Tell us what you use Panopto for at your institution
We’ve been using Panopto at Bangor University for more than five years now. As our use of the system has developed, we’ve found ourselves recording more and more diverse types of content. Obviously we’re recording a lot of lecture material so that students can watch their lecture content on-demand, but we’re also creating a fair amount of flipped classroom content and, more recently, we’ve started filming debates so that lecturers can get students to watch the discussion back and reflect on their performance.
We’ve also begun to allow students to use Panopto to film their own assignments and submit to a tutor via Panopto’s ‘drop box’ style functionality. This is definitely an increasing use case for the video platform and lots of academics are now asking for their students to be able to create recordings for assessment.
What are the most valuable aspects of Panopto from your perspective?
One of the main benefits of Panopto that maybe isn’t always immediately obvious to both staff and students is access to ‘non-linear’ video which can be watched out of sequence if desired. This is true whatever type of content is being recorded, but is particularly useful for longer lecture recordings.
For instance, if we’ve captured a two hour lecture, with Panopto, the viewer won’t have to watch the whole thing back in its entirety to get to the bit they want to review. It’s easy for them to navigate to, or search for, the part they need to watch.
As we know a lot of students use the thumbnails from the PowerPoint decks to skip to specific sections of a recording, this has also encouraged our staff to improve the standard of their slides. So, when they know their slides are going to be used as a navigational aid in this way, they make an extra effort to signpost material clearly, which can actually have a positive knock-on impact in the live lecture.
How have your students reacted to the use of video?
Our students really like it and when we survey them, the findings suggest that students actively want to take modules that offer lecture recording. Student satisfaction overall is high at Bangor University, and there are indicators that our use of lecture capture has been a contributing factor to this satisfaction.
How have staff reacted to Panopto?
Luckily, Panopto is very easy to use, which has made it much easier to get academics on board with the roll-out of lecture capture and to encourage the other uses for video that I’ve described. At Bangor, we don’t use automated recording – instead our academics initiate and end the recording process for their lectures, so it was essential for us to find a tool that was both simple and effective. Academics have been quick to grasp how to use Panopto, and we haven’t had any problems with staff struggling to get things working.
How have you found working with the Panopto team?
Any time we’ve had any issue with the system, we’ve been able to contact Panopto’s technical support team and somebody has responded to us really quickly – usually people that we know and have worked with before. Issues are resolved swiftly and so we’ve been very happy with the working relationship we’ve established with the Panopto team.
What are you planning next with Panopto?
We’ve got several important things coming up with Panopto. For a start, we want to offer more support to students who are creating their own video assignments to make sure they can make the most of this functionality. We are also keen to make the recordings as accessible as possible, enhancing our learning materials for students with special educational needs or disabilities. Additionally, we’re exploring the idea of moving to a cloud hosted solution to help us scale up our video use more effectively. Finally, as we now have in-built cameras fitted in some of our lecture theatres, we want to start filming lecturers alongside capturing their slides and audio. Some research from other universities suggests that students feel more engaged when they can see their lecturer presenting the material, as well as hear them, so we’re keen to start trying this at Bangor to enhance student satisfaction even further!