[University home]

Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Using Multimedia Resources in Your Teaching

"We asked teachers what they needed in the digital age ... they want easily accessible, high-quality audio-visual material, from a range of sources, that they can use with legal certainty in the classroom and in their virtual learning environments."

Helen Nicholson, Chief Executive of ERA

In this digital age, teaching need not be confined to the classroom and learning is moving increasingly into the virtual environment. But finding what you need can be difficult. In an age of digital abundance, choosing and selecting the right material takes time, and not all teachers know what material is available, where they can access what they need easily, and how they can use these resources in their teaching.

Using materials from television and radio programmes in your teaching can act as a stimulus to engage and motivate students. Whether you show them a clip during a lecture to illustrate a point, ask them to watch a full programme before a seminar and come prepared to discuss it, or set them a translation exercise, using audio-visual materials can keep your students interested.

Copyright: What Multimedia Can I Use?

Copyright FAQs

Q: May I show clips from on demand services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD in lectures and seminars?

A; Yes, provided the clips are for educational purposes.

Q: May I show films and television programmes in lectures and seminars?

A; Yes, as long as they are being shown for educational purposes only to an audience of teaching staff and/or students.

The Educational Recording Agency (ERA) is responsible for licensing the use of broadcast material for educational purposes The University holds an ERA licence which allows you to record scheduled free-to-air broadcasts on BBC television and radio, ITV network services (including ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4), Channel 4, E4, S4C, and Five Television.

As we also have an ERA Plus licence, these recordings can then be delivered online, and accessed by authenticated staff and students - both on- and off-campus - within the UK in a non-public web page. This licence now includes the online delivery of Open University broadcasts and the use of some on-demand catch-up services in the classroom. See "Can I record on-demand services?" in the ERA Licence FAQs.

If you are publishing under ERA Plus, you need to make sure the following details are clearly visible/audible in the description of the video/audio, or a page preceding viewing (if you embed it elsewhere):

  1. Date (when the recording was made)
  2. Name of the broadcaster, e.g. BBC3
  3. Programme title
  4. The wording "This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence."

You can find more copyright guidance at the University Library website.

The ERA licence does not allow you to:

  • Record non-broadcast, non-scheduled programmes
  • Show any recordings to an audience who has paid for admission
  • Make recordings available to the public
  • Sell or hire out recordings
  • Copy commercial tapes, videos, or DVDs
  • Incorporate any recorded material into your own audio-visual or electronic productions
  • View material recorded under the licence from locations outside the UK.

Where Can I Find This Multimedia?

BoB: Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts logo

The Box of Broadcasts (BoB) service is the easiest and most comprehensive method of finding suitable TV and radio broadcasts.

Many of you are already aware of the value of using BoB in your courses. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the service, BoB is a shared online off-air TV and radio recording service for education.

BoB Screencasts

Getting Started with Box of Broadcasts


BoB enables all staff and students at the University to view and record programmes, create clips and playlists, search transcripts, and share any broadcast programmes from over 60 TV and radio channels. The recorded programmes are then kept indefinitely and can be searched and shared by all users.


We have also created a series of walk-through, step-by-step screencasts showing you how to use BoB.

BoB also has a number of its own video tutorials available online.

Missed a recording? Off-Air Back-Up Request Service

If the programme you want to use in your teaching can not be found on BoB, you may be able to request an off-air back-up copy of it via the TRILT database.

Full details of this service can be found on the Off-Air Back-Up Recording page.

Multimedia Collections Online

Full access to some of these collections is available only if you Sign In.

There are different methods of logging in:

  • * For collections marked with an asterisk * select the Sign In button in the top right corner of the page Sign In then type/select "University of Manchester" from the list and/or type your username and password when requested.

Video and Audio

  • * Moving Image Gateway - over 1,500 websites relating to moving image and sound materials, subdivided into over 40 subject areas.
  • * Shakespeare Online - international database of Shakespeare on film, television and radio
  • BFI Screenonline - online British film and television featuring hundreds of hours of film and television clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive, and several hours of recorded interviews with film and TV personalities.
  • BFI National Archive - British film and television collections
  • Moving History - moving images illustrating what life was likefor ordinary people in Britain during the Second World War
  • National Archives: Public Information Films - complete public information films from 1945 -2006
  • YouTube

Audio Only


Can I Create My Own Audio and Video?

Perhaps you've been thinking about creating some audio-visual revision materials, or a series of audio files, and don't know how to go about it. Or you've created your own audio or video materials but aren't sure where to put them so that your students can access them.

Get in touch! We can lend you equipment, provide advice, guide you through uploading your content, and help you link to it in Blackboard or your University personal web page.

Where Should I Upload My Content?

That depends what you want to do with it.

If you simply want your students to be able to view or listen to your content, the most straightforward method is to upload your video to the University's Video Portal which will stream your content. This service is easy to use, quick, and your students don't have to download anything. It is available only to registered staff and students, making it very secure. By copying some text from the Video Portal, you can embed your content into a website or into Blackboard.

You can, if you prefer, upload to YouTube which will also stream your content, and provides 'Share' and 'Embed' buttons making it easy to use your content elsewhere. You can adjust the privacy settings so that your content is private and can only be accessed by those to whom you have given the link. N.B. The default setting is Public.

I've Got Some Old VHS Tapes and DVDs ...

It's not too late! If your old VHS tapes and DVDs contain recordings of UK TV or radio broadcasts, the Humanities eLearning team can digitise them for you and transfer them to the Video Portal. Then you can embed the recordings in your Blackboard course and/or show them in your lectures.

We can even digitise 8mm tapes! Just send an email to elearning@manchester.ac.uk