Kaltura Recording Tools vs Canvas Recording Tool

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There are multiple options for students to utilize should a video be required in a specific course. While there is no wrong tool for creating and storing a multimedia file, there are better tools to select for longer videos. All students have access to Kaltura My Media as a multimedia repository to save and share videos. Within Kaltura My Media, two tools are available to create multimedia files. The files uploaded to Kaltura My Media can be integrated into a Canvas course using the Kaltura integration tool found in the Rich Content Editor. 

Note: If you are using Kaltura My Media for the first time, 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 Kaltura My Media account.  

Canvas can store multimedia files, but it comes with many limitations including limits to file storage. The Canvas media recorder can be found in the Rich Content Editor and can be used to record a video with a microphone and web camera input. It does not include an option to record a screen capture. 


  • It is ideal if you can direct students to use the best recording tool for the task and provide instructions that help to eliminate barriers should your students not know how to create and share a multimedia file. If you are unsure of which tool to recommend, please contact cetl@uwec.edu to get connected to an instructional partner who can help you with this process. 
  • While Canvas is sometimes a good option for students, instructors should use Kaltura for their videos and then embed them in Canvas. This reduces the risk of running out of storage within your Canvas course. It also includes the option for videos to be captioned. 

A basic comparison of the tools and media repositories

Multimedia Tool Comparison

There is no right or wrong way to utilize the tool, but tools do come with limitations that when used incorrectly can sometimes lead to frustration. The following chart is a basic comparison of Kaltura My Media video creation tools and the Canvas recorder.

Tool Characteristic 
Kaltura Web Recorder
Kaltura Capture Space
Canvas Recorder
Recording options 
Audio, web camera, screen captureAudio, web camera, screen captureAudio and web camera only 
Sharing capabilities 
Shared within a course, in My Media Repository, URL, Embed linkShared within a course, in My Media Repository, URL, Embed linkShared within a course
Editing features 
Creates clips, allows for basic editing features including clipping and trimming within an  editing tool found in My MediaCreates clips, allows for basic editing features including clipping and trimming within an  editing tool found in My MediaNo editing tools available 
Captioning features
Automatic-machine generated captions and transcripts are available to create captions. Captions can be edited for accuracy using the built-in caption editor.Automatic-machine generated captions and transcripts are available to create captions. Captions can be edited for accuracy using the built-in caption editor.No captions or caption editor available
Operation requirements 
Internet browser-based (Chrome or Firefox); Mac and PC compatible; Tablet-friendly   Desktop application; Mac and PC compatible  Internet browser-based (Chrome or Firefox); Mac and PC compatible; Tablet-friendly   

Multimedia Repository

There are a lot of features to think about when requiring students to create and share videos within a course. Please see the following table to understand the differences between the multimedia repositories available. 

Repository Quality/Characteristic
Kaltura My Media
Direct Upload to Canvas
Multimedia file size limitCan accommodate large files up to 2 GB; unlimited storageFiles need to be less than 500 MB; 5G total course storage availableSharing capabilities (within a course)Can share URLs and embed codes outside of CanvasVideos are only embedded within Canvas; no sharing capabilities outside of the LMSSharing capabilities (with other people) Add other users as co-publishers, co-editors and co-collaborators No sharing options with other usersTechnical Support UWEC LTS Help Desk Support; Kaltura Administrator; Kaltura Technical Support 24/7/365 Technical Support from Canvas

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?

  • The video is longer than 3 minutes (approximately) or the rendered file will be over the 500 MB Canvas limit. 
  • The video includes a screencast, which is a recording of your computer screen like a how-to technology video (rather than recording your webcam or uploading from a mobile device).
  • The video will need to be shared using a URL or shared outside of Canvas. 
  • The video needs to be edited/trimmed or clips need to be shared. 
  • The video needs to be captioned (autogenerated captions are added to each Kaltura video automatically once it is uploaded to My Media).
  • The video platform needs to be consistent, which helps develop a more intentional student experience. 
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.