Linking & Embedding Library Resources in Course Shells
If you would like some help with any of the techniques mentioned on this webpage please contact the staff of the library. We’d be glad to help.
The QV library provides students with a large variety of online resources for research, all of which are available from home as well as on-campus. In addition to directing students to the comprehensive list of these resources available both from the library’s research webpages and from within myCommnet some instructors may wish to provide students with direct links to specific articles, videos, or e-books. To do so in a manner that works for students both from home and from on-campus is a two-step process. First you need to identify the correct unique URL for the resource – the permalink, and second you need to craft it in such a way that it will work for students both on-campus and at home.
Before you can link or embed an article, video, or e-book in you course shell you need to find a unique, unchanging URL for that resource. This is often referred to as the permalink but the term may vary with the vendor of the database. This often differs from the URL which is displayed in the address bar of the browser as this may contain “session” information. Session information is used by the online service to manage specific aspects of this user’s interaction with the website such as when they logged on, when they should time out, etc.. As a result, the address in the browser oftentimes cannot be used to get back to the resource at a later date once this “session” is closed.
To get around this most online providers of research resources provide a separate unique , permanent URL for the article, video, or e-book in question – the permalink. For example here are two links to the article "Rebel sub no longer starboard-bound" found in Ebsco’s MasterFile Premiere database. The first is the URL from the address bar and the second is the permalink:
Most library databases will provide some method for bringing up a permalink to a resource. Usually with some sort of "permalink" icon or link placed somewhere on the webpage for that resource. The location of the link may vary from vendor to vendor but is generally easily located. A couple of examples:
EbscoHost products such as MasterFile use the term Permalink to refer to the unique URL of a resource.
In Opposing Viewpoints the unique URL is called an InfoLink.
Gale Power Search uses the term Bookmark to refer to the resources unique URL.
Remember that when using a Windows PC you can use the keystrokes CTRL+C to copy a highlighted item and CTRL+V to paste
Keep in mind that some vendors may NOT provide a Permalink to a particular resource. In this case it may be that the address URL will work as a permanent link to the resource. One way of testing ths is to copy and save the URL in question and then to try pasting it into a browser at a later date. If the desired resource comes up you should be good to go.
Once you have located the permalink URL for a resource you will need to edit it in such a way so as to ensure that off-campus students can access the link from off-campus. This is done by adding a prefix to the permalink that redirects the request for the resource through the myCommnet proxy server. This prefix is:
And so the link:
Applying this additional prefix to a link will either:
- Send the student directly to the resource if they have already logged in to myCommnet (which if they are in Blackbaord they will have)
- Redirect the student to the login page one time if they haven't already done so.
Note: Ebsco databases will now automatically add the proxy server prefix to all permalinks for you.
Although sometimes used interchangeably the process of embedding a resource is fundamentally different than linking a resource. Used primarily for media clips of some sort, embedding places a working, playable echo of the resource within the course shell or web page. A linked resource will direct the student to the original resource where it can be viewed or played outside of your webpage or course shell. Please note however, that embedding a resource does NOT make a copy of the resource that exists separate from the original – if, for example, the original video is removed from YouTube it will thereafter be unavailable in your webpage.
Where embedding is an option the online resource will usually provide a separate “Embed” link that differs from the Permalink it may also provide. Most embedded resources utilize an HTML iframe tag to create the resource. For example the following YouTube video was embedded by inserting the following code into this webpage;
<iframe width="210" height="157" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_uuA7fG58KI" frameborder="0"> </iframe>
The iFrame WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes can be used to adjust the size of the displayed video. Remember to adjust these values proportionally however.
Please be aware that if you are trying to embed a resource that is not publically available, such as a video from the Films on Demand database, you will have to adjust the URL of the embedded video in the same way that you did for other off-campus resources. For example the following embed link from Films on Demand:
<iframe height='310' frameborder='0' width='348' src='http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx? Token=43925&aid=12459&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=320&h=240'> </iframe>
<iframe height='310' frameborder='0' width='348' src='http://plp.qvcc.commnet.edu/login?url=http: //digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=43925&aid=12459&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=320&h= 240'> </iframe>
Some examples of library resources that can be linked or embedded in a Blackboard course shell include:
Films on Demand
Videos from the Films on Demand website may either be linked from or embedded in a Blackboard class shell. The steps to acomplish this are similar;
- Locate either the permalink or the embed code for the video in question.
The image on the left highlights where to find both the Permalink for a Films on Demand resource as well as the link to display its embed code.
- If you are trying to create a link to this video highlight and copy the full URL displayed under the "Segment URL" heading. Currently, Films on Demand is configured to automatically add the prefix for the proxy server to the link to the video which means you can use this link just as is. For example this is the link, already prefixed, for the above video;
- If you are trying to embed a video into you Blackboard shell first clcik on the "Embed this Video" link on the page in
question. The display that opens up at this point will display both the "Embed Code" and a "Use Old Embed Code" link.
What's the difference? Not much really. FOD claims that the first version of the link is more compatible with more
browsers but the older version seems to work with Blackboard and all browsers we've tested while having the advantage of
being shorter and easier to read. For example;
Current Embed Code
<iframe height='310' frameborder='0' width='348' src='http://digital.films.com/ OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=34724&aid=12459&loid=43640&Plt=FOD&w=320&h=240' > </iframe>Please note that neither of these snippets of source code include the prefix for the proxy server. You will have to manually paste that code immedietly following the src=' entry in each snippet.
- Within your Blackboard shell use the insert HTML option to paste the sourcode you've captured into your page.
Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not support the insertion of iframes into slides. Therefore neither YouTube or Films on Demand videos can be embedded into a slide using iFrames. However, if a site does offer an alternative 'object' based embed code you may be able to embed this. See the example of such an embed code below. Links to these resources will work as will YouTube videos you have saved locally.
<object width="420" height="315"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_uuA7fG58KI?version=3&hl=en_US"></param> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_uuA7fG58KI?version=3&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"> </embed> </object>