CPP zooms into the cloud with the help of Kaltura

Cal Poly Pomona expanded its contract with the video platform, Kaltura, increasing the hours available to faculty members for captioning, providing unlimited cloud video storage, and integrating a Zoom feature which allows recorded videos to go straight to the cloud.

With the campus’ shift to virtual instruction, CPP students were introduced to the video conferencing service Zoom for synchronous classes. Kaltura, on the other hand, is a behind-the-scenes software used especially in asynchronous classes, focusing on on-demand video.

Trevor Henderson, director of MediaVision, CPP’s video production organization, explained how Kaltura’s integration with Zoom can help professors post on Blackboard quicker.

“When you hit record, typically it’ll goes to your hard drive and now faculty have an option when they hit the record button,” Henderson said. “If they choose to record to a cloud, then it just shows up to our Kaltura account which is at streaming.cpp.edu – at which point they can share directly through Blackboard.”

The amount of information the cloud stores may prompt concern over faculty members’ intellectual property is properly protected.

John McGuthry, vice president of Information Technology & Institutional Planning, addressed these concerns and the steps they take before signing a contract with a company.

“We perform security reviews and we ask them some questions to ensure that they meet and they’re operating to our standards,” said McGuthry. “One of the things we definitely try to ensure is that when we have this critical type of services that they allow us to use our single sign-on capability … We do not want the vendors to own that.”

Alternate sites like YouTube and Vimeo can still be used by professors, but they do require extra steps to upload on to those sites.

Sean Monemi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at CPP, explained the process of using both Kaltura and YouTube.

“The difference is Kaltura puts it in the cloud that is provided to us by Cal Poly, so you do not have to deal with as much hassle,” Monemi said. “Kaltura is linked to Zoom and Blackboard, so you can directly upload your MP4 file. With YouTube you have to do a few extra steps, so either one will have its own pros and cons.”

McGuthry connected the importance of captioning to the campus’ accessibility goal.

McGuthry said, “All the faculty can store information and we expanded the number of hours associated with captioning because our campus is very devoted to accessibility and we did not want anyone storing information there and not being able to capture their course content.”

Teshia Roby, assistant vice president of learning & research technologies, explained the benefit of moving on from hard drives and using Kaltura.

“(Hard drives) vary from a couple hundred gigs to a few terabytes, but I can’t remember if I’m looking for a particular file I would have to go through all of them,” said Roby, whose specialty is in multimedia education. “There’s no organization, it’s just big chunky files stored on these things and that’s how I live, so Kaltura does away with that. It allows some organization. It allows secure access. It allows a centralized confined location to all those things, instead of a stack of external hard drives on your desk and you do not know which one the file is on, so I think this a very big help to faculty.”

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