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Using Channels in MediaSpace

Channels comprise a feature that distinguishes Kaltura’s capabilities in MediaSpace as a way to gather multimedia you’d like to share in one place. Here’s everything you need to know.

While Kaltura's features are offered both through Canvas and MediaSpace, only MediaSpace allows for the use of channels. They're a great way to organize, share, and gather content from multiple users. You may already be familiar with the concept of channels from using YouTube - the concept is very similar.

What is a MediaSpace Channel?

A MediaSpace channel is basically a collection of videos. To put a video into a channel, the channel must exist (you can create one yourself - see the drawers below to learn more), and the video must be "published" to that channel. Note that only those with UCSD Active Directory credentials can view and utilize channels.

Channels allow MediaSpace users to:

  • Gather similar content to share in one place
  • Choose whether to restrict access to the channel content to specific users or make it public (to all UCSD community members)
  • Allow all or selected users to contribute content
  • Elect to moderate any content that gets added
  • Enable channel members to subscribe to the channel (getting alerts when content is added)

Whys, Requirements, Caveats

Why You Might Want to Create a Channel in MediaSpace

  • You want users to be able to view a collection of content outside of a course

Prerequisites

  • You have UCSD Active Directory credentials
  • Viewers and members must have UCSD Active Directory credentials

Caveats

  • Channels aren't accessible to users without UCSD Active Directory credentials
  • You can't add a user to your channel unless they have logged into MediaSpace at least once (so that their Kaltura account is created on the back end)
  • If your channel is restricted to certain users, they must all be UCSD community members (i.e. they must have Active Directory credentials)
  • Regardless of role, members of a channel still aren't able to edit or re-publish videos that they don't own (or for which they are a co-editor and/or co-publisher) - see our Sharing Videos documentation for more information

Creating a Channel

Creating a channel is relatively easy, although there are some decisions you'll need to make along the way.

  1. Log into MediaSpace by going to https://mediaspace.ucsd.edu, clicking on "Guest" at the top right, and selecting "Log in."
  2. Enter your Active Directory credentials.
  3. Click your name at the top right of the screen and select "My Channels."
  4. Click "Create Channel."
  5. Set your desired settings for the channel.

Name

This is the title of your channel.

Description

Though this field isn't required, the channel's description is a valuable opportunity to provide context on the content that users will find in the channel or provide instructions/suggestions for contributors.

Below is an image of what the name and description look like when they end up on your channel's page.

A screenshot of a channel's landing page, with the title and description circled and labeled.

Tags

Think of tags as keywords that facilitate getting to your channel. Adding tags to a channel allows you and others to more easily search and find it. Admittedly, the utility of using tags increases with the number of channels on our site.

Privacy

This is one of the more consequential settings of your channel.

  • Open channels are visible to anyone who is able to log into MediaSpace, and any user is able to add media to it.
  • Restricted channels are visible to everyone who can log into MediaSpace, but only members that you identify can add content to it.
  • Private channels are only visible to the members you add, and only members that you specifically identify can contribute content to it.
  • Shared repositories are set up so that only members can view content, and selected members can contribute content (if you set their role as such). The distinguishing feature from private channels, however, is that any member of a shared repository is able to re-publish any of its content elsewhere, such as another MediaSpace channel or even a course in Canvas.

Moderate Content

If you choose to allow other users to contribute content to your channel, you can make it so that you (and other content managers that you designate) have to approve media that get added. For channels that allow many users to add content, this can be a useful feature.

Enable Subscriptions to Channel

If this box is checked, a button will be visible on your channel enabling users to subscribe to it. If subscribed, they'll be notified when new content is added.

Categories

For now, we advise you not to add your channel to any existing categories. Categories must be set up by UCSD Kaltura administrators and allow for content and users to be organized in specific ways. Until MediaSpace is heavily utilized, it's unlikely that we'll mess with any existing categories.

  1. Click "Save."
Your channel has now been created.

Managing Channel Members

There are a variety of reasons you may want to add, edit, or remove channel members. If your channel is anything except "open," no one will be able to see its content unless you add them as a member.

In this section we'll discuss the following topics:

  1. Adding members
  2. Changing an existing member’s role
  3. Removing members
  4. Assigning a new channel owner

Adding Members

You can add users to your channel and assign them one of several roles.

  1. If you're not already logged into MediaSpace, do so by going to https://mediaspace.ucsd.edu, clicking on "Guest" at the top right, and selecting "Log in." Enter your Active Directory credentials.
  2. Click your name at the top right of the screen and select "My Channels."
A screenshot of a channel's thumbnail, with the pencil icon circled.
  1. Find your channel and move your mouse over it. Click on the small pencil icon that appears within the thumbnail.
A screenshot of the "edit channel" page, with the "users" tab circled.
  1. Near the top of the page, click the tab that says "Users."
MediaSpace_Channel_Add-Users.png
  1. Click "Add Users."
  1. Search for the user in question. We recommend searching for their UCSD username rather than their actual name.
  2. Identify what role you want them to have by selecting the appropriate radio button. Note that you can add multiple users during this segment to assign them to the same role.

Channel Roles

All channel roles are able to view the channel's content.

  • Members are ONLY able to view content.
  • Contributors can add content to the channel.
  • Moderators are able to add content to the channel, and approve/reject content that has been added by others (if the channel has been configured as a moderated channel).
  • Managers can add content to the channel, moderate new content, and edit the channel's settings (such as name, description, members, etc.).

Below is a table listing each role and their associated privileges, in case that's more legible.

A table illustrating the privileges associated with each channel member role.
Role View Content Add Content Moderate Content Edit Channel Settings Delete Channel
Member
Contributor
Moderator
Manager

Changing an Existing Member’s Role

A screenshot of the "actions" column, with the pencil icons circled.
  1. If you're not already looking at your channel's list of members:
    • Go to https://mediaspace.ucsd.edu, click on "Guest" at the top right, and select "Log in."
    • Enter your Active Directory credentials.
    • Click your name at the top right of the screen and select "My Channels."
    • Find your channel and move your mouse over it.
    • Click on the small pencil icon that appears within the thumbnail.
    • Near the top of the page, click the tab that says "Users."
  2. In the far right column ("Actions"), click the pencil icon on the row of the user whose role you want to change.
  3. The user's role in the "Permission" column will turn into a pull-down menu. Select the new desired role from the menu.
  4. The pencil icon in the "Actions" column for that user should have also transformed into a disk icon. Click that icon to save any changes you make to the user's role.

Removing Members

A screenshot of the "action" column, with the "delete" buttons circled.
  1. If you're not already looking at your channel's list of members:
    • Go to https://mediaspace.ucsd.edu, click on "Guest" at the top right, and select "Log in."
    • Enter your Active Directory credentials.
    • Click your name at the top right of the screen and select "My Channels."
    • Find your channel and move your mouse over it.
    • Click on the small pencil icon that appears within the thumbnail.
    • Near the top of the page, click the tab that says "Users."
  2. In the far right column ("Actions"), click the "X" button in the row of the user you want to remove.

Assigning a New Channel Owner

A screenshot of the "actions" column, with the "assign owner" buttons circled.Channels can only have one owner. If, for whatever reason, you need to relinquish ownership of your channel, here's how to assign someone else as an owner. When you do this you'll automatically be given a "manager" role.

  1. If you're not already looking at your channel's list of members:
    • Go to https://mediaspace.ucsd.edu, click on "Guest" at the top right, and select "Log in."
    • Enter your Active Directory credentials.
    • Click your name at the top right of the screen and select "My Channels."
    • Find your channel and move your mouse over it.
    • Click on the small pencil icon that appears within the thumbnail.
    • Near the top of the page, click the tab that says "Users."
  2. Find the user that you want to assign as the owner, and in their row, in the far right column ("Actions"), click the "key" icon.
  3. Click "Yes" to confirm that you're OK being reassigned as a "manager."

Adding a Channel Thumbnail

A screenshot of a channel's landing page, with the thumbnail circled.

While you're not required to do so, adding a thumbnail image to your channel can help it stand out in addition to enhancing the look and feel of its landing page. Uploading a thumbnail will add an image to your channel's "tile" in lists of channels and will also display at the top of your channel's main page. It may be obvious, but in order to upload a channel thumbnail, you'll need to have prepared an image file of some sort.

Preparing a Thumbnail

Unlike with your videos, there isn't a way to just select a thumbnail from a list of options for your channel within MediaSpace, so you'll need to make one yourself. By default, Kaltura will create a thumbnail based on the first video uploaded to the channel.

Try to make sure that your image is a "widescreen" image: a 16:9 width-to-height ratio, such as 1920 by 1080 pixels or 1280 by 720 pixels.

Using PowerPoint to Create a Thumbnail

If you don't have an image handy, you can easily leverage PowerPoint to throw together a thumbnail. PowerPoint is useful for creating a variety of images easily, including thumbnails. With that in mind, here's a possible workflow for creating your own thumbnail. Most of the details will be left up to you - it's your preferred design after all - but we'll lay the groundwork for you.

  1. Open PowerPoint and create a new presentation. If you want, you can use an existing template if you like the design. Otherwise, just create a blank presentation.
  2. Click "Design" at the top of the window to open the design ribbon.
  3. Click "Slide Size" and select "Widescreen (16:9)."
  4. Design your slide.

Thumbnail Design Tips

  • Use large text and few words. Your thumbnail will appear much smaller than it does in PowerPoint, so use large fonts if you choose to use text.
  • Part of the thumbnail may be blocked by your channel's name. When your channel is seen in a list with other channels, Kaltura displays the title of the channel on top of the thumbnail.
  • Consider creating similar thumbnails for videos in the channel. If you have (or intend to have) videos in your channel that are thematically linked, consider using the PowerPoint presentation to design thumbnails for the individual videos. (Just remember that only owners and co-editors of videos can edit their thumbnails.)
  • Leverage shapes, clipart, or other objects. You can design images fairly easily in PowerPoint by adding shapes or using their clipart library. You can always just paste in images as well.
  1. When you're done designing your slide/thumbnail, and with the appropriate slide selected in the slide navigator pane on the left side of PowerPoint (in case you have other slides in your deck), click "File" at the top of the screen and select "Export."
  2. In the pull-down menu next to "File Format," select "PNG."
  3. Select the radio button for "Save Current Slide Only."
  4. Set the width and height to 1920 and 1080, respectively.
  5. Use the top of the window to identify where you want your image to end up.
  6. Click "Export."

You now have an image file that you can use as your thumbnail.

Uploading a Thumbnail

A screenshot of the "channel actions" menu.
  1. If you’re not already logged into MediaSpace:
  2. Click your name at the top right of the screen and select "My Channels."
  3. Find your channel and click on it.
  4. Click the icon that looks like three horizontal lines ("Channel Actions").
  5. Select "Upload Thumbnail" from the menu that appears.
  6. Click "Choose a File to Upload."
  7. Locate the image file on your computer and click "Open."
  8. Click "Save" after the image uploads.
After a moment, the page will refresh and your channel will be updated with the new thumbnail.

Adding Content to a Channel

If you have the appropriate role, you can add content to an existing channel. Here's how.

  1. If you're not already logged into MediaSpace:
    1. Go to https://mediaspace.ucsd.edu, click on "Guest" at the top right, and select "Log in."
    2. Enter your Active Directory credentials.
  2. Click your name at the top of the screen and select "My Media."
  3. Find the piece of media in your list that you want to add to a channel and click the checkbox in its row.
  4. Near the top of the page, click "Actions," then select "Publish" from the menu that appears.
  5. On the subsequent page, click the "Published" radio button.
  6. In the information that populates below, click the "Publish in Channel" tab.
  7. Select the checkbox next to the channel to which you want to publish the media.
  8. Click "Save."

A screenshot of MediaSpace publish options.

Your media will now be visible in the channel.

Have additional questions about video? Contact Multimedia Services at kaltura@ucsd.edu.