be deleted via your server control panel and can not be deleted via ftp.
  6. Videos require a space in front of the file name.
  7. Recording with demo of applet limited to 20 seconds.
  8. Only one instance of the recorder will work at a time will not work with multiple open windows accessing the same applet at the same time.
  9. Does not work with another active video application such as Skype.
  10. Can only save one video to a forum at a time.  This can be overcome by returning to your message and starting the video recorder again.  This will generate a new file id.

HOW TO USE THE MY FORUM VIDEO RECORDER – (MFVR)

Browse to a forum, select either “Add a new topic” or click on an existing forum topic.

Then when you select to either “Reply” or “Add a new topic” you will be able to click “Start My Forum Video Recorder”.

This will load a Java Applet and open the Graphical User Interface (GUI).  If you have a webcam installed and configured on your system the Java Applet will pull up the default webcam and microphone configured on your system.  You will know everything is working ok when you see your video on screen.  You will also have a microphone sound meter on the screen you will know your sound is working ok when you speak and the meter moves up and down.

This video applet is available for free from:  http://www.vimas.com/video.php you can also purchase a paid version that has many more features check the website for more information.

SIMPLE MFVR INSTRUCTIONS

  • Click Record – talk to your camera.
  • Click Stop – when you are done.
  • Click Send – uploads the video to the Moodle Server.
  • Copy the URL – then paste the URL as a link into the Moodle Forum.

Finally add whatever text you would like to the forum and then click “Post to forum”.

…and that’s it you have created a video and embedded your video into a Moodle Forum.


OTHER EXTERNAL VIDEO CAPTURE APPLICATIONS

As an instructor or student you have many different options for embedding video into a Moodle Post.

You can use external third party applications such as:

To first capture the video and then embed the video into your post.  The downside is that this requires Moodle Users to leave Moodle to complete tasks that may involve using video.

Another option is to use external video capture and production tools (Camtasia, Captivate, Webcam Recorder and others) then upload these completed videos to the server.

….OR…

USE MOODLE INTEGRATED VIDEO CAPTURE APPLICATIONS.

You can request that your Moodle Admin add a video capture option to your Moodle Server.

You can use third party plugin’s such as:

  • Poodll – Requires Red5
  • Riffly – Requires Moodle 2
  • Kaltura.com
  • WebSwami
  • …and Now My Forum Video Recorder – 1.0 (upload one directory and some minor path configuration and your done!)

Using an integrated video capture solution keeps users in Moodle and speeds up the entire process by utilizing less steps to complete and embed video recordings into Moodle.

Challenges during my research, I only found two plugins that could complete the task.  The first one Poodll required the setup and configuration of Red 5 a server based media streaming application.  Which was not as challenging as dealing with the my Moodle Hosting provider to attempt to open required ports.  Read more about this here.

Since Riffly requires Moodle 2 it was not available for Moodle 1.99 lead to the development of the “My Forum Video Recorder – 1.0”.

Next Learn how to install the application

Article by:  Kevin Brake

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11 thoughts on “How to embed video into a Moodle Forum Posting

  1. Nice tutorial. Video is the way of the future, though the Moodle power users are ahead of the curve and maybe ahead of most students.

  2. Pingback: How to install My Forum Video Recorder « eLearningShow.com Blog

  3. Hi Kevin

    Ever thought you could do the same for Moodle’s Journal (Moodle version 1.9)? I’ve introduced Journalling to my students and their using Nanogong to embed their replies. I thought I’d be nice if I could embed a VideoRecordin inside a Journal activity in Moodle. So, how difficult would it be to write a hack for the Journal module to include the VideoRecorder? Just asking.
    Frankie

  4. Hi Kevin.

    Just to update you. My main laptop was working fine – allowing me to view and record videos using your module. However, I experienced lots of problems with QuickTime on my other laptop. Kept crashing. I reinstalled the latest QuickTime to no avail. Used regedit and Revo Uninstaller pro – no joy.

    The GOOD NEWS is that after many hours and after much trial-and-error, I discovered this gem of a software: Alternative QuickTime (freeware version 3.2.2). http://www.free-codecs.com/download/quicktime_alternative.htm. After installing it on my other laptop, EVERYTHING worked out FINE. I thought I’d post this here so that other users may use Alternative QuickTime as a solution any problems they may face with Apple QuickTime.

    Thanks, Frankie Kam

  5. Pingback: Recording Webcam Video as feedback in the Moodle Assignment activity | Moodle News

  6. Hello Kevin 🙂

    What a great tool for recording video! thank you for the post.

    It inspired my to add it as a Video Recorder wrapper plugin to my other HTMLAREA custom plugins. (please have a look at : http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/CONTRIB-2730)

    And here is a HowTo Tutorial Video for using your Video Recorder as an HTMLAREA plugin (It’s in Hebrew, but i guess it is very clear, even, without the audio track)

    Thank you 🙂

    • Excellent work, hopefully we can get the word out that this is a very worthwhile method to insert into any moodle site.

      To confirm does your plugin work with Moodle 2.0?

      Kevin

      • Thank you 🙂

        This Custom Plugin framework was build to wrap around useful components that plug into the HTMLAREA editor for Moodle 1.9.x
        I guess, with some minor modifications, it could be adjusted to work with TinyMCE, which is used in Moodle 2.x

        I will keep you posted, when it does.
        (or you can “watch” http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/CONTRIB-2730 on the Tracker)

        Nadav 🙂

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