Using MediaSpace Videos

Embedding MediaSpace Videos

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A Screenshot of a MediaSpace Video Linked to LodeStar ActivityMaker

Kaltura MediaSpace is a wonderful video portal, but linking to MediaSpace videos from LodeStar can be a little tricky.

The simplest — but not the most effective — way is to take the embed code that MediaSpace offers and paste it into LodeStar using the following tool in the LodeStar’s HTML editor.

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This tool, located on the toolbar of the LodeStar HTML editor allows you to paste in an embed code that displays the video on the page.

The downside to this simple approach is that the video will not pause when the student turns the page.

The better approach requires a few steps. You’ll pull out your hair the first time, and find it second nature the second time.

Linking LodeStar’s Video Player with MediaSpace videos

The following steps apply only to mp4 files, which (at the time of this writing) is the only truly cross-browser video format.

Steps:

  1. Launch MediaSpace, and locate your video file.
  2. In MediaSpace, select ‘Publish’ from the Actions drop down menu. Publish your video or make it Unlisted.
  3. At the bottom of your screen, click on the ‘Share’ button and  display the embed code.

Here is a snippet from an example:

<iframe id=”kaltura_player” src=”https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/p/812561/sp/81256100/embedIframeJs/uiconf_id/33140371/partner_id/812561?iframeembed=true&playerId=kaltura_player&entry_id=0_ugv87vgr&flashvars[mediaProtocol]=rtmp&….

Notice that two codes are bolded and underlined.  They represent the two pieces of information that you need:  the partner ID, and the entry ID.

2. Launch Kaltura’s kWidget from the link below.

http://player.kaltura.com/kWidget/tests/kWidget.getSources.html

You will see the following widget at the bottom of the page:

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3.  Enter the partner ID from the embed code in the partner id field and enter in the entry ID in the entry ID field.  Click on get sources.

4. You will see the following heading, followed by video sources, the true addresses of the videos.

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Notice the second source with the video src that ends with a.mp4

You’ll want to copy the  address into your clipboard beginning with http:// and ending with .mp4

5. Open your LodeStar ActivityMaker, ActivityMaker Mobile,  or ARMaker project or any template that is derived from ActivityMaker like PBLMaker or WebQuestMaker.

6. Add a Video Page (not Video Scenario).

7. Paste in the video source (src) in the top field, as pictured below

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8. Preview your project to ensure that the video is properly linked.

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LodeStar Peer Support on Piazza

LodeStar has added built-in peer-to-peer support using the Piazza Platform.

Quick Sign In

http://piazza.com/lodestar_learning/other/ls101


How to Sign Up
  1. Click on link above.
  2. Type in ls101 for the class access code.
  3. Click on ‘Join as Student’.  This step is easy to miss!
  4. Click on ‘Join Classes’
  5. Enter in a valid email address.
  6. Submit email and then go to your email client to activate your Piazza account
  7. To find these instructions again or the link to the LodeStar Q&A site from within LodeStar, select Help > General LodeStar Help and search for ‘Piazza’

 

Steps in pictures:

 

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Publishing to Curriki

Curriki supports LodeStar projects.

Curriki is a terrific resource.  If you don’t have access to a learning management system and you are willing to share your resource with the educational community as well as your students, choose Curriki.

Curriki is an open education resource library. Curriki enables educators around the world to access and contribute free open educational resources.

At the conclusion of this post, you will find a short video that describes how to import a LodeStar project into Curriki.  But before you can import LodeStar, you must contact Curriki at http://www.curriki.org/about-curriki/contact-us/ and request to be a trusted user.

Once you are a trusted user, follow these steps.  The video is a little difficult to view, but these steps will help you.  Print them out.

In LodeStar

  1. Open a LodeStar project.
  2. Select Export.
  3. In the Export dialog, select the ‘Simple Zip’ option.
  4. Fill in the fields and click on the “Create Export’ button.
  5. Pay attention to where LodeStar saves your exported file!!

In Curriki

  1. Register as a Curriki user (free) and contact Curriki to become a trusted user (free).
  2. Log in to Curriki.
  3. Go to ‘My Dashboard’ if you are not already there.
  4. Click on ‘Contribute a Resource’.
  5. Fill in the ‘Title’ and ‘Abstract’ fields.
  6. In the Content area, click on the HTML Editor and select ‘Insert’ from the HTML editor toolbar.
  7. Select ‘Insert LodeStar Zip’.  This is the simple zip that you created earlier.  It is in your LodeStar/Exports folder.
  8. Follow the rest of the Curriki information collection process.
  9. Once you have completed all of the steps, you will be able to ‘Start’ the LodeStar activity.
  10. To find your project (resource), go to ‘My Dashboard’ and to ‘My library’.
  11. Click on the resource.  Click on the ‘Start’ button to launch.
  12. Share the resource website address with your students.  Test the address.

 

Screenshot of the Curriki HTML Editor with Insert LodeStar Zip.

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Screenshot of the activity web page.  Notice the Website address near the top of the screen.  Notice the start button near the bottom of the screen.

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Last Note:

Curriki supports Google Classroom.  If your school cannot afford a learning management system like Moodle, consider Google Classroom.  LodeStar objects added to the Curriki library can be easily shared with Google Classroom.

 

 

 

 

Inserting a YouTube Video

  1. Launch LodeStar and choose a project based on the ActivityMaker template.
  2. Add a new page to your project.
  3. Select the page type ‘Video’  (not Video Scenario).
  4. Copy the URL (the address) from YouTube.  Notice the screen shot below.  Copy the address that is highlighted with blue.
  5. Paste the address into the first field (box) on the LodeStar Video Page.  Ignore everything else.
  6. Click Preview.  Your video wont show in the preview.  Now jump out to the Firefox browser.  Because you clicked on the LodeStar Preview button, the address of your project was saved to the clipboard.  Now paste it in the Firefox address field.  You should now see your project and be able to view your video, provided that YouTube hasn’t blocked it.

Please note:  You will need to manually pause your video, but once you publish your project to a learning management system, LodeStar will automatically pause the video when the student turns the page.

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Exporting a Project to D2L BrightSpace 10.5 +

Inside of LodeStar 7.x, do the following:

  1. Open your project, if not already opened. You will find your most recently used project under ‘File’.
  2. Select the Export button. Pay attention to where your zip file will be saved.
  3. Keep the default ‘SCORM 1.3 (Recommended)’ selected .
  4. Fill in the Module, Topic and Author Fields.
  5. Click on ‘Create Export’ button.

 

Inside of D2L BrightSpace 10.5 or later, do the following:

  1. Go to your course.
  2. Select ‘Edit Course’
  3. Select ‘Import/Export/Copy Components’ (on the left hand side of the screen)
  4. In the ‘What would like to do? screen’, select the ‘Import Components’ radio button. Select the ‘from a course package’ radio button.
  5. In the ‘Import Course Package’’ screen, click on the ‘Import All Components’ button and browse to the lodestar zip file in the exports folder.
  6. Click on the ‘Start’ button.
  7. Once the process is completed, click on the ‘View Content’ button to navigate to the Content Tool.   D2L will always append your new module and topic to the end of your list of modules.

Controlling the Look and Feel of a Project

Introduction

The LodeStar eLearning authoring tool strikes a balance between author control over projects and ease of use. Many authoring tools provide pixel perfect control over every element. That’s fine for instructional designers, but faculty authors may need pre-configured templates, themes, project layouts and page layouts that will reduce their time commitment.

This article covers each of these configuration features starting with the most recent addition to LodeStar: layouts.

Layouts

The most popular LodeStar template, ActivityMaker, has a header, viewer and a navigator as well as a table of contents and resources divisions. The navigator, for example, holds the page forward and page back buttons. The viewer displays the content.

The layout of these divisions (div) can be changed. After the project is opened, the instructor can select Tools > Layouts. The dialog displays several layout presets. Some layouts are partially editable; others are not. A LodeStar project can look very different as a result of these layouts.

Default Layout:

ss1

Gamer Layout

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Shadowbox Layout

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Advanced tip: Instructors who have access to programmers or designers can customize a layout to their taste and can save the layout so that it is available to future projects.

The designer should follow these instructions:

Make a copy of the project’s layout folder. Zip up the folder and replace the .zip extension with .starlayout  Place the zipped up folder in /lodestar/app/Layouts. Give it a name that best represents the new layout. Restart LodeStar. The layout will now appear in the Layouts dialog.

Templates

Instructors will notice a number of templates displayed in the template viewer under the ‘Templates’ tab. Templates produce very different types of projects. EbookMaker. For example, assists instructors with creating eBooks that follow a common, open standard. But the most popular template is ActivityMaker, which gives instructors the most variety in activities that they can include in their online courses. ActivityMaker also gives instructors the greatest latitude in controlling themes and layouts.

Advanced tip: Instructors can use a project as the starting point for the next project. For example, an instructor who is producing a series of Webquests can create a project with a table of contents that includes the major parts of a WebQuest (i.e. Task, Process, Resources, Evaluation). Once these parts are set up, the instructor can zip up the project as a template and make this the new starting point. That is, a project with the major parts of a WebQuest already set up.

Instructors should:

Make a copy of the project folder. Optionally, change the description.htm and even the thumbnail.png to better represent the project as a template. Zip up the folder and replace the .zip extension with .star Place the zipped up folder in the /lodestar/app/Templates. Give it a name that represents the project. Restart LodeStar. The template will now appear in the template viewer.

Page Layouts

In ActivityMaker, each page layout supports a different type of activity. The ‘Text’ layout, for example, provides authors with a simple HTML editor. The ‘Text’ layout therefore supports the presentation of text and images. ActivityMaker also includes 19 other page layouts ranging from multiple choice questions, to long answers, crosswords, and other challenges.

Advanced tip: Instructors who have access to programmers – computer science students, perhaps – can have custom pages built with HTML, Javascript and CSS. LodeStar Learning offers a guide to the application programming interface (API) of ActivityMaker. Contact supportteam@LodeStarLearning.com for the JET API documentation.

Themes

Themes enable authors to control HTML background color, content page color, menu (outer) color and the colors of both the header and navigator. An advanced button enables authors to create their own gradations for both the header and navigator.

Advanced tip: Instructors who customize a theme to their taste can save the theme so that it is available to future projects.

Instructors should:

Make a copy of the project’s theme folder. Zip up the folder and replace the .zip extension with .startheme Place the zipped up folder in /lodestar/app/Themes. Give it a name that best represents the new theme. Restart LodeStar. The theme will now appear in the Theme dialog.

Conclusion

Oftentimes, instructors will want to focus on the content and not trouble themselves with customizing templates, themes, layouts and pages. Occasionally, a project will demand some level of customization. The LodeStar Authoring Tool offers presets for those occasions as well as an open architecture that enables someone with programming and/or design skills to construct his or her own themes, layouts and more.