Mediathread is an innovative platform built at Columbia University by the CTL that supports close analysis of video, audio files, and images. Students gather these objects from a range of online sources or upload them from their own computer, examine them carefully, and make selections to incorporate into multimedia essays and discussions.

Visit the Mediathread site to learn about its unique features and see how Columbia instructors have used them in innovative assignments. 

For a quick taste of Mediathread in action,
watch this video!

Teaching with Mediathread

Mediathread is used in numerous courses across Columbia University, in a broad range of disciplines that includes Music, Social Work, Education, History, Film, Art History, English, Languages, Dance, and many more. Any assignment that depends on students looking carefully at media objects and building critical arguments around them is a good fit for Mediathread. Instructors set up and track multimedia assignments, suggest and share source materials, and decide whether students work individually or share their work across the class. The activities that student perform in Mediathread – such as organization, selection, annotation, sharing, and integration into written arguments – promote analytic approaches to multimedia objects collected from the web or generated by students. 

Items analyzed in a Mediathread course site can be drawn from collections on the open web (such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons) course-specific collections, and objects uploaded into the site by the instructor or students. Since it is built and maintained at Columbia, Mediathread functionality is steadily developed in response to suggestions and needs among Columbia instructors. Over the years, specific assignment types have been debuted and polished in Mediathread as a result of this interchange:  these include a Selection Assignment allowing students to collectively analyze one object; a Composition Assignment allowing students to integrate media selections into an argumentative essay; and a Sequence Assignment allowing students to juxtapose media objects together in dynamic ways. 

Latest Updates

Fall 2021 – In addition to videos and audio files, images can now be uploaded directly from a computer into Mediathread. Instructors can decide whether to turn this feature on for all students in a course.

Get Support

The CTL offers a range of in-person services and online resources for instructors learning to navigate Mediathread.

In-Person Support

Online Resources

The CTL researches and experiments.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of resources and tools for instructional activities.