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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
Compressing video for the web truly is an art form in and of to itself, and in a single movie there's no way that I could cover every single type of compression algorithm, file format. But as a teacher, there are a lot of times when you're going to have some piece of video that you've maybe captured off of your digital camera or some piece of footage that you've captured within your classroom that you want to be able to post within your Moodle site. So in this movie, I am going to show you one technique that you can use to be able to get your videos compressed and in a format that can be posted easily to your Moodle course and distributed out to your students.
To begin, I am going to go ahead and minimize my browser. I have opened the exercise files, Chapter 04, the Movies folder, and there's a file in here called GreenMorayMASTER.mov. I am going to go ahead and open up that file and go ahead and begin playing it for you. The video is just a couple of seconds long of a green moray eel that I shot in Belize. There is no audio associated with the file at all. It's just a plain video. It's about 12 seconds long. You can see that the video player that I've opened it up with is the QuickTime player, version 7.
Now, if you don't have a copy of QuickTime, it's available for both Mac and Windows, and you can download it from www.apple.com/quicktime. Now, I will note, if you're using one of the more recent Macs, Apple has gone to a newer version of QuickTime called QuickTime Ten, or QuickTime X. I would still suggest downloading the QuickTime player version 7. The other thing that you should note about this player is that you need to unlock the Pro version of the player and if you're on a Mac, you can click on the QuickTime player 7 menu, and go to Registration.
On Windows, go to the Edit menu, and select Properties. The QuickTime player is a $29 upgrade, but what it does is it unlocks an enormous amount of tools that will allow you to compress video and export video in a variety of different formats. So this video that we are working with is about a 10-megabyte file, and we are going to step through some basic compression settings so that you can export it to a smaller format. To begin, go up to the File menu and come down to the Export menu. Now, you will notice that there is an Export for web option, but don't select that.
The Export menu is going to give us even more control. So go ahead and select Export, and now in our standard File > Export menu, we are going to get rid of the MASTER in the file name, do we're just going to Backspace over top of that. It's going to ask us, where do we want to save this file? Let's go ahead and make sure we save that out to our desktop so it's easy to access. We have our Export options down here. Click the dropdown menu, and here you can see there are a variety of different formats that you can export your video to. We're going to select Movie to QuickTime Movie.
Under the Use menu, hit that dropdown menu and select Broadband-High. This is going to produce good quality of video. Let's go ahead and tweak some of our settings. Click on the Options button and now we are going to go ahead and look at the three different types of settings we have. We have our settings for video, for sound, and prepare for fast Internet streaming. We can see here that for Video settings we are going to compress this video as H.264, using a High Quality rate and a Keyframe rate of 150.
The Bitrate will be set to 672, and Frame reordering is going to be set to yes. The Encoding mode will be set to multi-pass, and the Dimensions currently are set to 480x360. Well, our video doesn't match that. So let's go ahead and adjust that. So hit the Size button and under the Custom Setting, go ahead and type in 640 for the first value. You can leave the second value set to 360. Now, in the next line, check the box that says Preserve aspect ratio using: Letterbox (if required).
This way, our video won't skew. Go ahead and hit the OK button. Now, since this video that we are compressing does not have any sound, we're going to go ahead and uncheck the Sound setting, but we are going to leave Prepare for Internet Streaming set. So that's all we are going to change off of the default settings. Hit the OK button, and now everything looks correct. Go ahead and hit the Save button and our video should begin exporting out to our Desktop. Now that our video is finished, let's go ahead and check the file. We can note again that our first file was only 10 megabytes.
So now we can click on our file. I am going to press Command+I for Get Info on my Mac; on Windows, you can right-click and choose Properties. Now we can see that our video is now 1.1 megabytes. So a fair amount of compression has been applied. We have shrunk the file size down quite a bit. Go ahead and close that and double-click it to open it again. So now we have both files open side-by-side. We can see that we did get a little bit of a color shift, but when we go ahead and play the video, we can see that we're not really getting any pixelation in here, and the video looks pretty good, even though we've compressed the video down from 10 megs to just over 1 meg.
So that's quite good. Go ahead and close these two files, and now we are going to go ahead and upload our GreenMoray.mov. We are also going to upload a GreenMoray.flv, which is a movie that's been compressed already into the Flash video format. And then we are going to upload this movie.zip which, has a few other files in it for us that we'll be able to use in later movies. So let's begin by going back down to our browser, and we are going to make sure we have Editing turned on, and we are going to just scroll back down in our Course to our My private files section. Go ahead and click on the button for Manage my private files.
We want to go into your BIOL432 folder and then hit the Create folder button. We are going to create a Movies folder, so I will just type in movies and click OK. This way we can keep ourselves organized. Go ahead and click into that movies folder, and now let's go ahead and add some files to it. So we hit the Add button. Your standard File picker should show up. We want to make sure you have the Upload a file selected, and in the Attachment section, go ahead and hit the Browse button. We are going to go ahead and start off here in the movies folder, and we are going to go ahead and upload this movies.zip out of the Chapter 04 exercise files.
Go ahead and hit Open, and we are going to go ahead and upload that file, and we will add another file here. Hit Browse. We are going to upload that GreenMoray.flv file, hit Open, and upload that file. We're going to add one more file. Hit Add and Browse, go ahead and navigate back up to your desktop, and find that GreenMoray.mov file that we just compressed. So we'll go ahead and select that and upload that one. Press the Upload this file button and that gets all those in. One last step while we are in here is to go ahead and unzip the zip file; go ahead and hit the dropdown menu to the right of it and hit Unzip.
That should un-package all those files. You can go ahead and get rid of that movie.zip file now if you like, you can hit the dropdown menu for it, and hit Delete to do little cleanup here. Say yes. So now all our files are in here. All of our videos have been uploaded. We can see our FLV and the MOV file that we just added and all those other movies that we can use throughout our title. To finalize this, go ahead and hit the Save changes button down at the bottom. That tells Moodle that that's in fact what we want to do. Now, we have all of our video files properly uploaded, and in the next video we will show you how to start posting those.
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