9.8. Add a Pre-Roll Video to Your edX Course

Note

Only courses that run on the edx.org website can include a pre-roll video. In addition, your organization must work with edX partner support to encode and host your video files. For more information, see Video Processing Overview.

You can create a short video message and configure it to play before the other videos in your course. For example, a pre-roll video might provide learners with information about your organization, or about the next course in an XSeries. One pre-roll video can be included in each course.

9.8.1. How Learners Experience a Pre-Roll Video

When a learner selects any video in the course, the defined course pre-roll video might automatically begin to play before the selected video plays. The pre-roll video does not play every time a learner plays any of the course videos. Pre-roll videos play only once every seven days.

While the pre-roll video plays, the video player includes these additional options for learners to select.

  • Skip: The pre-roll video immediately stops playing and the course video that the learner selected begins playing.
  • Do not show again: The learner opts out of viewing the pre-roll video. The pre-roll video does not play for that learner again.

The following constraints control delivery of the pre-roll video to learners.

  • For each enrolled learner, the pre-roll video plays a maximum of once every seven days.
  • The pre-roll video plays only in web browsers. It does not play in the edX mobile applications.

9.8.2. Preparing the Pre-Roll Video

To include a pre-roll video in your course, you prepare the video file and its transcript file or files and upload them to Studio. Because the pre-roll video is not part of the course that is defined in the course outline, you do not use a video component to add the pre-roll video to your course.

9.8.2.1. Guidelines for Creating Pre-Roll Videos

EdX encourages partners to consider these suggestions when they determine the content for their pre-roll videos.

  • Use the pre-roll video as a way to promote general awareness of your organization.
  • For a course that has sponsors, use the pre-roll video to acknowledge the sponsors.
  • Use pre-roll videos to engage learners by making timely announcements related to the course.
  • Avoid messaging that encourages learners to leave the course website or participate in activities that are not related to the course content.

The following guidelines can help ensure that the video that you create reaches as many learners as possible.

  • The optimum length for a pre-roll video is 5 to 10 seconds. The video player stops playing longer files after 35 seconds.
  • Pre-roll videos should follow the guidelines in Create Accessible Media.
  • The video must have at least one accompanying transcript.
  • The video must be in .mp4 or .mov format. For more information, see Guidelines for Video Files.

9.8.2.2. Upload the Pre-Roll Video File

After you create the file, you upload it on the Studio Video Uploads page. The file goes through the automated encoding and hosting process, and is given an identifying video ID. For more information, see Step 3. Upload a Video for an edx.org Course.

9.8.2.3. Prepare Pre-Roll Video Transcript Files

You must provide at least one transcript file for your pre-roll video. You can provide additional transcript files in multiple languages.

  • If you have transcript files in more than one language, edX recommends that you include identifying ISO 639-1 code in your transcript file names. For more information, see List of ISO 639-1 codes.
  • If you supply transcripts in Chinese, you can use supplemental codes to identify the character set used. For a Simplified Chinese transcript, use zh_HANS, and for a Traditional Chinese transcript, use zh_HANT.

To prepare transcript files for a pre-roll video, follow these steps.

  1. On your local computer or network, locate the .srt transcript file or files for the pre-roll video.

    If your transcription service delivers your .srt files to YouTube, you must download the files from YouTube and save them locally.

  2. Verify that each transcript file has a unique name. If you have transcript files in more than one language, be sure to include the ISO 639-1 language code as part of the file name. Example file names follow.

    edx_preroll_en.srt
    edx_preroll_fr.srt
    edx_preroll_ru.srt
    edx_preroll_zh_HANS.srt
    

9.8.2.4. Upload Pre-Roll Video Transcript Files

To upload transcript files for a pre-roll video into Studio, follow these steps.

  1. Open your course in Studio.
  2. On the Content menu, select Files & Uploads.
  3. Upload the files. For more information, see Adding Files to a Course.

9.8.3. Configuring a Pre-Roll Video for Your Course

To configure a pre-roll video and its transcript files for your course, you use an advanced setting in Studio. Because the pre-roll video is not part of the course that is defined in the course outline, you do not use a video component to add the pre-roll video.

You can identify only one file as the pre-roll video at a time, but you can replace the file with a new one, or delete the file, at any time.

9.8.3.1. Identify the Pre-Roll Video and Its Transcripts

You identify the pre-roll video for your course in Studio. To make finding and entering the information that you need on different pages in Studio easier, edX recommends that you use several browser windows.

To identify the pre-roll video for your course, follow these steps.

  1. Open three browser windows, and open your course in Studio in each one.

  2. In one of the browser windows, on the Content menu, select Video Uploads. On this page, locate the video ID of the pre-roll video file.

  3. In another window, on the Content menu, select Files & Uploads. On this page, verify that each transcript file has a Studio URL.

  4. In the last browser window, on the Settings menu, select Advanced Settings. On this page you configure the course pre-roll video.

  5. On the Advanced Settings page, scroll down to the Video Pre-roll policy key.

  6. Between the braces in this field, enter "video_id": and then a space, followed by the ID value in quotation marks from the Video Uploads page.

    {"video_id": "83cef264-d6f5-4cf2-ad9d-0178ab8c92cd"}
    
  7. After the closing quotation mark, add a comma and a space.

    {"video_id": "83cef264-d6f5-4cf2-ad9d-0178ab8c92cd", }
    
  8. After the comma and the space, enter "transcripts": {}.

  9. Inside the pair of braces for the transcripts, specify the language code and file name of the transcript file that you uploaded to the Files & Uploads page as "language_code": "file_name".

    {"video_id": "83cef264-d6f5-4cf2-ad9d-0178ab8c92cd", "transcripts": {"en": "edx_preroll_en.srt"}}
    

    For more information about language codes, see List of ISO 639-1 codes.

  10. If you have additional transcript files, add the language code and file name of each file in comma separated pairs after your first "language_code": "file_name" pair.

    {"video_id": "83cef264-d6f5-4cf2-ad9d-0178ab8c92cd", "transcripts": {"en": "edx_preroll_en.srt", "zh_HANS": "edx_preroll_zh_HANS.srt", "zh_HANT": "edx_preroll_zh_HANT.srt"}}
    
  11. Select Save Changes. Studio resequences and reformats your entry. Scroll back to Video Pre-roll to verify that your entry was saved as you expect. Entries that do not contain all of the required punctuation characters revert to the previous value when you save, and no warning appears.

    {
        "transcripts": {
            "en": "edx_preroll_en.srt",
            "zh_HANS": "edx_preroll_zh_HANS.srt",
            "zh_HANT": "edx_preroll_zh_HANT.srt"
        },
        "video_id": "83cef264-d6f5-4cf2-ad9d-0178ab8c92cd"
    }
    

9.8.3.2. Replace the Pre-Roll Video and Its Transcripts

You can change the pre-roll video for your course at any time.

Note

The replacement pre-roll video does not appear to learners who have already selected the Do not show again option.

To replace the pre-roll video for your course, follow these steps.

  1. On the Video Uploads page, add the new pre-roll video file to your course.
  2. On the Files & Uploads page, add the transcript files for the pre-roll video.
  3. On the Advanced Settings page, edit the Video Pre-roll policy key.
  4. Replace the previous video ID with the ID for the new pre-roll video file.
  5. Replace the previous transcript file names with the new names. If necessary, be sure to update the language codes for the transcripts.
  6. Select Save Changes.

9.8.3.3. Remove the Pre-Roll Video

To remove the pre-roll file from your course, follow these steps.

  1. On the Advanced Settings page, delete the contents of the Video Pre-roll field.

  2. Enter a pair of braces in the field.

    {}
    
  3. Select Save Changes.