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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. Library-subscribed streaming video databases. FSU Libraries has invested considerable resources into a growing collection of streaming video titles through providers such as Films on Demand, Kanopy, Swank, and Alexander Street Press.. 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. Commercial, subscription-based streaming video resources. If you intend to use streaming video from subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or HBO Go, there are a few important issues to consider:
    • Netflix provides one-time, educational screening licenses for a limited number of documentary titles (See Netflix’s Educational Screenings of Documentaries page for more information).  Although there is no straightforward way to search for these titles on Netflix’s site directly, using a Google search with the “site” modifier does yield the appropriate results. Copy and paste the following (between the [...]) into a Google search to see what titles currently carry an educational screening license: [site: "educational screening"]. If the title you would like to use for your course that does not come with an educational screening license, please see the other options outlined below.
    • 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 Prime or Google Play for a fraction of the cost of purchase. You can use websites such as JustWatch or ReelGood to search where titles are available for streaming rental.
  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.” 
    • Consult the Film LibGuide for more freely available streaming resources.
  4. Host streaming video to Canvas course pages using Kaltura.
    • Streaming Media Course Reserves: Under the auspices of the TEACH Act and Fair Use, media materials can be delivered on Canvas course pages via the Kaltura media player. Please refer to the following request form for more information about this service and procedures for Fair Use evaluation and ensuring all necessary legal and administrative compliance. A few key points about this service and request protocol:
      • Please note that Streaming Media Course Reserves requests are limited to 3 titles per course, per semester.
      • This form should not be used for Library purchase requests or for requests for titles in other streaming services (e.g. Kanopy, Swank). Please direct all requests to the Materials Purchase Suggestion portal.
      • Requests will be reviewed and may be rejected based on copyright, funding, or timing restrictions. Submitting requests well in advance of course start dates or the date a certain media item is required increases the likelihood that they will be approved. We cannot guarantee requests made inside of 3 weeks notice.
      • In order to comply with the University’s policies on accessibility, content hosted in Canvas must contain closed-captioning. This content must be sourced from the media item itself. The Library does not provide third-party captioning services.

Request that the library acquire rights to stream a particular title

Many streaming videos are not available for education licensing and purchase and may also not be available for feasible or appropriate to provide access through the Library’s streaming media course reserve service. 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.


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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