Update on Video Server Access and Playback

As the term starts, sharing and hosting videos will be a large part of how you will share content with your students (either in terms of pre-recorded content or sharing recording of your live course sessions).

If you are using video content in your course, please review this important information and consider sharing what is relevant to your students:

  1. Alibaba Network vs UTORvpn: U of T has two VPN connections that are available for student use. The Alibaba Network has been specifically contracted to provide students in China access to U of T domains and resources. All students in China should connect with service. For more information, see Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network Service. Please share this link with you students. We have confirmed that MyMedia and Microsoft Stream are available via the Alibaba Network. You can test which services are accessible via Alibaba yourself, however the connection speed could be slow when connecting locally from Toronto.
  2. YouTube is not available in China and other countries: We are encouraging the use of Microsoft Stream or MyMedia (see which video hosting service should I use?) while students are distributed (as these tools are available via the Alibaba Network). If you already have videos are posted on YouTube, there's no need to remove them but we'd recommend supplementally posting them to one of the U of T services and then adding these links to your Quercus course.
  3. We are investigating MyMedia playback issues: There have been reports of students experiencing delays/buffering issues when watching videos on MyMedia (especially from locations far from Toronto). We are working to resolve these issues. In the meantime, you might consider allowing students to download MyMedia content (see how to enable downloading of MyMedia videos) or supplementally hosting the videos on YouTube (which, I know we just said not to use, but this is supplemental access for students who are not in Toronto but also not in China).

What should I do if students report experiencing access or video playback technical issues?

If students are experiencing technical issues with accessing video content via the Alibaba Network or if they are experiencing video playback issues, please direct them to the Information Commons Helpdesk to report the issue. In their ticket, they should include the URL of the video they are trying to access, their location, if they are using a VPN and which one, their IP address, and as many details as possible to help resolve the issue (e.g. what time they were accessing the video, if other streaming services were working, etc.)

If you have any questions about your uploading videos, your Quercus course, or other education technology questions, please contact the Education Technology Office (via fase.edtech@utoronto.ca) or schedule a 1-1 consultation (for more in-depth questions). We're happy to help!Clog (Nature)

Article Category: General Information