Skip to main content

Kaltura vs Canvas for Student Videos

Last updated

Students can use Kaltura My Media to upload and share videos. The Canvas media recorder is another option, meant for videos that are short and don't require editing.

Note: If you are using Kaltura/My Media, your account must be authorized and created. To do this, go into Canvas>Account>My Media and follow the appropriate prompts for setting up your My Media account.


  • It is ideal if you can direct students to use the best recording tool for the task and provide instructions rather than tell them to do it however they want. If you have questions and would like to discuss the options with a staff person, contact to get connected.
  • While Canvas is sometimes a good option for students, instructors should use Kaltura for their videos and then embed them in Canvas so they can include captions.

When should students use Canvas for recordings?

  • The video is fairly short - approximately 1-3 minutes and under the 500 MB Canvas limit.
  • They are recording with a computer webcam or with a phone camera (not a recording of their computer screen).
  • Editing features are not needed.
  • Captions are not needed.
Canvas Instructions for Students:
Tips for Instructors Assigning Canvas Recordings:
  • Discussions only offer one way for students to submit recordings, using the rich content editor. Share the instructions above with students since it will not be obvious to them. No specific settings are required on the instructor's part.
  • Assignments offer many ways for students to submit recordings. Choosing the Media Recording submission type will make it easy for students to record or upload on a computer or mobile device. In this case, both of the guides above will help guide students.

When should students use Kaltura for recordings?

  • Their videos are longer than 3 minutes (approximately) or over the 500 MB Canvas limit.
  • They need to record a screencast, which is a recording of your computer screen like a how-to technology video (rather than record your webcam or upload from a mobile device).
  • They need/want to share the video outside of Canvas with a URL.
  • They'd benefit from being able to trim the beginning or end of the video or make clips from it.
  • There is a need for captions to be included within a video (autogenerated captions are added to each Kaltura video automatically).
  • Some instructors/departments prefer to have students use Kaltura for everything for consistency.
Kaltura Instructions:

NOTE: if you are uploading from a mobile device, access Kaltura My Media through Canvas in a browser as if you are on a computer – do not use the Canvas Student app. You will not have the necessary features to use Kaltura through the Canvas Student app. Do not download a Kaltura app either. The browser should function but will involve pinching and zooming to access the buttons accurately on a phone.

Kaltura My Media Direct Upload to Canvas
Can accommodate large files up to 2 GB Files need to be less than 500 MB
Can share URLs outside of Canvas Videos are only in Canvas
Easy to share videos with other instructors as a co-publisher No sharing options outside of Canvas
Built-in recording tool can record the screen, webcam, audio, or a combination Can record webcam and audio, but no screen recording
Can create clips from videos and do basic editing No editing features
Automatic transcription available to create captions & staff can have videos professionally captioned easily No moderated captioning features
UWEC LTS Help Desk Support 24/7/365 Technical Support from Canvas

Was this article helpful? Yes No

View / Print PDF