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Moodle is an online tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere. In Moodle Essential Training for Teachers, Chris Mattia shows how this program works for teachers on three levels: disseminating information, creating a forum where ideas are exchanged, and assessing the progress of students. Chris shows how to build course materials with Moodle's HTML editor, post assignments, and save time by using Moodle's grade book to evaluate tests automatically and organize scores. Exercise files accompany the course.
Compressing video for the web truly is an art form in and of itself. There is a dizzying array of options that are available to you. These includes things like which file format that you are going to choose, including QuickTime, Flash, Windows Media, then you need to start thinking about which codec are you going to use, then how are you going to setup your compression settings for your video, for your audio, a ton of different options out there well beyond the scope of this course.
But what we are going to do is we are going to step through the process of compressing video that will give you pretty good results, and will work inside of Moodle. So let's get started by minimizing our Firefox browser. We'll come back out to our Desktop and if you are following along with the Exercise Files, I'm in Chapter 04/Movies and there is a file in here called GreenMorayMASTER.mov. Go ahead and open that up in QuickTime. To use the technique that we are going to show you, you need to have a copy of QuickTime Pro, and if you don't have QuickTime Pro, on the Mac, you go up to the QuickTime menu and you come down to Registration. On Windows, you would go to the Edit menu, go down to Preferences and then select Registration.
It will have a button in there for you to be able buy a license for QuickTime Pro.
It's $29 and it's well worth it. It's going to unlock a whole bunch of additional features for you, including the ability to record audio, record video, and compress audio and video directly inside of the QuickTime player. So to compress this video right now, if we look at it over here on the Finder, we can see that this video is roughly 9. 5 MB, it's only 12 seconds of video and the dimensions of it are 640 by 360, let's go ahead and preview this video here. There is no sound that's associated with it. It's just some underwater video that I shot in Belize of a green moray, and we want to be able to take this video and we want to include it inside of our Moodle site. So I'll back up the video back to the beginning and I'll go up to the File menu and come down and choose Export. Now there is an Export for Web option but this option is going to create a video file that is very difficult to incorporate into Moodle at the present time. So we are going to setup our own custom settings inside of the main Export menu. So File > Export.
Let's go ahead and start by renaming the file instead of having the Master, and I'll just pull Master out and so it will just say GreenMoray and we are going to save it out to our desktop. Then under the Export menu, make sure it's selected to Movie to QuickTime Movie. You have a whole bunch of other options available to you. So I encourage you to go in and play around and try a lot of these other options. Your result will vary depending on the particular file that you have, but Movie to QuickTime Movie is the first thing that we want to set here.
Then we want to click on to this Use section and choose the Broadband - High; this is going to apply a good level of compression. It's going to setup for us all the settings for audio and video that are going to work very well for us. We still are going to have to make it change to this, but this is going to get us in the ballpark. So Use Broadband - High, and then click the Options button, and you can see all of the settings that are going to be applied by these Broadband - High Quality Settings.
It's going to do an H.264 Compression with the Quality set to High. Keyframe Rate is going to be 150. The Bitrate is 672 kbits/per second. Frame Reordering is going to be set to Yes. The Encode mode is going to be multi-pass and the Dimensions are 480 by 360. Now we don't want to change the aspect ratio of our video. We want to keep it still in the same format that it appears here, which is in the Letterbox format. So let's go ahead and click on the Size button and we'll set the Size to a custom size of 640 by 360, and we'll check the box for Preserve Aspect Ratio using Letterbox. Then we'll go ahead and click OK, and since the video that we have we do not have any audio with, we'll go ahead and get rid of the Sound Settings altogether by simply unchecking them. So that will even save us a little bit of extra space as well.
We do want to have the checkbox here for Prepare for Internet Streaming, and we want to have that dropdown menu set to Fast Start. Go ahead click OK. We have now checked that all of our settings are correct. Go ahead and click the Save button and you can see that QuickTime is going ahead and exporting out that video for us and it's dropping it out to the desktop. And there we go. We now have our GreenMoray.mov file down here to our desktop. You can go ahead and double-click on that, and we do a little bit of side-by-side, we can see that it has kind of dull the color a little bit, but not too badly. The file size of this file, if we click on it and do Get Info by Right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking on the document and selecting Get Info, or on the PC, selecting Properties. We can see that this file is 1.1 MB.
So it's compressed the video from 9.5 MB down to just over 1 MB. So that's a pretty good compression. Let's go ahead and preview this movie and see how it looks. It's not too bad. We are not seeing really any pixelation and we still have a pretty good clean view of it, and it has applied quite a bit of compression to this file. So it's going to be much better for distributing over the Internet. Go ahead and close both of these files and we are going to go ahead and upload this GreenMoray.mov document and we should also upload this movie.zip, which has a bunch of other movie files that have already been compressed and prepared for the web, and we'll also upload the GreenMoray.flv file.
So let's go ahead and return back to Firefox and we'll go over to the left hand side in the Administration block, and click on Files, and click on the Movies folder and we'll upload a file, and we'll start with the Browse button and we are out in the desktop. We'll upload the Greenmorea.mov file that we just compressed. So we'll say Open and Upload this file. We'll then go ahead and upload another file, we'll hit Browse and if you have access to the Exercise Files, go ahead to Exercise Files/Chapter 04/Movies/Greenmorea.flv, go ahead and upload that. This is one that was prepared using Adobe Video Compressor. There are a lot of other titles at lynda.com that have instructions on how to do this.
So we'll go ahead and hit Open and upload that file. And we'll upload one more. We'll go ahead and hit Browse, and we'll upload that zip file that has a bunch of other movies in it as well. So hit Open and Upload this file. Now we'll go ahead and unzip that movie.zip file. And we can see it's just a bunch of other videos of other organisms, so I hit OK. Now we'll go ahead and return back to our course by clicking on BIOL432 in the upper left hand corner, and in the next movie, we'll go ahead and start incorporating these videos into our site.
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