What is VStream?
VStream is Victoria University’s audio, video and screen capture streaming service.
The service allows academics to record lectures, seminars, labs or any other type of video or audio content. Links to the recordings are made available to students via Blackboard anytime and anywhere they want to learn.
The recordings are viewed via a web browser on a laptop or desktop computer. Content is also be optimised and streamed to mobile devices such as tablets and phones.
The service also includes the ability for students to bookmark and comment on important moments within the recordings. These are shared across the class to enable group learning and collaboration.
Who uses VStream?
Students use VStream to view videos and pod-casts that support their own learning and collaborative learning practices.
Academic staff and general staff involved in teaching, training, development and marketing activities can create and deliver VStream content.
Tutorials and help guides for using VStream are shown below.
Why should I use VStream?
Video recordings, including those captured from lectures, are a tool for both staff and students. Recorded lectures and video resources offer opportunities for flexible access to learning and provide students with the tools to prepare, engage with, and review important course information.
For staff, the easy availability of video resources and tools means that key concepts and activities can be reinforced easily.
Lecture recordings provide a means for students to review difficult concepts while also providing feedback to staff on the areas that students are focusing upon.
Pre-prepared videos on important concepts and knowledge can be used to help students familiarise themselves with material prior to face-to-face lectures, encouraging student engagement and opening up the opportunity for more interactive activities during the face-to-face sessions.
VStream provides staff with the opportunity to create and deliver media rich content for delivery during teaching and learning activities. VStream can also be used to deliver media for marketing and promotional purposes.
Please contact Stephen Marshall, Irina Elgort or Kwong Nui Sim if you are interested in exploring how video can be used in your teaching.
How do I use VStream?
Staff can record content in their own office, at home, in any learning space, in large lecture theatres or using portable video recorders such as handy-cams or mobile phones. Recorded content is delivered using web browsers through Blackboard or secure links.
Staff who want to record videos from their office, smaller learning spaces or personal computers at home need to have a webcam and the VStream Personal Capture (PCAP) application installed.
PCAP recording can include your voice, a shot of your face and any content (such as a PowerPoint presentation or a desktop application) displayed on your screen or display surfaces in learning spaces. PCAP is installed in all centrally booked learning spaces on each campus.
Large Lecture Theatre Recording includes the same aspects as PCAP, with the additional opportunity of capturing the audience, a wider view of the lecture theatre and other inputs such as document cameras. Dedicated lecture theatres have been equipped with high quality video cameras, microphones to capture Lectures.
External content can be imported using the VStream media import tool
VStream Guides for Staff and Students
The following guides have been created as a learning and support resource for Staff and Students using the VStream service. The guides provide practical 'How To' guidance on creating content, publishing to Blackboard and collaborating on content with your Students.
- Quick Start Guide a three step guide to content creation using VStream.
- VStream PCAP Desktop Recording Guide for Staff
- VStream PCAP MAC Recording Guide for Staff
- VStream Portal Guide to Managing Content for Staff
- Capturing Lectures Using VStream Recorders
- VStream Guide to Importing Video and Audio Content for Staff
- VStream Guide to Publishing Content From Outside of Victoria University
- VStream Student Guide
How do I access VStream?
To record content in VStream, you need to be associated to a current Blackboard course or private video collection.
Requesting that your Blackboard course is 'recording enabled' can be done when completing the Blackboard course request form in ResolveIT. Just tick the VStream box and state who will need to record content. 1
You can also request for your course to be recording enabled once it is live by logging a call with the ITS Service Desk stating the course code (2013.2.ACCY113) and stating who will need to record content. 1
If you wish to record videos for viewing outside of Blackboard (research recordings, shared content) log a call with the ITS Service Desk stating your Faculty, a name for the video collection and if the collection is required to be accessed by Staff, Students or the public. 1
1 Please allow seven working days for the account associations to be updated.
Viewing VStream recordings is achieved either within a Blackboard course (for course delivery) or via a direct (secure) link for inclusion within web pages or email.
Staff accounts are already created in VStream. You can log in to your account using your staff username and password via the VStream portal. If you have problems logging in to VStream please contact ResolveIT.
For staff delivering VStream content via Blackboard, a link to recordings will be automatically generated in your Blackboard course once you have uploaded your first recording. N.B. It may take an hour or more for your content to be uploaded.
Support for VStream
Individualised support using this technology in your teaching is available from the CATs (Contacts for Academic Technology). Visit this page to find out more and contact your CAT.
If you have a technical or administration query, the ITS Service desk is your first point of contact, telephone: 04 463 5050.
Staff development workshops and individualised support are also available. Visit the workshop and events page for more information and to book your place
VStream is delivered via Echo360, their support documentation is continually updated. Check the Echo360 documentation wiki for the most current version: EchoSystem Support site Visit this page for details about Supported Browsers and Mobile platforms
Use of Video in an Educational Environment
- Benefits to staff of recording lectures
- Why today's students like recorded lectures
- Multimedia learning principles
- Concerns over low attendance and poor student performance
- Best practices for delivering face-to-face lectures
- Best practices for recording lectures
- Copyright, privacy and intellectual property guidance
- Echo360 (aka Vstream) Instructor Guides
The following videos have been selected to accompany the detailed information.
- The Need for Blended Learning Solutions in Higher Education
- Visit this page to view information videos from Echo360.
- Echo360's YouTube Channel - Echo360 Explained plus use cases from other institutions