Knowledge Tek partners with Tympani Productions, who are an authorised reseller of UbiCast products. The challenge was laid down over a coffee to us “Can you integrate Ubicast into Litmos LMS?”. We readily accepted the challenge and the answer was much easier than expected, so we share the results of that with you today for the benefits of the wider L&D community.
What is Ubicast?
UbiCast is a company that uses video as the basis for a teaching platform. It’s products help to automate the video creation process, streamline the editing and deployment of it and produce analytical information on how it is used. To find out more about Ubicast in detail, simply head on over to their web site here. For both Tympani Productions and Knowledge Tek, we especially like some of the features it offers to learners who are trying to learn detailed practical skills. A four screen view allows the learner to decide for themselves which camera angle to view a procedure from.
Another nice feature we spotted, is the way that videos can be indexed with chapters and made searchable. But, that’s enough of the UbiCast review, let’s get down to the challenge.
There were several ways that we could potentially put video into Litmos LMS. At the simplest level, we could probably download an mp4 and simply upload it onto Litmos. We decided against this approach though as it would lose the ability for a learner to click on a camera angle and zoom in to that view of it. We also needed to maintain the link back to the Ubicast Media Server in order to capture detailed video analytics.
A quick search on Google for “SCORM” and “UbiCast” determined that both SCORM v1.2 and 2004 were options for us. We also clicked around in the UbiCast player and hit the “share” button to see what we could find. It was here that we found the download link for the mp4 that we had already decided against.
However, much more interestingly there were two links back to the media, the link itself and the embed code. Both of these had settings buttons that allow you to control the way that they work.
We opted to test a link option first.
Linking to UbiCast Video
Configuring the module with a link in it was an easy enough task in Litmos and we happily copied and pasted the link in with anticipation of having cracked the challenge already.
However, once we tried to preview the module, we just got a blank screen and nothing in it. So, we moved on to the next option.
Embedding UbiCast Video
Once again, creating an embed module in Litmos was easy enough and we copied the code from the share option in UbiCast. On our first test we didn’t play around with the embed options, but subsequently we found them to work well, letting us adjust the height and width of the video with ease.
When we previewed the course, we found that the video now embedded nicely and allowed the learner to switch to a full screen mode and use all of the functionality included with the UbiCast player, including changing the camera angle.
Standard Litmos functionality still worked, allowing the learner to see other modules that are included in the course and we could easily see how this could be a really good way of delivering blended or flipped training.
Getting the SCORM packs isn’t something that you can achieve from the video player itself, they need to be generated for you, so we relied on Tympani Productions to create one for us and send it over. They created a V1.2 pack and once we had uploaded it onto Litmos and allowed it the time it needs to process, we found that the results were just the same as using the embed code. The only difference was that you needed to watch the entire video to be awarded a completion status.
This is pretty much what we expected to find and would be our recommended method in most situations, unless the videos were especially long and you wanted to allow your learners to skip through parts of them.
Integration of UbiCast onto Litmos LMS is very strightforward giving you two main options, either go down the SCORM route or use embed code. Once integrated, it makes for a very nice solution to creating practical based training courses and using them in flipped classrooms or scenario based training. We’d also expect this solution to work on other LMS’s in pretty much the same way.
If you’d like to chat about this or find anything out about this little challenge, please drop us an note and we’d be happy to help.