Mashups – YouTube

Mashups provide a very quick and easy way to add rich content into your module from external sources. You can get photos from Flickr, presentations from SlideShare and videos from both YouTube and Vimeo. Content from the Teesside’s Helix Media Server is also added via a mashup tool. A mashup item can be added as a standalone item or added to a normal content item alongside other content to give the page a more visual appearance. The mashup tool eliminates the need for you to copy and paste embed code or worry about whether the content can be legally used – most of the hard work is done for you – all you need to do is search for the content and choose how you want it to be displayed.

Tip: You can add mashup elements pretty much anyway that the Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE) is used in Blackboard. This includes, for example, test questions. This can help you to make a text based quiz look much more attractive by adding mashup elements such as images and videos to both questions and answers.

This guide explains how to use the YouTube mashup tool.

Adding a YouTube Video

YouTube is a very popular social media site for uploading and sharing videos. You can upload your own videos or watch existing videos uploaded by others. A huge advantage of using YouTube to upload your own video content is that it delivers an appropriate video format across multiple platforms – such as PCs, Macs, Smartphones, iPads and so on. This removes the need for you to provide video in different formats or worry about people not being able to view the video due to compatibility issues. A potential disadvantage of using YouTube for other content is that quality can vary dramatically and may also be removed if in breach of copyright.

To add a YouTube video with the mashup tool:

  1. Go the content area in your module in which you want to add the YouTube Video.
  2. Select Build Content and then click YouTube Video from the Mashups section.
  3. Enter a search term in the Search box and click Go. A list of results will be displayed. You can enter a YouTube user ID to retrieve videos uploaded by a specific user. Private videos will not appear.
  4. You can sort the search results by Relevance, YouTube Rating or View Count.Searching for a video in the YouTube Mash-up Tool
  5. Once you have found a video that you want to add, click Select underneath the video thumbnail.
  6. On the Create Mashup Item page, the Name will be automatically pre-populated with the title of the video (this can be changed if necessary). Optionally enter a Description for the video – this can be used to provide more context to students.
  7. YouTube Mash-up OptionsIn the Mash-up Options section, choose how you would like the video to be displayed and whether or not you want to show the YouTube URL and information such as the user who uploaded the video, the date it was added and the video duration. For display options, you can choose from the following:
  • Thumbnail: Displays a small thumbnail which opens up a larger video player when clicked.
  • Text Link with Player: Displays a text link labelled “Watch Video” which opens the video in a larger player when clicked.
  • Embed Video: Embeds the video player directly in the page.
  1. The Attachments section lets you attach files alongside the video content. This is useful if you want to include an activity for students relating to the video content.
  2. The Standard Options section lets you specify usual content availability settings such as date and time restrictions.
  3. Click Preview to see what your content will look like or simply click Submit to finish.
  4. The video content will be displayed in your module as you selected in step 7; an example is shown below.

A YouTube video displayed in a content area

Adding a YouTube Video in the VTBE

As mentioned earlier in this guide, you can also add mashup content in the Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE). Whenever you see the VTBE, look for the “Mashups” button. Click on the button to reveal a list of available mash-ups and then click YouTube Video.

A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to search for a video. Simply follow the process as described above. The video will automatically be placed inside the VTBE. You also have the option of entering additional content around the video.

Related Guides

The following guides look at other Mashups available on Blackboard.