• Academic Technology

5 Ways To Use Video For Staff Training And Staff Self-Reflection

Video is increasingly being used by the Panopto higher education community for staff training and staff self-reflection. In fact, in a recent customer survey of HE institutions, over 50 percent indicated they were using the video platform in this way. When we talk to institutions about how this plays out in practice, they have told us about a range of approaches that all serve different purposes. These include:

  • Training videos on key systems, policies or processes.
  • Self-review of recorded lectures or other recorded educational resources.
  • Mentor review, where a trusted advisor can access a lecture recording or similar to offer constructive feedback.
  • Peer review, where content is shared with a designated group within a department or faculty to share best practice.
  • ‘Flipped’ staff reflection, where student reactions to a class are filmed to capture engagement to learning content in the moment.

Why have so many institutions started using the system in this way? Well, whether it is being used for the delivery of training materials or for staff reflection, video offers considerable benefits, such as providing consistency of message, flexibility, and the ability to review the nuances of how something is being done in a classroom content – not just what is being done.

Using video to enhance staff training

From a training and development perspective, video offers the chance for institutions to provide consistent resources to staff, regardless of their department or even their campus location. At every higher education institution, as well as all the necessary faculty-based training, there are also overarching policies, processes, and systems that all staff need to know about and absorb. Video delivery provides an authoritative set of resources that staff can refer to both during their onboarding process and when they need to revisit core principles or procedures.

On-demand video also provides support for staff to get up to speed with certain systems at their own pace and at a time that fits with their teaching or research schedule. Just as on-demand lecture recordings offer students the chance to revisit learning resources at a time that is convenient for them, video for staff training offers university employees greater control over when they learn, allowing staff to absorb more of the content when they are focused and ready to apply new knowledge.

Using video for self-review and reflection

Many lecturers are watching recordings of their classes back to improve their delivery for future lectures – but this is not the only way Panopto can be used to reflect on teaching best practices. We are seeing increasing use of our analytics functionality by instructors who are keen to assess which of their sessions are most accessed by students and also at what points students start to disengage with the content. If, for instance, there is a specific moment in a lecture at which the majority of students switch off, this can indicate that a particular concept is too hard for most learners to absorb in the live session.

This type of insight has inspired members of our user community to rethink the way they deliver their material. For example, turning certain parts of a lecture into flipped content to allow students to review it at their own pace. This allows learners to come to the live session with a better grasp of certain ‘threshold concepts’.

Using video to review teaching materials with a mentor

Another way we’ve seen instructors use video to develop as teaching professionals is through a mentor review process. In this scenario, Panopto’s fine-grained sharing permissions, enable lecturers to share certain videos only with their designated mentor for comment. Having a second pair of eyes on a session can be invaluable to identify ways to improve and the viewpoint of a trusted coach or colleague can help enhance a lecturer’s teaching.

Constructive feedback from the coach or mentor can be delivered in a few different ways. Sometimes the mentor will review the recording and then deliver face-to-face feedback. In other institutions, notes will be made on the recording for virtual review.  And in some cases, the mentor will create a video of their own to offer insights on how to improve the session in terms of either content or delivery.

At institutions that have adopted this approach, a key element for success is to give the lecturer full say over which content they share for constructive feedback. This builds trust and ensures that staff still retain control over their content.

Using video amongst peers to share best practices

At some institutions, departments use video to share best practices amongst their teams. Examples of great lectures can be shared and discussed with other faculty members in a secure manner. Rather than a lecturer having to explain their approach or methodology to colleagues, those colleagues can see directly how a certain topic is taught.

Flipping staff self-reflection

While this is a more unusual approach, we have seen examples of ‘flipped’ self-reflection at some institutions. In this model, it is the student’s reactions during a class that are filmed, rather than the teacher’s. This means that the focus can be on whether students are engaged during the lesson or not. Filming the students alongside the filming of the teaching can highlight which parts of a class spark inspiration and, conversely, which parts cause disengagement, or worse, confusion.


With rising student expectations and an increased focus on measuring teaching standards through mechanisms like the Teaching Excellence Framework, the opportunities offered by video to help lecturers improve their own teaching practice are garnering more and more interest. For these reasons, supporting staff training and staff self-reflection with video is likely to become an increasingly popular way of using Panopto’s video platform.

Try Panopto For Yourself

There’s a reason 21 of the top 25 universities in the world use Panopto. Try our industry-leading video platform for education today to see how easy it is to start recording and sharing video in ways that can enhance professional development and improve the student experience. Contact our team to request a free trial today.