Frequently Asked Questions

You need to have one or more courses or media collections created in CLAS before you can share video to them. If you are an instructor or staff, simply log into with your CWL account and request for a course or media collection to be created.

Alternatively, please write to the Faculty of Arts Helpdesk at and provide your CWL login name and those of other instructors and TA’s in the course.

Your faculty (such as Education, Medicine, and Sauder) may have a customized CLAS instance that is managed separately from the general Production instance used by most UBC courses. If you know your faculty’s CLAS admin, please write to them, otherwise please still write to arts.helpdesk, and we will route your request to the right person.

For most UBC courses, CLAS (usually) will be able to automatically query the enrollment list from SIS. Otherwise, a CSV list of student can be sent to us for importing into the course. Students will then log in with their CWL accounts.

Yes, you can get an embed code for any CLAS course (aka. Collection) and embed that as an item in a content area (side bar menu item) in Connect.

A CLAS “course” (aka. Media collection) can contain only UBC users, only users from outside of UBC, or a mix of both. There are no differences between the two types of users once they are enrolled in the course in CLAS. The difference is in how these two user types enroll and how they log in.

Only UBC students require a CWL account. For example, on the login page, all UBC users log in with their CWL account, and guest users will register for a guest account and then enter in an enrollment code to register for that course. Our support team will guide you through the process of setting up such a self-enrollment code for courses with users from outside of UBC.

In CLAS, a “course” is a “collection”. The reason why we use the term course is because usually collections in CLAS are linked to a course in the UBC Student Information System (SIS), and we can automatically fetch the enrollment list, minimizing set up time.

You can also give a course a custom name instead of the UBC SIS course format. In this case, it is a normal “collection”, but you would have to provision viewers by importing a CSV file or create an email invitation (aka. “self-enrollment code”).

Yes, in CLAS, a “group” is a sub-collection of videos and is equivalent to a playlist in other systems. However, a group in CLAS can be more than a playlist. A CLAS group has two “dimensions” of customizability. You can change the number of videos in a group, and you can also change the members who can view a group. You can also change what group members can do in group (can they just view but not annotate and comment?).

A typical playlist is simply a CLAS group with a viewer list consisting of everyone in the course. E.g. You can create groups named “Week 1”, “Week 2”, etc. with the whole enrollmentlist as viewers.

Note that each course in CLAS already has an “everyone” group created by default, so if you don’t need to have multiple playlists in a course, you can just simply share videos into the everyone group.

A CLAS “course” can be set up with highly customized behaviours and access control rules. Our support staff can discuss with you to customize CLAS to your specific instructional design needs. These types of interaction have been implemented at UBC:

One (content creator) to many (viewers) interaction

Videos or audio-only lectures uploaded by instructors and co-managed by IS support staff Selected videos shared for public viewing and anonymous discussion. Videos shared by email invitations for peer review and behavioural research (data must be “distinguishable but not identifiable”)

Many to one

A few instructors and TA’s managing and evaluating large collections of student’s music performances and presentations

Many to one with moderation

Student and patient videos uploaded and managed only by department admins and shared to selected faculty members

Many to many (group work)

Groups discussing on videos by each student shared only among the group, then later shared to the rest of the class for more feedback

One to one (private handin box)

Students upload/record and manage their own videos from on and off-campus fieldwork, self-sharing only to their designated supervisors

Personal note taking and bookmarking

Students have serendipitously use CLAS for self-study, using the ability of the system to make private notes and bookmarks on timelines of lecture videos and fieldwork.

All videos uploaded to or recorded to CLAS are currently hosted on the UBC on-premise Kaltura infrastructure. CLAS uses a separate Kaltura instance with more restrictive security settings compared to Connect and Mediaspace. All videos on the CLAS instance of Kaltura must be access through CLAS to play.

All comments and annotations, user accounts, and usage statistics are stored only on the CLAS server, hosted at UBC.

Network transport between CLAS and the Kaltura server is encrypted, and so is the transport between the user’s client and CLAS.

Yes, video annotation is available on both desktop and mobile. Video annotations are normally visible to other users 30 seconds to one minute after uploading (unlike normal annotations, which are visible to other users within 1-3 seconds).

The mobile interface of CLAS supports virtually all features of the desktop interface, except features that would not be useful on mobile, such as download annotations (for analytics purpose).
The shortest URL to use for the mobile interface is

Bookmarking the CLAS URL will show it on the dashboard of most smartphones like an app.

The video player in CLAS is compatible with all major browsers (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari) on all major desktop (Mac, Windows) and mobile (iOS, Android, Blackberry) hardware platforms. CLAS can be used regardless whether the user has Flash installed or not.

The CLAS player will not degrade in quality when embedded within Connect (blackboard learn) because the authentication in CLAS is not built on top of Connect (like a “building block” product), so network traffic going through CLAS, even when embedded in Connect, travels a more direct path, with a smaller size overhead.

1. Visit first (remember to include https in the URL). The browser will say that the website is unsafe, choose “add an exception” or “allow.” These options may be hidden under an “advanced view” link on the page.

2. Visit, if the browser also says the website is unsafe, follow the same procedure to mark CLAS as safe too.

In production, adequate lighting and camera focus are far more important than the capture resolution in yielding good visuals. A slightly lower resolution video with sufficient lighting will help with uploading time. For an instance requiring self-submitting videos from users (ex. Music Admissions) or uploading from abroad, it is recommended to save your videos as 360p (YouTube’s default). For general usage where the video is uploaded from a strong internet connection, such as UBC Campus Wi-fi or Ethernet connection, then we recommend 480p to 720p.

The following video and audio formats are supported by CLAS to date: 3GP, AVI, FLAC, FLV, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP3, MP4, MPEG, MPG, OGG, WAV, WEBM, WMA, WMV. If the video is very long (2GB translates roughly to 1.5 hours), it is recommended to section the video into 2 or 3 videos of 20-45 minutes each. Remember to keep the sleep function on your device turned off during the uploading process.