MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
Vol. 5, No. 2, June 2009


Integrating Online Multimedia into College Course and Classroom: With Application
to the Social Sciences

Michael V. Miller
Department of Sociology
The University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX 78249


Description centers on an approach for efficiently incorporating online media resources into course and classroom. Consideration is given to pedagogical rationale, types of media, locating programs and clips, content retrieval and delivery, copyright issues, and typical problems experienced by instructors and students using online resources. In addition, selected media-relevant websites appropriate to the social sciences along with samples of digital materials gleaned from these sites are listed and discussed.

words:   video, audio, media, syllabus, documentaries, Internet, YouTube, PBS



Multimedia resources can markedly augment learning content by virtue of generating vivid and complex mental imagery. Indeed, instruction dependent on voice lecture and reading assignments alone often produces an overly abstract treatment of subject matter, making course concepts difficult to understand, especially for those most inclined toward concrete thinking. Multimedia can provide compelling, tangible applications that help breakdown classroom walls and expose students to the external world. It can also enhance learning comprehension by employing mixes of sights and sounds that appeal to variable learning styles and preferences. Quality materials, in all, can help enliven a class by making subject matter more relevant, experiential, and ultimately, more intellectually accessible.

Until recently, nonetheless, film and other forms of media were difficult to exploit. They had to be located, ordered, and physically procured well in advance either through purchase, library loan, or broadcast dubbing. In-class exhibition of full-length programs probably was not the best use of class time, and tended to be clumsy, given reliance on assorted operating devices. The alternative, placing them on reserve in the library, required foresight, time, and effort, and involved students going there and often competing for scarce copies of assigned materials. In short, the employment of media resources in college courses was frequently costly, sometimes criminal (re copyright violation), and certainly burdensome and time-consuming.

Instructors today, however, face much different circumstances in light of the recent explosion in the production and distribution of online media, coupled with rapidly expanding bandwith capacity (Jacobson, 2008). They now can have immediate access to a wide assortment of quality materials, which in turn, can be efficiently delivered to students. Media clips can be easily integrated into class presentations, while lengthy programs can be examined by students on their own time and at their own pace. Instructionally-rich digital resources, available at no cost to faculty or students, also are employable at virtually no risk of copyright infringement.  

Course-relevant media range from drawings, graphs, animations, photo images, and interactive resources, to music recordings, audio, and video, but treatment in this article will center on those which the author most recently began integrating into his sociology courses a few years ago—online audio and video. Unable to find much help in the literature when starting this process, he discovered how to work with them largely through trial and error. This article draws from that experience and provides information and advice intended to assist those interested in using online multimedia in their courses, but who have yet to go down that learning pathway.

A viable Web-based approach requires the existence of a critical mass of quality online resources from which relevant programs and clips can be selected. About a year ago, the author began to list websites that allowed direct access to either video or audio materials appearing appropriate to course offerings in the social sciences, and new or just-discovered websites have since been added on a continual basis (see Appendix E). Most on this list produce their own media, while the balance allows subscribers to upload copies of their own media or that from other sites. Suffice it to say that the reservoir of freely available digital resources appropriate to instruction in sociology and related disciplines is already vast, expanding at a rapid rate, and heterogeneous in composition. 

Pedagogical Functions

Quality online multimedia can help to promote any number of pedagogical objectives, ranging from sparking student interest in subject matter to possibly encouraging intergroup respect and appreciation. However, their most critical function in terms of cognitive learning appears to lie in their capacity to serve as representational applications for key course ideas. Whether in the form of news story, movie clip, interview, or documentary, information and illustrations afforded by media are particularly valuable in helping students acquire the initial mental imagery essential for conceptual understanding. Such resources are therefore likely to have greatest teaching value in those courses providing first exposure to a discipline. (Consider, e.g., how the following CNN clip might enhance introductory sociology students' understanding of "role conflict": socioconcepts (2009, March 5).

Although concept illustration has seen the most common use in the author's courses, media resources have also proven of value for analysis and criticism. Analysis can range from the simple to complex. Instructors might merely ask students for an interpretation of what they have seen or heard, or to ponder relevant implications. Video and audio can also be examined through complex, intensive strategies for purposes of establishing patterns, relationships, and trends. Moreover, analysis can be extended and elaborated by requiring students to approach materials as the subject of criticism. While instructors should repeatedly remind students that media must always be regarded with skepticism, explicitly critical examination of such truth-asserting productions as news reports and documentaries can serve to encourage intellectual depth and aggressiveness, in addition to improving subject matter comprehension. No doubt, this function will grow in prominence as academics become increasingly interested in heightening media literacy among students (Daley, 2003).  

In addition to facilitating concept illustration, analysis, and criticism, media clips can also have quite practical value in initiating classes. Their employment as “icebreakers” can be especially effective in large sections where students are reluctant to relate to each other, much less instructors. Used regularly, they can serve as an ongoing ritual, notifying students that the class is beginning, as well as serving to draw them into the topic at hand. Icebreakers appear to work best when they are brief and employ humor or irony (for clips used recently to good effect, see Yard Fitness (2001) and Onion News Network (2009).

Online digital media can be productively employed outside the classroom, as well as inside it. Indeed, in all likelihood, most instructors will prefer that their students examine longer clips and full-length programs online on their own time, although in given circumstances they might want the class to collectively watch or listen to particular materials regardless of length. The author has adopted the electronic course syllabus for the out-of-class delivery of multimedia. Online video and audio are simply linked to the syllabus via hypertext in order to substantially augment text readings and classroom presentations. 

A week of assignments from the author’s introductory sociology course is outlined in Figure 1. Supplementing the required text chapter assignment on socialization for February 9 is a "for your information" video segment on personality differences between liberals and conservatives. (Note this resource is treated as optional, given that it came to the instructor's attention after the semester began and the publication of the initial syllabus.) For February 11, two videos are assigned which require students to address issues related to quite different types of socialization. The first relates to the Internet and social media such as Facebook, and asks students various questions about their involvement with them. The second looks at African boys abducted and forced to kill as soldiers and their problematic return to families and communities. Finally, two video assignments and an audio assignment for February 13 ask students to consider how otherwise decent people can violate important cultural norms, despite previous socialization to the contrary.


Feb 9

Topic: Socialization: Self and Society
Text Assignment:  Thompson & Hickey - Chapter 4
For Your Information:  
 “Jonathan Haidt: The Real Difference between Liberals and Conservatives”

Feb 11

Topic:  Developmental Socialization / Resocialization                         
Video Assignments
Growing Up Online” 
To what extent and in what ways is the Internet important in the lives of youth today? Is participation in social networking websites sites such as MySpace and Facebook problematical for youth and their parents? How does it possibly shape and confound identity? Do you have a page or pages on a website? To what extent do they reflect the “real” you? Have/has your parents/parent seen your site? If so, what was their reaction? If not, why haven’t you shown it to them?      
Lord's Children”                                                        
Who are the “lord's children”—i.e., where are they from, how do they come to be, what are they forced to do, what impact does becoming one have on them? How are they commonly treated by family members when they escape? Describe efforts to resocialize them. Generally, how effective are such efforts?

 Feb 13

Topic:  Socialization, Role, and Identity                                                
Video Assignments:
Interrogator Talks Openly About Abu Ghraib 25 Oct 2006;
”Good, Bad, and Ugly”

Why do decent people sometimes do bad things? Compare and contrast Zimbardo's experiment with the case of Abu Ghraib. Consider the extent to which we "become" our roles. How likely are we to identify with the roles we play, no matter how disagreeable they might personally seem to us at first glance? In watching these videos, consider the following questions: 1. How did those (soldiers and students) who served as guards generally come to behave? 2. For what purposes were prisoners subjected to abusive treatment by guards? 3. Why did the guards engage in such behavior? 4. Do you think that you could have personally resisted becoming fully absorbed in either role? 5. What lessons about human behavior can we learn from these two video clips? 
Audio Assignment:   “RadioLab:
What makes some of us more "moral" than others?  From where does our sense of morality originate?  Are humans the only species concerned with moral issues?


 Figure 1. Week Four Assignments for SOC 1013 Class

The point of displaying this page is to show how a body of media can be efficiently transmitted and proposed to students. Such resources in turn should help them better understand important course ideas by stimulating learning at both cognitive and emotional levels. Moreover, the electronic syllabus as delivery vehicle allows students to examine linked course content on their own, thus allowing them to view and review at their leisure and preserving scarce class time for other forms of instruction (see Snelson, 2008, for additional online video applications beyond those discussed here). 

Types of Media Content

Diverse video and audio resources are currently accessible through the Internet (see Table 1.). While the benefits of video are obvious, audio is also a very instructive, although underused, learning resource. Many radio series provide excellent content which could be productively employed in courses (e.g., American RadioWorks, The Diane Rehm Show, and This American Life). Quality audio programs and clips evoke rich mental imagery, and are more portable than video in light of the widespread ownership of iPods and mp3 players. They are also easier to locate, given their large concentration at a single site, NPR, and the relatively small universe of audio-programming producers and distributors.

Although media content can be arbitrarily categorized as “informational” or “entertainment," many are not clearly one or the other, and this is no more apparent than in such “edutainment” programs as ABC's 20/20 and NBC's 60 Minutes. However, the point of this distinction is not only to suggest a difference in content based on relative emphasis, but also to underline the fact that media considered to be entertainment can also have significant educational value. Popular movies and television programs, for example, may themselves be the focus of study, serving as data for analysis and critical evaluation. Likewise, clips from these productions may be helpful for illustrating key course ideas.

In outlining the many different types of video and audio content that could be applied to a given course topic, consider how social issues, either contemporary or historical, might be approached. First, issue treatment obviously would be enhanced by news footage, and such evidence is likely available somewhere on the Web if relevant events occurred within the past 80 to 100 years. Issue-related speeches by historically relevant figures and recorded interviews with them, their biographers, or other historians could likewise heighten understanding. Current news stories could be effectively used to demonstrate and reinforce the relevance of course learning to the outside world and present or past social issues. Likewise, documentaries should have great value for deriving a broader understanding of issues since they often provide substantial background and tend to consider issues within the context of linked events, rather than as isolated news stories. Instruction about given issues could also be importantly supplemented through lectures and courses provided by professors located in cyberspace. Finally, point-of-view media authored by advocacy organizations could be of great value. Treatment of an issue such as animal rights, for example, certainly would be enhanced by observing PETA messages, just as any study of the U.S. political economy would be profitably informed by media from left, right, and libertarian perspectives (see Democracy Now!, CNS News, and, respectively).


  Table 1. Types of Online Video and Audio Content with Examples

Content Type



Event Footage

September 11 television archive

Army/McCarthy hearings

News Stories



Obama blasts bankers for bonuses

Battle for Iwo Jima


Obama's pick...linked to abuse...

Laid-off men alters family dynamic

News Magazines


      Brief Stories

Severed in half by train

Focus on the border fence


What Would You Do?






Whyman Richards: Iceberg wrangler


The released

Witness to an execution


Black/white infant health

Segregation study questions


Learn how to be a teen in 1950



Stolen for fashion

Limbaugh: "…wants…to fail…"


Martin Luther King:  I have a dream

R.F. Kennedy on the death of MLK


George Carlin by Charlie Rose

Singer: Robotics revolutionizes war


Hate groups in the U.S.

Gays in the military




Jordan pictures shocking facts

White: Food, diet, & sustainability


Venkatesh: Gang leader for day

Vinson: Caste in Mexico




Evolution, emotion, and reason: Love

Lecture 6: Eddie Zheng - Thoughts...


Introduction to psychology

Geography 20: Globalization


Prague's Franz Kafka International...

Lenny Bruce comes clean


Boston Bruins: Date

Alka Seltzer: plop, plop...

Web Programs



Star trek: The original series

Amos and Andy


The office: 2 minute replays

The Shadow: Who knows...?


Web therapy: Psycho analysis

Man of the people





Atanarjuat: The fast runner



Five easy pieces diner scene

“Who’s on first?”


Where’s Jamela?

Ten days in a mad house

Sources for Video

Course-relevant video materials, unlike audio, are not altogether simple to locate on the Internet. Directories can be helpful for identifying sources (see e.g., Anderson, 2009, and Appendix E at the end of this article), but there is no primary distribution website nor encyclopedic indexing / annotation service that would enable instructors to easily find and assess the relevance of programs and clips. Rather, the task of locating quality video requires considerable instructor initiative and effort. In fact, even searches at specific Web locations do not always bring materials actually there to the surface, given the labyrinthian nature of some website structures. 

To begin locating usable video, consider the employment of a search engine / aggregator (see Appendix A), of which OVGuide, VideoSurf, and CastTV are the more serviceable. The major strength of OVGuide  is its ability to find programming and clips across media-producer websites, which it also categorizes by theme and then rates by user preference (see OVGuide documentaries). VideoSurf is particularly helpful for turning up videos from user-generated sites, such as YouTube, and also has the unique feature of breaking clips down into segments. CastTV, like VideoSurf, finds videos from user-generated sites, but its singular strength is that it also aggregates virtually all online available television programming (for an informative discussion about various video search engines, see De Avila, 2008).

User-generated / sharing sites should next be searched as this will provide more focused lists of materials located within those sites (see Appendix B). Most videos at these sites are either made by users themselves or copied by users from various media production sources. YouTube is of course the most comprehensive and popular of this genre. Video identification hinges primarily on contributors creating key-word descriptors or "tags" for their submissions (see Carvin, 2008), and currently, YouTube has about 8,000 videos tagged with the term "sociology" and over 30,000 with "psychology." Nonetheless, videos on topics relevant to a discipline may be unevenly available. For example, "ethnocentrism" and "role conflict" are both central concepts in sociology, but if one wanted to link a clip to a treatment of the former, over 130 would appear from which to select, but for the latter only one would surface (searched May 27, 2009).          

Importantly, instructors should identify, visit, and then revisit those websites which consistently provide serviceable materials for their teaching areas. Noteworthy for most instructors in social science disciplines will likely be those offering quality documentary films (e.g., Babelgum, FactualTV, Joost, National Geographic, Sprword, and PBS). The latter contains an especially rich lode of documentary series with many having large archives amassed over time (e.g., Frontline and NOW). Also, despite the fact that many of its films remain limited to DVD purchase, PBS often provides clips taken from them along with additional clips that do not appear in marketed titles (e.g., see Unnatural Causes). Instructors should moreover note that visits to sites of specific PBS affiliates can be worthwhile since local stations may promote access to programming (e.g., Torturing Democracy featured at WNET) which the mother network has not broadcast (see Jensen, 2008) nor posted on its website.

Instructors interested in conveying historical information or engaging in criticism of historical media must become familiar with the Internet Archive, the major website holding public domain multimedia. Materials available there, generally recent non-copyrighted or Creative Commons works, and older audios and videos for which copyright has expired, are diverse, and include sizeable collections of animated cartoons (N=1,000+), cultural and academic films (800+), and news and public affairs videos (9,000+), among others.

Supplemental instruction on course topics may be found at various sites offering online presentations, lectures, and courses (for a discussion on the background of this development, see Edmonds, 2008). Although online lectures and courses have been offered for some time by various individual universities, (e.g., webcasts.berkeley), they have been recently brought together under a single website umbrella (see Academic Earth). A wealth of podcasts for courses, lectures, and other educational materials made available through subscribing universities also can be accessed via iTunes University. More recently, YouTube has created YouTube EDU, a channel comprised largely of course lecture videos listed by producing university. Many instructors, as well, will find several websites valuable as sources of thought-provoking presentations and expert commentary on timely topics (Big Think,, TED Talks, and WGBH Forum). Among these, the latter in particular stands out in light of repository size, breadth of coverage, and navigable structure.

Periodic browsing through the multimedia sections of news websites (e.g., ABC News, CBS News, PBS Online NewsHour, New York Times, and U.S. News and World Report) can also turn up usable resources. In addition to posting standard news stories, ABC News has been prominent among such sites by also offering programs that address a number of intriguing questions about culture and behavior (see, e.g., Primetime’s What Would You Do?), although not always conforming to the canons of scientific research in doing so. Instructors should as well note that as an alternative to mainstream news, they can find competing world views represented in stories provided at such sites as Al Jazeera, CNS News, Democracy Now!, Real News Network, and  

A significant amount of television entertainment is available on the Internet, and some of it can be put to good instructional use. Virtually every network television site now includes online viewing for many of its more popular programs and classics (see Appendix E). Some networks also have begun to segment shows into clips, capturing noteworthy scenes, which in turn may be easily linked to lectures (e.g., see NBC's "two minute replays" from The Office). The Internet, as well, has fostered the rapid growth of short television-like serials of various kinds made specifically for online distribution. These “webisodes” could no doubt have wide course application in light of their common appeal to college youth and their relatively brief, self-contained presentation (see, e.g., Quarterlife). Some offer an independent source of production aimed at niche audiences (e.g., Bitter Lawyer), while others are spin-offs from popular television series (e.g., Blackmail).

Television-site browsing is also advised for instructors interested in incorporating icebreakers into their classes. Staples for political satire include Comedy Central's Colbert Report and Daily Show. Saturday Night Live likewise should be monitored, as should its racier "Digital Shorts" collection. The Web-based Onion News Network includes humorous clips about current issues that also will likely resonate with students. Serviceable icebreaker material furthermore can be found at various television ad sites, whether providing actual advertisements (e.g., Ads of the World) or parodies (e.g., Saturday Night Live).

Commercial movies have become increasingly available on the Internet, and many of these have instructional utility. While students should be warned about downloading pirated resources from peer-to-peer (P2P) sites, legitimate websites have recently emerged offering significant inventories of free streamed blockbuster-type films (see, e.g., Hulu and Joost). Of note, as well, is the growing number of sites serving as portals for the delivery of quality full-length videos or shorts produced by independent filmmakers (e.g., see, specializing in works produced by and about indigenous people, and Media That Matters, showcasing award-winning shorts on significant social issues).

Rather than accessing entire commercial movies, however, most instructors will probably be more interested in employing brief movie segments. Integrated into class presentations, clips can be particularly effective for illustrating course concepts and  principles. Web locations for clips from given films can be easily identified through search engines such as VideoSurf, although many instructors may prefer to simply first visit YouTube, the preeminent site hosting clips from virtually every movie that has enjoyed popularity.

In recent years, media producers have made much more of their own programming available at their websites, and they are also trying to reach viewers in novel ways. One vehicle has been the creation of sites offering several different video genre. For example, Hulu, an NBC/FOX collaboration, provides webisodes and regular television programming, along with movies and clips. The employment of user-generated video for network content is still another innovation. For example, CNN's iReport asks amateur videographers to contribute their own news footage to the website with the understanding that some will be selected to air on CNN newscasts. Perhaps the most significant development among media producing companies, however, is the growing practice of directly contributing programs to video-sharing sites, particularly to YouTube (e.g., see channels for the Associated Press, Journeyman Pictures, and Media Education Foundation). Providing a centralized body of media resources, such channels make search activity less time consuming and also give certain options to users not available at mother sites (see later discussion about the altered-link technique for YouTube videos).

Finally, instructors should become familiar with services that give notification of upcoming programs and recently posted clips. At many media-producing and video-sharing websites, links to such technologies as RSS feeds can be established on users' personalized homepages provided by services such as Google, which will then announce when new materials become available. Many websites, including most news sites and PBS, also provide free subscriptions to daily or weekly e-mails that preview or post-view relevant programming (see, e.g., New York Times Focus (click on "see sample") and PBS Newsletter).

More efficient systems of finding materials, going well beyond simple tag referencing, will no doubt evolve as the demand for online multimedia grows. The question of how to collect and catalog Web-resources has indeed been of interest to academic librarians for some time (see Pitschmann, 2001), and their universities would seem to be relevant candidates to enlist in this process (see Stewart, 2009). Such assistance is not likely to be soon in coming, however, as librarians still appear to be in the talking stages of identification and retrieval system development. More immediately, those knowledgeable about media should be encouraged to engage in videoblogging, i.e., communicating online about relevant resources, and offering as well embedded videos and hyperlinked bibliographies to readers (for a list of current media-relevant videoblogs, see Appendix C; for excellent blogs covering multiple disciplines, see Open Culture and Web-Based Video in Education; for one devoted to a significant sociology subfield, see Racism Review). Furthermore, Google announced in January, 2009, that it is no longer uploading user-contributed videos, but is building what it says will amount to the ultimate video search engine, one presumably able “…to find any video, at any time, from any site” (Paunikar, 2009). Short of this and other possible innovations being realized, nevertheless, interested instructors are advised to continue to browse websites proven to be fruitful (e.g., see Appendix E), sign-up for RSS feeds and newsletter subscriptions, and frequently communicate with media-savvy colleagues about new resources and how they might be employed. 

Content Retrieval and Delivery

Once relevant materials are located, multimedia may be accessed from the Internet by means of either streaming or downloading. Although audio and video resources could be delivered to students in any number of conceivable ways, the author, as previously mentioned, has settled on two as most efficient: (a) an electronic syllabus, and (b) presentation software either employed in the classroom or online by way of a course management system. 

Streaming entails the playing of digital materials from the resource website, and therefore, requires a continuous Internet connection. Instructors provide students access to such multimedia by the use of hypertext links. (Linking involves copying the URL of the desired video or audio, and then pasting it to the syllabus page typed on Microsoft Word or the PowerPoint slide by way of hypertext. When the hypertext URL is clicked, the Internet page on which the media is located will replace the syllabus or PowerPoint slide on the screen, and then operation of the video or audio must be initiated by the user.) Most sites encourage linking by making video URLs especially easy to copy, and many also encourage embedding by providing HTML code that allows videos to be displayed directly within user Web pages (note: embedding is not possible in Word or Powerpoint).

Distinct advantages of streaming are its ease and simplicity (only requiring that a URL be linked via hypertext), and the avoidance of possible copyright infringement, given that no copy of the resource has been made. However, streaming affords little control over the media: it leaves exhibition to students, and often means that extraneous content, such as commercial messages, will be displayed along with the resource. Even more problematical perhaps is the fact that the video or audio will no longer be available should it disappear from the Web.  

Downloading involves making a copy of the audio or video from its Internet source, and then saving it to computer drive. Relative to audio resources, listeners are often invited by website hosts to download by virtue of offering podcasts. Although most video websites do not discourage downloading by placing blocks on relevant software such as RealPlayer, neither do they commonly provide explicit indication that downloading is acceptable. No doubt, academic users will be sensitive to the prospect of copyright infringement by virtue of downloading. Yet, they should also be aware that the law does not preclude downloading and use under given circumstances (see next section).

Video materials that have been downloaded by either instructors or students do not require the maintenance of an Internet connection for display purposes. Instructors interested in integrating downloaded video to in-class or online presentations should note, however, that PowerPoint will accept only a few video formats, and thus, downloaded files may need to be converted to usable form (a task easily accomplished through video converter software). Converted videos then may be edited and displayed seamlessly within such presentations.

Presentation of video clips in class lectures can be effectively handled through streaming, through downloading, or through an altered link to PowerPoint if the clips are of YouTube origin. This altered link technique allows videos to directly appear within presentation slides (for instructions, see maniactive (2007, August 9)). Altering YouTube URLs can be done on the fly, and may be advisable in certain situations as it sidesteps the necessity of file conversion if original clips (i.e., pre-YouTube version) are not of compatible file format, minimizes total hard-drive or flash-drive memory requirements, and reduces potential risks of copyright violation. The primary downside is that clips will no longer appear in presentations should they disappear from YouTube.

Copyright Issues

Abundant online resources are in the public domain, but virtually all made in recent years by media-producing organizations are copyrighted. Employment of these materials should therefore be consistent with the law (see U.S. Code, 2007). If instructors are particularly anxious about the prospect of violating copyright, they should avoid downloading altogether by only linking media URLs to syllabus and course presentations via hypertext as this technique does not generally constitute infringement (American Library Association, 2006).

However, restriction to simple linking is not entirely necessary as instructors are afforded considerable leeway under the “fair use” clause of copyright law (Section 107 (U.S. Code, 2007)). That is, certain exceptions are granted to individuals who are involved in non-profit instruction by allowing them to copy or download and exhibit copyrighted materials under given conditions. On a practical basis, “fair use” hinges on the particular character, nature, extent, and purpose of use, and instructors who wish to download and employ copyrighted resources under it should consult relevant stipulations to determine if their use qualifies (see UT System, n.d.; see Center for Social Media, 2008, for discussion of “fair use” relative to online video producers and users; also see MediaEdLab (2009, February 23), for an example of efforts to clarify “fair use” rights for media users via music video).

While determination of legitimate use may be ambiguous in certain circumstances, “fair use” does not appear to allow instructors or their colleges to display on password-protected class management systems, physically duplicated, digitized, or even purchased, full-length videos without authorization.  However, many distributors are now offering digital licenses or closed-system streaming rights for such purposes along with sale of their videos, and these may be purchased for fairly nominal fee (e.g., Media Education Foundation, grants rights for typically $100 to $200 per video for three years to the entire university).  As another alternative to displaying resources in violation of copyright, instructors should also be mindful of the possibility that some copyright holders will grant free use upon request.

Issues and Problems in Employing Online Multimedia

Standards of Taste and Propriety

Obviously, employed media resources should be consistent with course subject matter and goals, and should be thoroughly previewed before displaying in class or through online syllabus. Common sense, coupled with college policy, community standards, and perceived student maturity, should inform judgments about exhibition suitability. Some media, otherwise instructionally valuable, may be regarded by some instructors as objectionable, and simply not worth the risk of student or third-party fall-out. Conversely, others might be favorably inclined to use the same edgy materials in light of overriding didactic value, particularly if they are teaching in more tolerant environments. Such instructors, nevertheless, might yet consider including a statement in their syllabus which would advise students about media content, and possibly serve to steer those who might be offended to sanitized course equivalents.   

Student Resistance

Much has been made about the "millennials" and their strong attachment to digital technology and the Internet, and in fact, students do tend to be positive about the employment of multimedia both in and out of class. However, resistance does surface at times, most often centering on lack of access to technology and/or discomfort with using such technology. Adjustments to requirements about out-of-class media assignments may be needed in light of limited student access to PCs with high-speed online service, although these resources are generally available to students on most campuses today. Also, while many older students do feel threatened by technology, some younger ones as well lack relevant exposure and training. Therefore, in communicating with students, instructors should be sure to emphasize that being unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology is not unusual, and that help will be extended to anyone encountering problems (for a good overview of the problematic nature of student use of these technologies, see Hawkins & Oblinger, 2006)

While technology may impose problems, experience has nonetheless shown that resistance to online media assignments is more likely to reflect low student motivation. Left alone, students are often not inclined to examine materials. To be sure, instructors should avoid media overload, being judicious in their selection of quality videos and audios, and mindful of the time required to address them. But instructors also will find students motivated to the extent that references to assigned media are explicitly tied into class lectures and exams (see Kirkwood, 2008, for discussion of problems in getting students to use digital technologies without employment of testing).

Technical Issues

A number of technical challenges will arise with the initiation of a Web-based approach. However, most can be quickly resolved, especially if colleagues and technicians familiar with multimedia and technology are accessible and willing to help. Some of the more common problems, glitches, and hassles, likely to be encountered are outlined below, along with suggested remedies.

1. Media files will not play in PowerPoint. In terms of using video clips in presentations, be aware that PowerPoint does not play all file formats. To determine those formats that are directly usable, therefore, consult relevant tutorials for 2003 and 2007 PowerPoint editions (see TCLT, 2004, and Microsoft, 2009, respectively). Note: video clips not standard to PowerPoint can be converted to playable form via a video converter software program, which can be purchased online for about $50.

2. Given digital resources disappear between linking or downloading and exhibition. In light of that possibility, remember that the Web is a work-in-progress. Therefore, do not be surprised if media content linked to syllabus or PowerPoint presentation is no longer available when exhibition date arrives. Reasonable online substitutes can usually be found with relatively little search effort. Note: if relevant materials are deemed important and irreplaceable, consider downloading a copy for possible later display.     

Downloaded video and audio files may also disappear when moving PowerPoint slides from one PC to another. Such media files do not automatically accompany presentation software files unless they are also moved between PCs. Therefore always remember to copy all files possibly relevant to the presentation (i.e., PowerPoint slides, vide and audio files, and nonstandard fonts, if used) to the same folder before moving. 

3. Poor image quality. Video materials on the Web come with variable image quality, and resolution invariably suffers as display size increases. Students seated at a distance from classroom projector screens may not be able to comfortably view videos streamed directly from website pages, given their usually small size. Clips can be expanded to full-screen, but will often then be quite pixelated (i.e., blurred). Instructors may therefore want to vary clip size from somewhere between the extremes of small image / webpage display to full-screen display. However, this can only be accomplished for YouTube videos, and only after they have been integrated directly to PowerPoint slides via the previously noted altered-link technique (see maniactive (2007, August 9)).

4. Classroom technical malfunction. Instructors may find from time to time that given classroom presentation components (PC, Internet, multimedia projector, speakers, etc) will not function. There is likely a simple solution, and students can be very helpful in this regard. Of course, if the problem cannot be quickly resolved, those responsible for maintaining classroom technology on campus should be called in. Note: technical malfunctions are not necessarily fixable on the spot. Therefore, always have a back-up plan for teaching the class that is not technology dependent.   

5. Students cannot get assigned multimedia resources to play. Participation in a Web-based multimedia course requires all user computers to have relevant software plug-ins in order to run video and audio. Instructors should check with campus technicians to determine which plug-ins will be necessary, and then request that all campus PCs are appropriately equipped. Plug-ins that students will need to have downloaded to their own units should also be specified in the course syllabus (and linked to relevant download sources). Nonetheless, some students will encounter problems in accessing linked digital materials even with relevant software in place. The most common by far is that the “pop-up blocker” has not been disabled on their web browser, and therefore, pages with streamed media cannot appear. Of course, students having technical problems that defy quick remedy should be directed to help-desk personnel.

Conclusions: Getting Started and Going Beyond

Although university leaders generally favor using technology to foster instructional goals as shown by their significant investment in infrastructure and equipment, as well as supportive public statements (e.g., Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2009), the adoption of online multimedia ultimately rests with faculty. No doubt, some instructors do not make use of it in their classes because they are entirely opposed to the idea. For them, media use translates to mean student entertainment, and is therefore a frivolous diversion. Real learning, they argue, occurs as it has traditionally, with students reading authoritative works and listening attentively to lectures. Nevertheless, most faculty not employing multimedia are not inclined toward such opposition. Rather, they may well concede the merits of integration and even report they would like to do it, but say they simply do not have the time in light of pressing professional demands. Many seem also uncomfortable with technology itself, and so integrating online media may present two learning curves to master (see Hawkins & Oblinger, 2006; Mills, Yanes, & Casebeer, 2009).

These instructors should nonetheless understand that multimedia integration is not a daunting task. It can be done gradually and without involving much time or pain. Several small practical steps can be taken to ease into the process. First, begin talking to colleagues about media-relevant websites and how digital materials can be used in classes. Join an organization devoted to online learning such as MERLOT, particularly if other faculty members do not seem interested. Second, get to know someone on campus with technical expertise who can easily be called on for advice and assistance. Questions invariably will emerge at the beginning, and having someone to turn to for quick answers is invaluable. Third, start actual integration by doing the easiest. Link a few videos and audios to syllabus, and develop assignments for them. In terms of in-class integration, prefacing a lecture or two with icebreaker clips is a good initial move. Finally, enlist students in the process, perhaps first by requiring class or online presentations which centrally involve media analysis. Students, for example, could be assigned popular films to determine their relevance to important course concepts and principles, and they could be encouraged to integrate clips from such films for purposes of illustration.

Of course, this article only suggests a beginning. Think about eventually moving beyond what has been discussed here, possibly with students, to involvement in more complex, creative activities. Existing media resources on the Web might be significantly edited and reconfigured for inclusion in class or online presentations. Better yet, consider creating materials from scratch by shooting video or recording audio. Equipment can be cheaply purchased, and instructive media can be produced with little training. Such custom-built resources, in turn, should well-fit course concepts, deepen instructor / student mastery of subject matter, and contribute to the greater learning enterprise as they are uploaded and shared with others involved in instruction facilitated through online media.


(All URLs in references and appendices were active as of June 1, 2009)

American Library Association. (2006). Hypertext linking and copyright issues. American Library Association. October 11.  

Anderson, M. (2009). Audio, video, multimedia. Digital Librarian: A Librarian's Choice of the Best of the Web.

Carvin, A. (2008). It’s all about the tags. September 12.

Center for Social Media. (2008). Code of best practices in fair use for online video. American University Center for Social Media.

Daley, E. (2003). Expanding the concept of literacy. EDUCAUSE. (March/April).

De Avila, J. (2008). Beyond YouTube: New ways to find video on the Web. The Wall Street Journal. October 30.                                     

Edmonds, V. (2008).  Video visions. EDUCAUSE Review, 43 (5) (September/October).

Hawkins, B. & Oblinger, D. (2006). The myth about the digital divide: 'We have overcome the digital divide'. EDUCAUSE Review, 41 (4) (July/August).

Jacobson, R. (2008). Visual learning: How the rise of digital video is transforming education. eSchool News, January 2.

Jensen, E. (2008). PBS slow to embrace a program on torture. New York Times, October 15.

Kirkwood, A. (2008). Getting it from the Web: Why and how online resources are used by independent undergraduate learners. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 24 (5) (October).

maniactive (2007, August 9). Embed YouTube Video Into PowerPoint 2007 [Video file].

MediaEdLab (2009, February 23). User Rights, Section 107 Music Video [Video File].

 Microsoft. (2009). Compatible multimedia file formats. Microsoft Office Online.

Mills, S., Yanes, M., & Casebeer, C. (2009). Perceptions of distance learning among faculty of a college of education. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(1) (March).

Onion News Network (2009). Nation's Girlfriends Unveil New Economic Plan: "Let's Move In Together" [Video file].

Pauniker, A. (2009). Calling video publishers. Google Video Blog. January 20.

Pitschmann, L. (2001).  Building sustainable collections of free third-party Web resources.

Section 107 (U.S. Code (2007)). Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use.

Snelson, C. (2008).  Web-based video in education: Possibilities and pitfalls. TCC Worldwide Online Conference.

socioconcepts (2009, March 5). Role Conflict - Police Officer [Video file].

Stewart, C. (2009). Not your father’s electronic reserve: Online media delivery for courses.”  Library Issues, 29 (3), January. 

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. (2009). Designing Texas undergraduate education in the 21st century.

TLCT. (2004). Video clips in Powerpoint: Powerpoint 2003 (Windows XP) and Powerpoint X (MacIntosh). TCLT, Indiana University.

U.S. Code. (2007). Copyright law of the United States and related laws contained in Tıtle17 of the United States Code. Circular 92. October.   

UT System. (n.d.).  Fair use of copyrighted materials. University of Texas System.

Yard Fitness. (2001). Feel Comfortable In Your Own Skin [Video file].                                              



Appendix A. Selected Media Search and/or Aggregator Sites

Google Video             


Appendix B. Selected User-Generated / Upload Sites
CNN iReport



Appendix C.  Selected Media-Relevant Blogs

Ads of the World Blog

After Ed 
BCL Academic Audio and Video Blog
Blog Out Loud
Business and Media Institute

C4CFM Blog
Center for Social Media
Chat the Planet
Comedy Central's Indecision
Contexts Podcasts
Creative Commons
Digital Ethnography
The Documentary Blog
Everyday Sociology
Framing Science
Free Technology for Teachers
Google Video Blog
iReport Blog
Mashable: The Social Media Guide

Master New Media
Media Education Lab
Media Research Center
Open Culture
P.O.V. Blog
Racism Review
Reclaim the Media
Reel Therapy
Sociological Images: Seeing Is Believing
Spotlight: Blogging the Field of Digital Media and Learning
Take Part
TED Blog
(see also teachingwithTed
The Utube Blog
We Love Crowds
Web-Based Video in Education
Wide Angle
The YouTube Bibliography Project


Appendix D.  Selected Media-Relevant Archives and Projects

Academic Earth
American Memory (Library of Congress)
American Public Media
Annenberg Media
British Film Institute
Business and Media Institute

Civil Rights Digital Library
Community Video Education Trust
Digital Media and Learning
Digital Storytelling Multimedia Archive

Internet Archive
Learn Out Loud
Media Education Lab
Media Research Institute
National Film Board of
Opencast Community Project
Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Preserving Digital Public Television Project
Project New Media Literacies
Teachers' Domain
Thirteen: WNET video

United States
Holocaust Historical Museum    
WGBH Forum Network

Appendix E.  Selected Websites for Multimedia Materials

Movies & Television Full Episodes 

A&E Television
ABC: Free Episodes (requires downloading of full-episode player)

Best Free Documentaries
Best On Line Documentaries
CBS Shows (see current and classics)
Comedy Central
Food Network
History Channel
Media That Matters

National Film Board of
National Geographic
NBC: Full Episodes

Thirteen: WNET


YouTube: Movies
YouTube: TV Shows

Video Clips / Shorts & Sample Media

               The Twitter/Teasmaid Chronicles

ABC News  
                              Trusting Instincts: Surviving a Tsunami
               Good Morning America
                              Psych Hospitals under Microscope
                              Sin City
                              What Would You Do?
                              We Don't Speak Mexican Here      
               World News         
                              Lady Bulldogs Are Beautiful Losers
               Let’s Go Spend Some Money
Ads of the World
               Sonntags Zeitung: US Election Campaign: Bush
After Ed
               Democratic Action
                              Breaking the Silence
Al Jazeera - English
               Al Jazeera - English - Live Streams
All Things Digital
               When the Lights Go Out in Circui...
American Memory (Library of Congress)
               Fifty Years of Coca Cola Television Advertisements 
                              Polar Bear - Northern Lights
American News Project
               Lincoln and Race
Amnesty International
               The Women of Kibera in Kenya        
Animal Planet
               Treadwell vs. Poachers
Asian Tsunami Videos
               Select and download videos
               Father Embarrasses Son on TV
               The Power of Chillies
          US Afghan Attack Phone Footage    

          Pressure Washer – Southwest Airlines 
               Bruce Lee: Mini Bio

               Emotions at Work
BoingBoing tv 
               Xeni Flies in Zero Gravity
               Millionaire Matchmaker 
                              After the Date: Kevin and Randy
               Real Housewives of New Jersey 
                              Shop Girls
Business and Media Institute 
             The Media’s Top 10 Worst Economic Myths of 2008       
               America's Wealthiest Towns
               Digital Archives
                              Seeking Sanctuary: Draft Dodgers
               Human Body Tour               
CBS News
               48 Hours   
                              Life on the Run
               60 Minutes 
                              The Millennials Are Coming!   
               Caught on Tape   
                              Caught on Tape in '08         
               CNET TV 
                              How to Understand Digital Audio Formats
               Evening News 
                              Desperately Seeking a Job
               Face the Nation 
                              Cheney Looks Back at Iraq War
               Only on the Web 
                              Veteran Recounts Killing His Wife
               Sunday Morning 
                              30 Years of Change
               Up to the Minute 
                            Kids and Money         
               Life on the Rez (search and select)  
               The Aftermath of Homicide
Christian Science Monitor 
               International Design Summit
Chronicle of Higher Education 
              You Tube vs. Your Good Name         
Clip Syndicate 
               Divorce Battle Over Kidney Heads to Court
               CEO Salary Cap                                

Anderson Cooper 360         
                              How Viruses Spread
                              College Students Oppose Homeless Encampment on Seattle Campus
               Larry King Live 
                              Free After 22 Years                            
               Lou Dobbs   
                              Broken Borders  
                                             Cartels Hit Mexican TV Station
               Nancy Grace      
                              Family Sues Alleged Killer
               Political Ticker (select assorted video clips)
                              Black In America
Comedy Central
               Daily Show with Jon Stewart    
                              Gay Marriage Is Bad for Small Business
               Colbert Nation      
                              Yahweh or No Way - The Super Bowl
               Comedy Central's Indecision
                               The Epic Battle for Your Soul: Gay Marriage
                                             Anti-Gay Propagandists Make Kids Say the Darndest Things!
               Important Things 
                              Games – Emotional Escape Artist
               South Park
                               The Importance of Saving Money
                              Rough Guide to the Brain 
               Paternity Leave in Sweden
Democracy Now!
               "This Shouldn't Have Been Ignored"
Discovery Channel
               Dirty Jobs 
                             Meet the Maggot Farmers
Discovery Health
               Physiology of Sexual Health: Priapism
Echoes of War
               See webisodes
               Jazz Diplomacy     
               Tricks of the Trade: Quieting the Classroom
               Armenian Genocide
               Nene's Battle with Cancer 
                Episode 2-59, May 12, 2009         
               Woman's Instinctual Ability to Read a Room
               College Sex 2.0
Fox News

               "Judging' Sonia
               Fox and Friends 
                              Evolution vs. Creationism
                              Lost Boy
                              Huck's Word
               O'Reilly Factor  
                              Unbelievable (Mom Allows Friend to Blow Pot Smoke ...)
Funny Web Commercials  
               Snicker’s Super Bowl Ad    
               The Ladies Room
                "It's Like Being Buried Alive."
               The Wire              
                              Street Talk  
               History of Labor Day
Hometown Baghdad
               Mentally F'ed Up
How Stuff Works
               How to Buy a Laptop
Human Rights Watch
               Testing Justice: Rape Kit Backlog in Los Angeles City and County
Hurricane Archive             
               Katrina Video
ID Investigation
               See among others / select within category:
               JFK Assassination
               OJ Simpson Trial
               Real Interrogations

Internet Archive   
News and Public Affairs
                              September 11 Television Archive      
Journeyman Pictures  
               Sebrenica: Autopsy of a Massacre > view clip 
L / Studio               
               See among others:
                              The High Heel
               Web Therapy          
                              Psycho Analysis
Library of Congress  
               Veterans History Project
The Link  
               The Discovery
Los Angeles Times  
               Invisible Tattoos
MSNBC Doc Block
               Lock-Up Raw: Time To Kill
MSNBC News  
               Study:  Less Pollution - Live Longer

MSNBC Zeitgeist
Woman Auctions Her Virginity           
Media Matters for
               Employee Free Choice Act: “Fox Facts” vs. Actual Facts
               Mexican Crime Syndicate Arrested   
Military Channel  
               Secrets of the Alamo
Mother Jones  
               Coca Stompers of Bolivia   
               Real World: How Real Is It?
NBC Online Video Library  
               See among others:

                     Between a Rock and a Hard Place   
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
               Satchel Paige
National Geographic  
               Apache Girl’s Initiation Rite
               Final Report:
                              CIA Experiments
New Media Literacies
               Henry Jenkins on Mapping
The New Republic           
               Juan Crow
New York Times  
               Salvia: A Virtual Drug Craze
               Select from posted videos
               Desertification Erodes Mongolian Livelihoods
Onion News Network

          More American Workers Outsourcing Own Jobs Overseas
Open Society Institute  
               Gasping for Air  
               The Many Uses of Skype Video
Oprah Winfrey Show  
               Taboo Topic: What Social Class Are You Now?
                              Perceptions of Class in America  
               History of the Internet
               Human Spark (see also    

               Independent Lens (Community Classroom)
                              Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (see video modules)
               Online Hews Hour 
                              Art Exhibit Tackles Stereotypes of Suburban Life
                              Soldiers of Conscience (clips & lesson plan)    
              Religion and Ethics Newsweekly (see also
                              Atheist Baby Naming       
               Unnatural Causes
                             Unraveling the Mystery of Black-White Differences in Infant Mortality
The People History  
               See module on cars (Note: car-relevant video clips on right side of page)   
               Hammer Attack on SEPTA
Planet Green
               Battleground Earth  
                              Bowling For Soup
Real News Network  
               The Ugly of War: Dying Children in a Helicopter        
               Slumdog Thousandaire
Republic Broadcasting Network
               Woman Arrested for Trespassing in Her Own Home
               Loincloths Hot Among Japanese Women
Rolling Stone  
               Five Ways Bush Sank the Republican Party
Russia Today
               Who Was Involved in 9/11? Documentary Reveals Shocking Facts
               See among others:
               Big Think
                              Psychologist Carl Hart on Drug Abuse and Policies
               Current TV
                              Paying for Abstinence
               Red State Update
                              Legalize Drugs, Save Mexico
               Prisoner's Dilemma in Action: Split or Steal?
Science Channel
               Time: Life Span           
               The Director's Process - Caprica
               Are We Beyond the Two Cultures? 
                              Lazslo Barabasi
               How to Photoshop Propaganda
               Portland: Bike Rush Hour on the Hawthorne Bridge
Take Part  
               How the Flu Virus Mutates
Thirteen: WNET video
               Human Spark (see also       
               Reel 13            
                              Telling Jokes in Auschwitz
               New York Voices  
                              Lessons of September  
                                             A Permanent Mark
               Uncertain Industry: The Decline of Manufacturing in New York City  
                              Angel's Bakery                 
                               "Narco" Culture in Mexico
               A Gay Marriage Wedding Vow Video
               Little People, Big World  
                              Dwarf Volleyball
               See among others:
               Dominick Dunne's, Power, Privilege, and Justice
                              Defending Claus Von Bulow
               Inside American Jail
                              This Isn't AA      
              Cougar Town – pilot, clip 2 (Jules flashes)
United States
Holocaust Historical Museum 
               Witnessing Darfur (various shorts)
U.S. News and World Report  
               Tech Gadgets in 2009        
Very Funny Ads  
               Comfort Fabric Softener: Naturist     
Very Spatial   
               Cemetery Geography

Movie Clips           
                              Angels & Demons: Church vs. Science
               How to Behave After Sex
The Weather Channel  
               Teen Struck By Lightning While on Bike
               WGBH Lab          
               Mystery Spots (select)
              Career Women: Past, Present, and Future
World Politics Review
               Marketing the Afghanistan Police
Yeah, THAT Commercial  
               Go Daddy: Sexy Carwash

Video, Longer Length & Sample Media
( * denotes major documentary collection) 

ABC News  
               Inside the Dead Bodies Exhibit
*Annenberg Media (free registration required)
           Discovering Psychology (series)       
Archaeology Channel
               Hopi Fires

American Waitress: New Mexico
*Best Free Documentaries

Virtual Adultery and Cyberspace Love
*Best On Line Documentaries

See e.g., Life Style/Society > Subcultures > World of Skinhead
Brave New Foundation  
               Rethink Afghanistan 
CBS News Video  
               48 Hours  
                              Catch Her If You Can 
               Reliable Sources
                              Podcasts (slow to start)
               Oval Office Tour 
*Conspiracy Reality TV
               The Business Behind Getting High: Marijuana Suppression in the U.S. and Canada
Colbert Report
               May 19, 2009 Episode – Walter Kirn
Daily Show with Jon Stewart
               May 19, 2009 Episode - Newt Gingrich
               Shocking and Awful: A Grassroots Response to War and Occupation    
Democracy Now!
               Tiller Killing Spurs Renewed Calls for US to Reverse Longstanding Passivity on Anti-Abortion Extremists
*Documentary Wire
               See among other channels:
                              Disasters of the Century – Cocoanut Grove Fire         
                              Dicing With Death: Mexico
               Pilebutts: Working Under the Hammer
Food Network
               Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives           
                             Route 66
               Throwdown with Bobby Flay       
               Why We Fight
Free Speech TV

           Before You Enlist: The Real Deal on Joining the Military
Being Transgender… Myths and Youth Issues
History Channel
               Life After People
I Believe
*Internet Archive: Movie Archive
               The Disappearing Male
               Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner
               The History of the Devil
               The Armenian Revolt
               Child Trafficking: India
Listen Up!
               Babies, Bottles, & Diapers: Reality of Teen Pregnancy                 
School of Law Media
               Books of Our Time             
                              Al Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel…
Media That Matters  
               See among others:
               16 and Pregnant (airing June, 2009)
               Beavis and Butthead
               College Life
*National Film Board of
               Burning Times
*National Geographic
               See among others:
               NGC Presents
                              Honor Killings
               Seconds From Disaster
                              Meltdown in Chernobyl
               Worlds Apart
                              St. Louis Meets Mongolia
NBC Online Video Library  
              See among others:
               Alfred Hitchcock Hour
                              The Long Silence
New Jersey
               The Lessons of 9/11
Open Society: Resource Center  
               Not as Seen on TV
               Ascent of Money (see also  
                              Full-Length Film   
               American Experience (see also  
                              A Class Apart       
               Expose (see also       
                             Poverty, Inc.         
               Frontline (see also  
                              Sick Around America

                              Mexico: Crimes at the Border, The Business of Human Smuggling            
               Make 'Em Laugh (see also  
                             Teh Internets        
               NOVA  (see also  
                           Storm that Drowned a City
                           Middle Class Insecurity       
               Online News Hour  
                           Generation Next                  
                            9 Star Motel
                 Scientific American Frontiers  
                           Hidden Motives     

               Secrets of the Dead (see also  
                              Escape From Auschwitz
               Wide Angle (see also  
                              Brazil in Black and White
               The American Ruling Class
               Reel Bad Arabs
               School Matters: Bullying at Work       
*Thirteen: WNET video (see also
               Ascent of Money (see also  
                              Full-Length Film   
               New York Voices  
                              Lessons of September
               Secrets of the Dead (see also  
                              Escape From Auschwitz

                              Full Show - May 27, 2009
*Top Documentary Films  
               Tough Love: What Men Really Think
Wall Street Journal (Classroom Edition)

           End of Wall Street: What Happened?  
Without Sanctuary
                 Click on "movie"
*YouTube (documetaries)
               Amos and Andy: Anatomy of a Controversy

Video Lectures, Speeches, & Interviews

Academic Earth
               Introduction to Psychology  
                              Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Love Alcove with Mark Molaro    
               Jonathon Schell
American Rhetoric

Online Speech Bank           
                              Barack Obama - Inaugural Address
               Top 100 Speeches             
                              Martin Luther King:  I Have A Dream
               Movie Speeches  
                              "Stella!"  - Street Car Named Desire
Big Think             
               Michael Lewis on the Free Market and Morality
               Jay Richards on Money, Greed, and God
Carnegie Corporation Oral History Interviews: Video Interviews
               Select interview
               CEO Interviews
                              GM CEO Discusses Bankruptcy
Community Video Education Trust

          "We are not allowed to see our dead..."
Democracy Now!
               Douglas Blackmon on Slavery By Another Name
Facing History and Ourselves
               A Problem from Hell: Samantha Power Talks About Genocide     
Fast Company TV  
               10 Secrets of Highly Effective People  
               Neuroscience and Sociology: David Brooks
Free Speech TV  
               Helen Caldicott
Free Thought Multimedia
               Richard Dawkins Multimedia             
                              John of God
               Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness            

More Mortgage Madness / The Lighter Side of Being Arab in America
L / Studio                
               Break It Down      
                              Jon Anderson
MacArthur Foundation
               Mizuko Ito on Why Time Spent Online Is Important            
               Edward O. Wilson
MIT OpenCourseWare

Workshop on Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution 
Open Yale Courses           
Death with Shelly Kagan     
Oxford Internet Institute: Webcast  

               Manuel Castells on Communication Power in the Networked Society 
Pro Football Hall of Fame  
               Enshrinement Speeches   
Public Broadcasting System
               Bill Moyers Journal
                        Interview with David Simon
            Charlie Rose                
                        Conversation with George Carlin
            Texas Legacy Video Project   
                        Select From List of Interviewees
            This Brave Nation 
                        Naomi Klein interview with Tom Hayden
Reith Lectures: Anthony Giddens      
Research Channel  
             Hate Groups in the United States: Panel 
               Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow
University of California Television    
               Jared Diamond on Societal Collapse
               Color Line: A Salon for Race and Public Media
                              Basic Black Griot 
                                              Hip Hop Is a Community
                              Blog La Plaza       
                                             Immigration Raids and Children
               Open Vault                          
                              Alvin Poussant on the Rise of Black on Black Murders
               Project Dropout  
                             Live: Special Broadcast
WGBH Forum Network
               See among others:
               African and African-American Culture Series
                              Slavery and the Making of America Series
                                             Clinging to Mammy: Our Relationship with Slavery
               American Experience Series
                              Eyes on the Prize 
                                             Civil Rights Movement on Film          
               Asian and Asian-American Culture Series
                              Chinese Americans: Compelled to Excel
               Evolution Series
                              Evolution of Sex: Rethinking the Y Chromosome
               Eye on Education Series
                              Project Dropout: Why Are Kids Leaving School?
                                             Beyond Black and White: Race in the Boston Public Schools
               Faith and Politics Series
                              Measure of God: Can We Reconcile Science and Religion?
               GLBTQ Series
                              GLBTQ General Series
                                             Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
               Holocaust Remembrance Series
                              Lessons from the Holocaust
               Indian Culture and Heritage Series
                              Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America
               Islamic Culture and Heritage Series
                              Voices from the Moderate Muslim Majority       
               Latino Culture and Heritage Series
                              Los Trabajadores: The Workers
               Our Democracy Series
                              Who Are the American Fascists?
               War on Terror Series
                              Operation Homecoming
               Witness: Human Rights Series
                              Bystanders to Genocide
               Voices on Green

Audio News Stories 

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio (ABC)
               Select listed news clips
BBC World Service
               Indian Sex Workers Get Political
Free Speech Radio News
               Homeless Female Vets (Specials podcast)
National Public Radio
               (Most shows also include interviews & commentary)             
               All Things Considered
                  High Corn Prices Cast Shadow Over Ethanol Plants     
                            Would You Like a Pay Cut or Layoff?   
               Morning Edition
                            How Merit Pay Played Out in a Colorado School District
               News and Notes 

                    How to Pay for College as Tuition Soars 
                Tell Me More
           Study Raises Questions about Segregation 
           Youth Radio  
                      There's No Place Safe in the Gaza Strip   
Onion Radio News
                  Area Man Bores Pants Off Date
Talk Radio News Service
             Ex-POW with McCain Shares the Inside Story 
United Nations Radio

              3 Million Face Malnutrition in Horn of Africa: UNICEF
World Politics Review              
                     China in Africa

 Audio Programs & Documentaries

American Public Media
               A Prairie Home Companion  
                              Show 4/25/09       
American RadioWorks 
                              Design of Desire  
               Future Tense 
                              Why Women Leave Jobs in Science 
                              How Credit Card Companies Track You 
               The Next American Dream (program cutting across several APM programs) 
                              College Has Lesser Degree of Certainty     
               Speaking of Faith  
                             Ethics of Eating  
               The Splendid Table
                              Download Episodes
               The Story  
                              Teamwork in the Trailerpark    
               APM Podcasts also available through LearnOutLoud     
                              America's Drug War
Archaeology Channel 
               Human Experience             
                              More Than One Husband
Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
               Book Show                                         
                              First Person: The Road Well Trodden by Dean Starnes
                              Linking Food, Diet, and Sustainability
               Government and Politics    
                              The Mother of Mohammed
               Law, Crime, and Justice     
                              No Meat Week
               Religion and News                   
                                What Made the Romans Laugh?       
BBC World Service 
               Black in the USA Series      
                              Black Republicans
               The Changing World                         
                              The Atrocity Archives
               The Interview                       
                              Richard Thaler (on irrational behavior in crisis)
                              West African Journeys – Pt 1 (Killing Spirit Children)                    
Chronicle of Higher Education  
               A Race to Rescue Native Tongues 
Discovery Channel Radio  
               Select podcast 
               The Meat We Eat
               The Wire (select podcast)
Human Rights Watch  
               Punished for Abortion in Mexico
IndieFeed: Big Shed Audio 
              In the Company of Men
Internet Archive: Audio Archive  
               Radio Programs    

Learn Out Loud  
               Great Speeches in History Podcast  
                              Motorboat Club
Mercury Theatre on the Air
               The War of the Worlds  
                              Conversation between H.G. Welles & Orson Welles re WTW
National Public Radio
              Brian Lehrer Show
                              The Border

               Day to Day                          

                              Sexual Harassment on Rise in Egypt 
               DNA Files                            

                              DNA and Behavior: Is Our Fate In Our Genes?    
               Engines of Our Ingenuity    

                              Development of Helicopter 
               Justice Talking     

                              College Admissions: A Game of Privilege?      
Latino USA                          

                              Hate Crimes         
               Living on Earth     

                              The Secret Life of Lead                     
               Planet Money                       

                              Why We Spend Coins Faster than Bills
               PRI's The World                 

                              How Wars End
               Radio Diaries                        

                              Prison Diaries
               Radio Expeditions               

                              On the Edge, Timbuktu   

               Sound and Spirit 

                              Spiritual Resistance
               Studio 360                           

                              High Finance and Old Japan
               Texas Public Radio

                              Focus on the Border Fence
               This American Life              

                              Switched at Birth  
               To the Best of Our Knowledge  

                              Facing Time
Old Time Radio Network    
               Cisco Kid             
Radio Lovers      
               Charlie Chan        
                              Telltale Hands
Sound Portraits
               Witness to an Execution     

A World of Possibilities 
               The Unseen World of Islam

Audio Interviews, Presentations, Lectures, Speeches, and Clips

Air America  
               Ron Kuby on Why Dick Cheney Needs 9/11
American Memory (Library of Congress)
               Voices from the Days of Slavery
               Voices from the Dustbowl
               Working in Paterson
American Rhetoric
               (Many also include video)
               Movie Speeches  
                              "Stella!"  - Street Car Named Desire

Online Speech Bank           
                              Barack Obama - Inaugural Address

           Top 100 Speeches              
                             Martin Luther King:  I Have A Dream

               Religion and Ethics  
                              Dorothy Rowe on What It Is To Be a Human Being

Boston University World of Ideas
               Auslander on Regeneration and Traumatic Memory in a Multiracial Lynching Reenactment
Free Audio Clips  
                              “…offer he can’t refuse”      
Freethought Multimedia  
               James Randi Multimedia  
                              John of God
Hardcore History - Dan Carlin 
               Addicted to Bondage
History Place  
               RFK on the Death of MLK   
Intercollegiate Studies Institute 
               Online Lecture Library   
                         America’s Englishness 
National Public Radio 
               Diane Rehm Show  

               Gays in the Military
Earth & Sky
               John Hawks on Human Evolution Speeding to Sprint

Fresh Air
               Daniel Sperling on a Billion Cars and Counting 
Infinite Mind

               Women and Mental Illness
National Press Club

               Newt Gingrich on Reforming Medicaid 
On the Media  

               Drake Bennett on Resisting Google 
Parents’ Journal 

               Carl Pickhardt on Children and Divorce           
The Takeaway

               Louis Uchitelle on Working Women Struggle in an Unfriendly Economy   
Talk of the Nation 

               Jaime Johnson on Death of WASP Culture 
Tavis Smiley  

               Memories of the Movement 
Texas Legacy Audio Project     

               Select From List of Interviewees       

Open Culture: Free Online Courses
               Marx's Capital with David Harvey     

Open Society Institute
            Evgeny Morozov on the Myths and Truths about Cyberwarfare                                           
Point of Inquiry  
               Dacher Keltner on Born to be Good
Population Reference Bureau
               Berhane Ras-Work on Female Genital Mutilation           

Pro Football Hall of Fame 

               Enshrinement Speeches
                              download from list of taped speeches
Radio News  
               Edward R. Murrow     
                              Army/McCarthy Hearings                                       
Story Corps
               Listen to Stories  
                              James Seawood: "As long as there was one black child left in town..."
Studs Terkel: Conversations with America       
               Recordings from Hard Times
               Peter Bergen and Steve Coll on the Osama Bin Laden I Know
US News and World Report
               Washington Whispers        
                              Miss California Gets a Shot at Stardom
Veritas Forum  
               Andrea Saccoccio on Fighting Modern Day Slavery
               LS 180 Social and Behavioral Sciences

Audio Books 

Learn Out Loud
           Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
               Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

Literal Systems 
               The Lagoon by Joseph Conrad     
               Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Manuscript received 28 Feb 2009; revision received 1 Jun 2009.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License


Copyright © 2005-2009  MERLOT. All Rights Reserved.
Portions Copyright by MERLOT Community Members. Used with Permission.
ISSN: 1558-9528
Questions? Email:
Last Modified : 2009/6/15