How can I use full-length films (or clips) in my classes?

There are dozens of ways that you and your students can access course-related films or clips for in-class, out-of-class, or online viewing. 

Here are some guidelines and recommendations about how to request films for your courses.

In-Class Viewing:

If you want to check out a DVD from one of Columbia's libraries, start on CUL's Using Films in Your Classes page.  Here you can reserve or request a DVD, get information about having film clips made, and find information about Copyright concerns around video.

Out-of-class/Streaming Viewing:

Columbia Libraries subscribe to a video streaming service called Digital Campus, which provides on-demand full-length streaming films for classroom use.  There are guidelines on the library's "Films" page.  Keep in mind that many films will not be in the Digital Campus catalog and that film-preparation can take some time (order early).

Panopto (beta) is a hosted video streaming and management service being rolled out in 2018. The Panopto service is available at: To access with your UNI, select "Shibboleth" using the pulldown menu. Access/permissions are granted manually or (soon) through Canvas sign-in. For more information on Panopto contact Douglas Ward ( at CUIT.

Other Streaming Options:

There are free services such as Alexander Street Press or fee services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video offer a huge variety of online video. They also offer DVD rental or sales services.  These and other options carry fees, but when compared to the prices of some of today's textbooks those fees can often be quite reasonable, especially if several course-related required films are in their catalogs.  Free services like YouTube often have hard-to-find videos freely available on the open web.

Using Tools Like Mediathread With Streaming Media:

Other than YouTube, the services mentioned above are incompatible with course-related annotation and essay-writing systems like CTL's Mediathread or CourseWorks' discussion board.  If you would like to use clips from feature films or documentaries, CTL can help faculty digitize short portions from a variety of media sources for use in online analysis tools.  To get started, please reach out to a CTL educational technologist at  

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