Echo360 now supports getting user authentication information from each LMS when users view embedded videos or video links posted in LMS content windows. This is done by supporting the "content-item-request" feature of the LTI specification, which allows Echo360 to see WHO is viewing the posted material. To take advantage of this, be sure to update the Echo360 Plugin, Building Block or App on your LMS to the newest version available.
Of course this only works if the user is logged into the LMS. Otherwise users are provided with a "public" view of the embedded video or link as they normally would be. If the link or embed happens to be posted somewhere in the LMS where the user does NOT have to log in to see it, they are still shown the video but as a "public" or anonymous-type user.
Echo360 has always been able to identify unique viewers if the user already had an active session in Echo360 (meaning they had recently entered a course/section and been authenticated). But our access to this data was inconsistent at best.
Now Echo360 can gather this information for all LMS viewers (as long as they are logged into the LMS) and do things like identify unique views of an embedded video or link. Furthermore, since LMS users do not typically HAVE separate logins to Echo360, removing the ability to require authentication for viewing a video link removes any confusion caused by presenting these users with an Echo360 login screen. The users are now automatically authenticated, and the Authenticate toggle has been removed. It was only available for links and not for embedded videos anyway.
If you really really really want to post links/embed videos that require the user to be logged into Echo360 to view, you still can, but you have to do it the long way. Use the instructions contained in Embedding Videos into LMS/VLE Content Windows to generate a link or embed code with authentication set, then copy that into the HTML view of the content window. Some power users prefer to control authentication in this way, and it does not confuse their users. So we want to let you know that this option is still available.
Enabling Authenticated Embedded Video Views
So what do YOU have to do to make this work?
Simple. Update your Echo360 plugins for the Echo360 embed button in the LMS. The specifics for each LMS are as follows.
IMPORTANT: If you update your LMS/VLE to use the new plugin/building block/app for authenticating views of Echo360 embedded videos, you NO LONGER need to have the Instructor and Student Public Links toggles enabled. We suggest, however, that you retain the main Public Links toggle in the ON position so that videos embedded prior to the update to authenticated embeds continue to work.
To enable authenticated embedded videos/links in Blackboard, simply remove the existing Blackboard plugin for the Echo360 Video Library, and install the newer one. You MUST use AT LEAST version 1.0.10 of the plugin. Also be sure that your SafeHTML file is updated with the Echo360 domains as documented. See Adding an Echo360 Video Option to Blackboard Mashups for instructions.
NOTE: Even if your SafeHTML file does not need to be changed, you may need to delete the existing one from your Blackboard installation, and re-upload it then Activate it. Updating the Plugin sometimes requires a "reset" of the SafeHTML file in this way. See Configuring Blackboard to allow Students to Embed from their Echo360 Library for instructions if necessary.
Canvas can be a little tricky depending on how your current Echo360 Apps are configured. This is because Canvas does not allow for editing some App configurations via the UI once they are created (in particular, those created by XML). If you created three DIFFERENT Echo360 Apps for each of the available features (Course Navigation, Editor Button, and Homework Submission), you can remove the old Editor Button and Homework Submission ones and replace them with new ones. The basic steps are:
- In Echo360, navigate to the LMS Configurations page, and click the LTI Config tab for your Canvas configuration.
- Turn on only the Editor Button toggle and then click Save.
- Click the XML Tab and then select Copy XML.
- Return to the Apps Configurations in Canvas.
- Create a new Echo360 App for the Editor Button using the XML you just copied.
- Delete the old Editor Button App if there was one.
- Repeat these steps to replace the Homework Submission app (toggling on ONLY the Homework Submission toggle in Echo360).
More detailed instructions are provided in Adding an Echo360 App for an Embed Button in the Canvas Editor Toolbar and Adding an Echo360 Homework Submission App for Canvas Assignments as needed.
As long as you do NOT change the LMS Configuration fields in Echo360 (key, secret, and URL), all existing embeds will work as before, and all new embeds will provide unique view data for LMS viewers.
Updating the Course Navigation app isn't required, and you can leave that one alone for now. However if you WANT to update it, you need to use the Canvas API to do so. If you are not comfortable using the API, feel free to contact Echo360 Support and we can help you through the process. See the Technical Details note below for why we do not recommend just replacing the Course Navigation app.
How do I know what kind of App I have? In Canvas, navigate to your Account and go to the Settings page (link on the left). Click Apps from the top, then click View App Configurations. Find your Echo360 app(s) and click the Info or Placement option - you will see popup box that lists the Placements for the app. Echo360 apps support three types of placements: Course Navigation (links into Echo360 sections from a Canvas course), Embed Button (a handy Echo360 icon from which you can embed videos into a content window) and Homework Submission (the option to allow Students to embed videos from their Echo360 library as submissions for homework assignments). Ideally you should have three different Echo360 apps. But if you do not, and your Embed Button and/or Homework Submission app is combined with your Course Navigation app, you will need to use the Canvas API to update your app configuration.
Technical details: If you replace the Echo360 Course Navigation app in your Canvas instance, your links into Echo360 will continue to work just fine. The URL being launched is the same, so incoming links know exactly where to go. The problem is that Gradebook exports from Echo360 into the existing Assignment link columns in Canvas will break; Canvas will no longer recognize the column(s) in the Gradebook for your Assignment link(s) as being tied to the Echo360 section or classrooms. Grade exports from Echo360 out to Canvas will not update the data.
Enabling authenticated embedded videos in D2L/Brightspace is essentially a matter of deleting the old Remote Plug-In and installing a new Echo360 Plugin. You also must enable the Content Item Messaging configuration variable. All of the steps necessary are documented in Adding a Remote Plugin to Brightspace for Embedding Echo360 Videos in Content Windows.
Essentially the differences you will notice if updating your plugin are:
- When installing the Remote Plugin, be sure to select Insert Stuff (CIM) from the drop-down list. If you've done this before, you selected the "Non-CIM" option. That will no longer work. Select the CIM option instead.
- The URL added to the Remote Plugin NO LONGER requires "/launch/library" to be appended to it. Now simply the main Launch URL will do.
- You must enable the configuration variable for content messaging. These instructions are provided in the Plugin installation page linked above.
That's it. Your users should not notice anything different in their process for using the embed plugin (unless you give the new Insert Stuff plugin a different name).
Enabling authenticated embeds in Moodle is really as simple as upgrading the Atto Plugin and the Filter to at least version 1.0.17. Furthermore, the new plugin and filter remove the need for you to change the Trusted Sites or Student Role configuration to allow students to embed. The updated Filter handles all of that functionality now.
Download the new plug-in and follow the instructions located in Adding an Echo360 Button to the Moodle Content Editor Toolbar. That's it!
Enabling authenticated embeds in Sakai is as simple as upgrading the Echo360 plugin to at least version 1.0.5. Download the newest plugin and follow the instructions contained in Adding an Echo360 Embed Option to Sakai Content Windows and/or refer to the Readme file included with the plugin download.