UCL mediacentral


Video and Audio content in Moodle

We recommend that all UCL taught content that is specifically linked to a module is uploaded to Moodle through the Lecturecast upload. For information on how to do this, please go to the Lecturecast help pages

However, if you wish to add supplementary content then Moodle users can add video and audio content directly into their courses using the Moodle 'Media Resource'. This allows content to be viewed only within Moodle by those who have been granted access.

Instructors - A quick guide to help you add content to your Moodle course

Instructor adding content to Moodle course

1. Log on as Instructor to Moodle at https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk

Login to Moodle Image

2. Navigate and choose the course you are adding content to.

Image of personal Moodle courses

3. Turn Editing On

Turn editing on in Moodle

4. Click to Add Activity or Resource

Add an activity to Moodle

5. Instructor selects Media Resource

Select the Media Resource

6. Click on Add button

Add Content button

7. Type in Activity Information

Add details to the activity in Moodle

8. If you have new content click: Add Media

Add Media using Moodle Media plugin

9. Click on Upload to add a new media item

Upload content button

10. At this point you can choose a file on your device or search for a previously uploaded file. For new files ensure your file is one of the approved file types which currently are: .avi, .flv, .mkv, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp3, .mp4, .wav, .webm, .wma, .3gp.

Browse for content

11. Your video will now upload to the Media Resource server.

Image showing upload progress

12. Add details to all the boxes, the more information in the description and Tag boxes you can add the better, as this allows your content to be found when searching. You also have the option to allow students to download the file, perhaps add this option if the file is large, this allows students to download via the UCL network and watch at their leisure without worrying about data download limits.

Add metadata information

13. The next step is to choose a thumbnail image. This will show as a still image, you can upload a file if the frames chosen do not visually describe your video.

Choose the Thumbnail image

14. You can upload files you wish to associate with the video/audio file as long as they are in one of the following formats: .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .mp3, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx. .swf, .xls, .xlsx or .zip and you can also add a caption file in the recommended format, either: .srt. .vtt or .dfxp.

Image showing how to add captions

15. Now you can see the data and description details you have attached to the file, if required you can use the back button to amend these.

Image showing details added to content

16. The video has now been sent for encoding. Please accept that this may take some time as all content is placed in a queue. You will receive an email when your video has finished processing and is available for viewing. 

Image showing that the process is finished

17. Click Save to add item

Image showing the Save button

18. The video, once processed will now play through the course page

Image of video playing in Moodle

Student View

Your students will be able to view the content only after it has been encoded. Once the file is processed you will get an email to say the content is ready to view. You can then let your students know the content is available through Moodle.

Student Upload

We are not at the point of being able to offer a student upload facility through Moodle. However, we recognise that this is a priority requirement and the ISD Mediacentral team will develop and deliver this as soon as possible.

If there is a requirement for students to submit media content to a Moodle course or module, then as a 'work-around' they should follow the instructions 'Share your video with colleagues or your students' on the Mediacentral Share webpage.

FAQ's when using the Moodle Media Resource 

Q. Do I use the Mediacentral portal or Moodle to upload and view my videos?

If you wish to share your video with the world, then adding the content directly through the Mediacentral portal is the best method, however, if you just want students on a particular module to view the content then you can use the use Moodle Media Resource or if the content is specifically media to teaching, then we recommend uploading to Lecturecast as the preferred option, please see this link for further information.

Q. Can I upload multiple files?

If you have a significant number of video or audio files that you wish to add to Mediacentral or your Moodle course, please contact the UCL Mediacentral team for further help and information.

Q. What media file formats can I upload?

When uploading media files, please check your media is one of the approved file types. These currently are: .avi, .flv, .mkv, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp3, .mp4, .wav, .webm, .wma, .3gp.

Q. Who do I contact for further information?

You can contact the ISD Service Desk or email the UCL Mediacentral support team for help and information.

Q. How can I choose my own thumbnail image?

During the upload process, it is possible to choose your own thumbnail image. This can be an image that better reflects your media content, instead of the thumbnails that are automatically generated by the system.

When uploading and you arrive at or select the section marked 'Thumbnails', next choose the button marked 'Browse'. This will then take you to a file chooser where you can select the image of your choice. Once selected, this will become the new thumbnail image.

It is recommended that the image you choose has:

  • a JPG or PNG image file format
  • a minimum image size of 640 x 360 - (Width x Height)
  • a maximum file size of 1 MB

Q. How long will my file take to upload?

Please note that your file joins a queue for encoding and sometimes this may take time to process - you should always allow 24 hours to guarantee your file has been fully processed and available.

Q. Processing time - my file is still not available?

Unfortunately, we do not have the same processing power as YouTube and all files go into a queue - it's 'first come, first served'. However we are working on adding additional encoders which are to be installed over the summer 2018, this will enhance the encode time.

Q. Why can't I see the content I've previously uploaded into MediaCentral?

Mediacentral is the interface for publicly available content and although all media sits on the same servers, the security and access for Moodle content is kept separate for obvious academic reasons.

Q. Unsuccessful uploads - what happens, what do I do etc.?

If your file fails to upload you will receive an email letting you know there is an issue. The support team also receives this and will look to ascertain if the problem is a system error or a problem with the file. Normally the issue is due to poor connectivity on upload, UCL's infrastructure is more stable than a home connection, so if you are at home and have a large file, try to connect via an ethernet connection. It is generally best practice to upload whilst on campus.

Also, check that the format of the file you have uploaded is on the list of approved filetypes and is under 5Gb in size.

Q. My Media has failed to load or play?

On rare occasions your media may not play, the main reason is normally that your browser probably requires updating, or is set to play via Adobe Flash and this is now blocked for the majority of browsers. All content in MediaCENTRAL is set to play in HTML5, and will ONLY fall back to Flash if your browser is not HTML5 compliant.

A quick way to check when there is a problem is to view your content on an Apple iOS device. If the content plays, then the issue is with the browser you are using on your PC / Mac.

Adobe Flash is due to be discontinued in late 2020, However, if you need to configure your browser or enable Flash on a PC, please see the following information:

  • Access the Adobe website at https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
  • Click Need Flash Player for a different computer?
  • In Step 1 Select an operating system, pick the one matching your system.
  • In Step 2 Select a version, e.g. pick "FP XX for Opera and Google Chrome - PPAPI".
  • Click the Download now button.
  • Perform the installation as instructed by Adobe (steps are not provided as they may change).

If your content will not play using Desktop@UCL then please contact the Mediacentral team.

Q. Editing, is this possible?

Editing of your video content is now possible using the Trim, Chop, and Export function in Mediacentral further information is on the general upload pages of the website, if your project is more substantial please contact the UCL Digital Media team.

Q. Can I upload & view from mobile devices?

Yes, this is possible, but generally not advisable if you are on the move. Try to do this where you have good access to WiFi rather than using your data allowance. To view login to UCL Moodle as you would do normally.

Q. Can I update a media resource added by another tutor?

Yes, you can do this. However, only do this if you have a good reason to and you also have equal authentication rights as an instructor.

Q. How does a student upload media?

This feature will be implemented in the summer, 2020. If as a student you currently wish to add a video or audio file to your UCL Moodle module then use the UCL Mediacentral portal. Follow the process to upload as described here and make the content Personal(Public) to you. It is possible then to share or embed the content but your video will not show up in the portal.

Once your file is available, always use the UCL Mediacentral Share link to add to Moodle.

Q. How do I delete media I no longer require?

If you wish to delete any media assets uploaded using the Moodle "Media Resource", then please contact the Mediacentral support team.