YouTube embedded videos (and other embedded content) not appearing

Problem: Embedded YouTube videos and similar content are not displaying in some browsers.  This is due to a change in how browsers display non-encrypted content (http) inside of an encrypted environment (https).

Solution: Here is a description for students (and instructors) for how to temporarily view embedded files that appear blank in Firefox:

  1. If upon entering a course or content area that appears to have a blank video, look in the browser’s address bar for a grey “shield” icon.
  2. Click that icon, bringing up a dialog box.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the “Keep Blocking” button, and select “Disable Protection on This Page”.

This is a short term solution.  Here are some steps on how to make sure that students have access to the videos, both in the short term and the long term.

  1. Edit the embed code so that all links in the code start with “https://”, and not “http://”.
  2. Post the URL as a link to the video’s YouTube page in addition to the embedded video.  By always providing a link to the original video in addition to embedding it, there’s a better chance that any students having connection or browser issues (i.e. attempting to load the videos in various unsupported mobile browsers) will be able to access the video directly. This also provides some context, so instead of just seeing the blank area where the video will be, the students will see that a) it’s a video link, and b) where to go to try to launch it in a different environment.
  3. If the videos are owned by you (i.e. the instructor) or UVM, consider using the UVM supported Streaming Media tool. This will make things a bit easier to support, and will be more likely to retain some stability and support over time.
  4. Newer browsers may not support older embed code. Try re-embedding the video by going to the YouTube page for the video and copying the code under the embed option, then pasting it back into your course item.