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Sharing Video using Dropbox

A faculty tutorial on how to use Dropbox to share videos and disable from downloading

CUNY provides Dropbox and Dropbox Paper to all active CUNY students, faculty, and administrative staff.  You can store and access files from different devices (such as computers and mobile), share files, and collaborate on content. In this tutorial, you will learn to access Dropbox, create folders, upload, and share videos with your students while not allowing students to download the video.

To stream your video but disallow downloading, the video format should be in mp4.  When sharing a video with your students, create a link for viewing and post the link in your Blackboard (Bb) course.

The advantages:

  • Unlimited storage for your videos
  • You can add timed annotations to your videos

Logging into Dropbox

  1. Sign in at dropbox.cuny.edu using your CUNYFirst credentials.
  2. Click "Continue"
    Dropbox single sign-on image. Click the Continue button to sign-onYou now have access to your CUNY Dropbox account.

Creating Folders

If you have multiple videos, we recommend organizing them in folders. Here's how to create folders in Dropbox:

  1. In your CUNY Dropbox, click on "All Files" located on the left-hand side
  2. On the right, click "New Folder"Create folder in Dropbox
  3. Add a title and press "Create"
    Create new folder

Great, the new folder is created. If you wish to create another folder, click "All Files" on the left side and follow Steps 1 to 3 again.

Uploading videos to Dropbox

  1. In your CUNY Dropbox, click on "All Files" located on the left-hand side
  2. If you are uploading videos without folders, follow Step 3. Otherwise, in your "My Files" section, click on the folder where the videos will be
  3. Click "Upload files", select the video file, and click the Open button. You will see a small progress bar on the bottom the page
    Upload files

The video has been uploaded.

Uploading video folder to Dropbox

If you have a Video folder in your computer and wish to upload them to Dropbox, please follow these instructions:

  1. In your CUNY Dropbox, click on "Files" located on the left-hand side
  2. Click "Upload folder", select the video file folder, and click the "Open" button.
    Upload video folder
    A small progress bar will appear on the bottom of the page. Please note, it takes longer if the video files are large.
    Upload progress bar

The video folder has been uploaded to Dropbox.

Sharing video, disabling downloading, creating a password and adding a link to Blackboard

When sharing a video from Dropbox, students do not need to sign-in to view the video. Anyone who has the link can see the video. Optionally, you can create a password and provide it to anyone who needs access to the video. You can also add the link in your Blackboard course by adding a Web Link or by inserting it to the content editor such blog, journal, discussion board, and assignments.

Creating a Share video link

  1. In your CUNY Dropbox, click on "Files" located on the left-hand side and find the video you wish to share.
  2. Move your cursor to the video and click the "Share" button.
    Share button
  3. A pop-up box appears. Do not add students or groups next to “To”. If you add them with their email or CUNYFirst credentials, they need to log in to Dropbox to view and in that case, they will be able to download the video.  Instead, click the “Create link” button at the bottom right and a link will be created
    Create link
  4. Then press "Link settings"
    Link settings
  5. For “Who has access,” choose “Anyone with link” or “People with password” and fill in a password. If you require a password, make sure to provide the password to anyone who would view your video.
    Who has access
  6. Turn “Disable downloads” ON to prevent people from downloading the video. Click "Save."
    Disable downloads
  7. Press "Copy link."
    Copy Dropbox video share link

The link is copied and ready to be pasted in an email or Blackboard via Web Link or content editor.

Adding annotations using comments

Students will view your video in streaming and cannot download the video. In this case, they cannot comment on the video. Commenting only works when sharing the videos with group members or via their CUNYFirst credentials. However, in these cases, viewers can also download videos.

On the other hand, you can comment on your video at different time points like doing annotations. Your students will view them by clicking on the Comment icon.
Comment annotations

Creating a Web link in your Blackboard course

  1. Go to the Blackboard course where you want the video to be displayed.  We recommend using the content area.
  2. Move the cursor to "Build Content", then "Web Link"
    Build Content, then Web Link
  3. Add a name, paste the URL link in the URL box, provide a description if needed and click "Submit"
    Create Web Link page

The weblink is added to the bottom of the page.

Final look from Web Link Bb

Pasting video shared link to Blackboard content editor

This option enables you to share your video with students in a discussion forum, blog, assignment, or anywhere in Bb where there is a content editor.

  1. Go to the Blackboard course where you want the video to be displayed using the content editor also known as text box. 
  2. In your context editor, provide a Title.
  3. In the text box, write and highlight the name and click on the Link icon
    Name, highlight and link in Bb content editor
  4. A pop-up box will appear. Paste the URL link in the URL box. Click the drop-down box for Target, choose "Open in a new window." In the Title text box, fill in appropriate Title for your video. This is required for accessibility.  Last, click "Insert."
    Add Link Path then Insert
  5. Add instructions if necessary. Click "Submit" to save and post the link. Your video link has been added
    Final video share link in Bb content editor

Yay, you successful added the shared video link from Dropbox to Blackboard!

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