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Streaming Media in Your Course: Streaming Video Models

Consider streaming video models and choose those that work best for you

There are several streaming options available to instructors. What you choose will largely depend on how much and what kinds of streaming video you would like to use.

  1. Link to streaming videos and other media from the FSU Libraries. FSU Libraries has invested considerable resources into a growing collection of streaming video titles. For information on how to find these resources, see the Finding Streaming Content @ FSU Libraries page of this guide. You can also contact your subject librarian for assistance.
  2. Pay-on-demand streaming resources. If you intend to use streaming video from subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or HBO Go, you have a couple of options:
    • For in-person or online classes, contact the streaming provider to request permission for a one-time, educational screening of the content for your class. If permission is granted, you can then use your own subscription to the service to screen the content for your students. In some cases, streaming providers may provide advance permission for educational streaming, as Netflix does for the acclaimed documentary, 13TH. (See Netflix’s Educational Screenings of Documentaries page for more information.)  Keep whatever correspondence you  have with the rights owner to prove that permission was granted to show the film. Here is a comprehensive template to use when requesting permission.  Furthermore, request permissions early for any resources. Major production companies sometimes take weeks to respond (if they respond at all).
    • Ask your students to subscribe to the service individually, with the understanding that they can cancel their subscription after viewing the content. In some cases, these services offer free trials to new subscribers, enabling students to access streaming content and then cancel their subscription at no cost. In other cases, students may need to pay a modest fee for the first month of access, but can then cancel their subscription after viewing the assigned video(s). 
    • If the resource is only needed for a short time, ask your students to rent the movie from a platform such as Amazon for a fraction of the cost of purchase. 
  3. Freely available streaming resources. Many distributors and filmmakers also make their titles freely available on Vimeo, YouTube, and other freely available video streaming sites. Before incorporating content from these sites in your courses, please consider the following: 
    • Check that the content was uploaded by the copyright owner. If you find a clip from a documentary or a major motion picture that was uploaded by an anonymous user, for instance, then it is likely that the content was uploaded illegally and could be withdrawn from the site at any time.
    • If you are looking for content that can be remixed or adapted, use the site’s search filters to limit results to Creative Commons-licensed content. On Youtube, select the “Creative Commons” filter; on Vimeo, select any of the filter options under “License.” 
  4. Host streaming video content yourself.
    • Copyright: For video content that you did not create yourself, you may consider doing a fair use evaluation and decide to host video content essential for your class. If your fair use evaluation is inconclusive, you should seek permission to host the content for your class. In order to seek permission, you will need to identify the copyright ownercontact the owner with a specifically worded permission request, and receive written confirmation that your request has been granted. 
    • Create Clips: FSU Libraries’ Tech Center staff can teach you how to create audio and video clips. They cannot create the clips for you. 
    • Host on Canvas: Canvas allows you to host media files up to a certain size for your class. These instructions show you how to upload clips into Canvas pages. These specifications describe what types of media files are supported in Canvas. FSU’s Office of Distance Learning supports FSU faculty in their use of Canvas.  

Request that the library acquire rights to stream a particular title

Many streaming videos are not available for education licensing and purchase. When such options do exist, licensing costs can be high and staff time involved with licensing/making titles available can be considerable. To qualify for consideration, streaming video purchase requests at Florida State University Libraries must meet certain criteria. Please contact your subject librarian for further information.

Please note that depending on a video's availability for institutional licensing, a distributor's terms of use, licensing/hosting costs, and our limited budget, we may be able to purchase the video you request.  As requests are considered on a first come, first served, basis, we recommend submitting your requests as soon as possible.

Submit course reserve streaming video licensing requests here.


The content in this guide has been adapted from the University of Washington Libraries' Streaming for Classes guide and is reused here with permission. 

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