Video is at the heart of online learning and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Whether you’re delivering courses, uploading recordings of live training sessions or receiving video submissions from learners, how you manage large video files can have a big impact on the performance of your LMS and your hosting costs. So, how do you go about optimising both of those things?
Things you shouldn’t do
Upload videos to Moodle or Totara
We’ve called this blog post, ‘How to manage large video files on your LMS’, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. It’s far better to manage large video files somewhere other than your LMS. Platforms like Moodle and Totara Learn are not video streaming platforms. They are not built to handle playback of large video files.
Take up precious storage space
Don’t directly upload or embed your video files within your LMS. A large video file takes up a lot of storage space and, while uploading a few videos won’t make a significant dent on your storage space, when you have multiple courses running over several years it starts to stack up to a big chunk of your server space. At that stage you’ll be faced with the prospect of spiralling hosting costs or finding a more efficient way of managing video files.
Invade your learners’ devices
When you’re uploading video files directly to your LMS, you’re effectively enforcing your learners to download them to their devices if they want to view them. As well as the inefficiencies of wasting learning time waiting for files to download, this might also create a privacy concern. Is your learner supposed to have this video in a format they could upload or share elsewhere?
What you should do
Upload your videos to an external video service
Instead of uploading videos to your LMS, upload them to a third-party site specialising in handling video files. Vimeo and YouTube are among the best-known examples, with Vimeo offering the out-of-the-box option of hosting videos privately and limited visibility to a specific web address (e.g. the url of your Moodle or Totara site).
You could make handling the videos within your LMS simpler by using a plugin such as Video Time Pro, which is designed to bring more support for delivering videos as a course in an LMS.
There are also specialist paid video handling platforms, such as Kaltura, which is available as a video platform as a service (VPaaS) to manage live, video on demand and other video.
This is more efficient because the video files are not stored on your LMS server and not stored on your learner’s device. That means lower hosting costs, less strain on your server and a better experience for learners.
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