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The Pick-n-Play tool is available in Blackboard Learn module content areas under Tools. It is used to upload and administer videos and video assignment submissions. By default the Pick-n-Play tool allows video to be uploaded and shared with only those students registered on a module. However, the facility exists to make a video publicly available. The Sharestream system supports the upload of common audio and video formats.


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Supported file formats

  • .avi (audio and Video)
  • .f4v (Flash Video)
  • .m4v (Video)
  • .mov (Video)
  • .mp3 (Audio)
  • .mp4 (Video)
  • .wma (Audio)
  • .wmv (Video)
  • .mp4a (Audio)
  • .flv (Adobe Flash audio and video)
  • .mp4 (H.264) (Video)
  • .mp4v (H.264) (Video)
  • .mpeg (Video)

ShareStream Workflow

In brief, the ShareStream workflow consists of:

Note: This workflow is for the uploading of media files you have created using Camtasia, Screenflow or similar editing software software.

If you have used Techsmith Relay to capture a lecture or recording, then the workflow is slightly different. Please see our Using Techsmith Relay with ShareStream support page for more information on using recordings captured with this application.

  1. Adding the ShareStream Pick-n-Play tool to the module area.
  2. Uploading your audio or video content to the Pick and Play tool’s My Workplace area. When ShareStream finishes transcoding (converting) the video content it becomes available in My Workplace.
  3. Adding the transcoded video to the course.
  4. Using the ShareStream Mashup tool to add the video to Blackboard content items. (The ShareStream Mashup tool is available in content items, content folders, learning modules, discussion boards and the Grade Centre’s feedback tool.)

Transcoding is the process of adapting digital files so that content can be viewed on different playback devices.

Note: An alternative method of adding video to a Blackboard Learn module will be covered in the Media Manager support page.

Video - Using Pick-n-Play and Mashup Tool

Adding the Pick-n-Play tool

The ShareStream process begins with adding the Pick-n-play tool to the module area:

  1. Within a content area, rollover the Tools menu and under More Tools select the ShareStream Pick-n-Play link.

    Note: If prompted to copy Sharestream media assets into the course area, AND this is the first time you've the ShareStream tool please select the No option and then select the Submit button.

  2. The Create Link: ShareStream Pick-n-Play page will open.  Select the Submit button.

    Note: If you wish to hide the Pick-n-Play tool from students set the Available option to No.

  3. The Sharestream Pick-n-Play link will be added to the content area:

Uploading and transcoding videos

Having added the Pick-n-Play tool to the module area (see above) you can begin to upload video(s) for use in the module.

  1. Select the Sharestream Pick-n-Play link. The Pick-n-Play screen will open:

  2. Select the Upload Media button.

  3. The upload media window will open. Select the Drop/Click to Select Media file button and in the file browser window that opens select the video file you want to add to Sharestream.

  4. Enter a title for the video. Please keep the video name relevant and meaningful as this will be displayed to Blackboard users.
  5. Select the Add Media button to begin the video upload. A upload progress bar will displayed for large files.

    Note: Most Internet Service Providers have limited upload speeds. When uploading video files (>100 MB) it is recommended that academic staff do their uploading from within the university network.

    Note: Towards the end of the upload, the progress bar may appear to have stalled. The system is finishing the upload process and verifying the file. Please be patient and allow the upload process to complete.

  6. When the upload process is complete there will be a pop-up message saying, “Your file(s) have uploaded successfully and will now be transcoded. Would you like to upload more files?

  7. Select Yes to upload more files or No to close the pop-up message.

  8. When the upload process has completed, the transcoding process begins. Depending on the size, quality and duration of the video file uploaded, the transcoding process can take a few seconds to several minutes.

  9. When the video has transcoded a thumbnail of the video appears beneath the My Workspace tab in Pick-n-Play.

    Note: When the transcoding process is underway – but not complete – a Processing space holder will appear beneath the My Workspace tab.

Adding a video to a course

When the video has finished transcoding it will be available under Pick-n-play’s My Workspace tab. To add the video to your course:

  1. Beneath the My Workspace tab select the checkbox to the right of the video you want to add.

  2. Then select the Add to Course button.

    The video will now be copied to the course area. Depending on the size of the files and its duration this can take a few seconds or several minutes.

  3. When the Add to Course process has completed the video will be available to the Sharestream Mashup tool (details below).

Note: Depending on the duration of the video, the copy process can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to complete. While it is copying a Processing... message will be visible,


Using the Sharestream Mashup tool

The Sharestream Mashup tool is available in content items, content folders, learning modules, discussion boards and the Grade Centre’s feedback tool.

To use the Sharestream Mashup tool in a content area:

  1. Go to any content area in the module e.g. content folder.
  2. Rollover the Build Content button and from the drop-down menu select the ShareStream Mashup link.

  3. The Search for a ShareStream Media page will open. This a searchable list of videos available to the course. The search is based on titles and keyword metadata. Selecting the Display All Files link will show all videos available to the course.

    Remember: You must first add a video to the course via the My Media tab in the Pick-n-Play tool

  4. The Search Results page will list all videos available to the course.

  5. To add a video, select the checkbox to the right of the video you want to embed and select the Add Media button.

  6. The video will be added - in an embedded player - to the content area.

  7. To play the video, click on the Play link or Play icon. To watch the video full-screen, select the maximise video button at the bottom-right of player.