Link and Embed Best Practices | Alexander Street

Link and Embed Best Practices

Alexander Street video and audio content can be integrated into Web pages and learning management systems in two ways: links or embeds. Both are provided for video and audio content, playlists, and clips in all Alexander Street collections. “Look for the following symbol below throughout the Alexander Street new interface for items this feature is available for:

Using a link will provide a permanent digital pathway to a specific video, audio album or work, part of a video, audio track, playlist, or clip. Using an embed will generate Java-based code that can be used to add a full-featured Flash-based player directly into any Web page. As with links, embeds can be used for videos, parts of videos, albums, audio tracks, playlists, or clips.

Tips for Links

When linking to content, please be sure to either copy and paste the URL in the text of the popup screen. Do not use the URL displayed in your Web browser's address bar. If you are copying a link into a learning management system, insert it as plain text and not as a Web link, and be sure not to add any spaces to the inserted text.

 

Tips for Embeds

When embedding content, please be sure to either copy and paste the complete text of the embed code in the popup screen. You can check by verifying that the code starts with “<script” or “<iframe” and ends with “/script>” or “/iframe>”. This embed code should be used only in Web pages. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email clients, and other desktop software do not support this code. Depending on the Web editor you are using, you may need to use the “source code” option for inputting embed codes, as plain text may not be supported. For more information about using iframes, visit the w3schools iframe page.
 


Proxy

To allow for seamless off-campus playback, we are able to insert your institution’s proxy information into all links and embed codes on Alexander Street Press’ new interface. Off-campus users may see a login page instead of the embedded media or intended interface page if this authentication step is not in place.

Please contact your account manager if you would like to set this up for your institution.

NOTE: Due to recent browser security changes, linking to a secure page from a non-secure page, or having proxy information inserted in the middle of URLs instead of at the front, can result in authentication issues.  Should you see your proxy information inserted into permalinks, but are still being asked to log in by our site, please contact your account manager using the link above.

Learning Management System

With LTI your instructors can more easily embed links to content and users can access the content using their credentials on the learning management system. With LTI there is no need to add proxy prefixes to the content page request and no need for the user to sign into the proxy. 

Embedding Content into your LMS Using our LTI App 

The simplest way to embed content into your LMS course or module is to have your administrator install one or more of our LTI Apps.  We have an LTI App for video.alexanderstreet.com and an LTI app for search.alexanderstreet.com.  The XML configurations for these can be found here: 

Installing an Alexander Street LTI app will place our logo on the menu bar of your LMS rich text editor.  This way a course creator can embed content without leaving the editor. 

Using LTI Launch URLs 

Alexander Street supports standard linking to content using Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) launch URLs. Simply use a provided LTI launch URL as shown below and paste it into the course page on your LMS. 

Overview of the Steps 

In the LTI standard terminology, Alexander Street’s platform is the “Tool Provider” and your LMS is the “Tool Consumer”. These steps outline how to set up and use a new Tool Provider in your LMS. 

  • Administrator One-time Setup: Send an email to support@alexanderstreet.com asking for your institution’s LTI configuration settings. They will send you a “consumer key” and a “secret”. 
  • Administrator One-time Setup: Configure the consumer key and the secret into your LMS, which typically involves “adding a new tool provider”. Some LMS’s call these “External Tools”. The consumer key and secret we provide are a global setting that applies to any content on the Alexander Street site. How tool providers are added depends on the LMS (see tips below). 
  • Instructor:  
    • To embed an Alexander Street media or document view, click on the Alexander Street icon installed into your rich text editor while editing your course page.  A popup search widget will appear. Search for the content of interest and then embed it into the page using the provided embed button. 
    • To embed an LTI Launch URL, visit the view page on search.alexanderstreet.com and click on the “</> Embed/Link” option. A popup will appear that looks like this: 

 

  • Instructor: Copy the URL labeled LTI launch URL into your clipboard. 
  • Instructor: Paste this into the LMS page you want to link from. See the tips below on “Adding Links” for the LMS that you use. 
  • User: Log into the LMS, navigate to the course page containing the link and click on the link. That’s it! The user will be automatically authenticated as a member of your institution even if they are remote. 

For details on where to find further information on the configuration settings and LTI use cases of your course management system, please see the support links listed below. 

There are always more ways than one to accomplish something in a course management system, but these quick tips may help you get started and troubleshoot problems. 

Quick Tips

  • Blackboard: 
    • Setup: 
      • See the Blackboard help Learning Tools Interoperability. This needs to be done only once.  Use the following config options: 
      • Send User Data: Never 
      • Provider Domain for video embeds: https://video.alexanderstreet.com 
      • Provider Domain for all other content: https://search.alexanderstreet.com  
      • Set the consumer_key and secret we provided as a ‘global’ setting. 
      • “Create Placement information 
        • Availability: yes 
        • Course Content Tool: supports deep linking 
        • Launch in a new window: click this option for a better experience 
    • Adding embeds or links: 
  • Canvas: 
  • Schoology: 
    • Setup: 
    • Adding Links: 
      • The same how to guide covers this too.


Other Valuable Information

Some browsers have security settings that do not allow a mix of https: (secure) and http: (non-secure) content on a Web page. As both protocols are fully supported by Alexander Street, you may wish to use one or the other in all embed URLs and links that you use in Web pages and learning management systems.

If you have any questions about using links or embeds, please contact the Alexander Street Customer Support team.