“Moodle is an excellent Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) system, and one that we’ve been very happy with. However, it was never designed for managing videos.”
Seeking to enrich the learning experience for students, the Centre for Instructional Technology and Curriculum Development (CITC) at Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) has created an initiative to encourage the use of videos for teaching and learning.
In line with the university’s aspiration to implement innovative teaching and learning, UniKL sought to improve student learning by giving lecturers the tools to create more eLearning content through blended learning, flipped classroom and massive open online courses (MOOCs). These initiatives strategically support Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025’s Globalised Online Learning (Shift 9).
During the early stages of eLearning implementation in UniKL, lecturers prepared video-based lectures, tutorials, and other supporting materials. However, UniKL soon discovered that in order to effectively make use of the new course content, the institution would need a better system for managing videos.
The Challenge: Inadequate Support for Video in the VLE
CITC is responsible for promoting the use of VLE and Panopto in UniKL. The leader in CITC’s Instructional Technology Unit, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamaruzzaman Ismail, together with eLearning coordinators from 12 UniKL institutes, continuously evaluate the usage and effectiveness of embedding current instructional technology in teaching and learning, especially with the use of videos in eLearning.
Adrian Hisham Mohd Don, Senior IT Executive at the UniKL Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD), helped to provide the technical support in the implementation of integrating Panopto into VLE.
While evaluating UniKL’s video eLearning initiative shortly after its introduction, Mr. Adrian was surprised to discover that ensuring students’ access to new video learning materials was proving more challenging than anticipated. In the initial stages, with no standard system for video storage and sharing, UniKL institutes used their own ways to store and share their videos. As a result, students’ access to recordings varied from class to class. In some cases, some videos are even left unpublished or unwatched.
To create a more consistent experience, CITC began using Moodle, UniKL’s VLE, as a central library for storing video content and making it accessible to students. In fact, lecturers uploaded so much video content into VLE that UniKL had to increase its server capacity in order to accommodate the quantity of video files being shared.
The challenge of storing videos on the VLE, however, was that UniKL found it exceeded bandwidth limitations. The Moodle VLE also fell short in other ways when it came to video management. For students reviewing class material, searching for specific video content was difficult. Likewise, replaying video content from the VLE was inconsistent across most electronic devices.
It quickly became clear that on its own, UniKL Moodle VLE platform would not be a sustainable long-term solution for managing videos. As lecturers continued producing more video content, the limitations of the VLE would eventually hinder the university’s ability to meet its eLearning goals.
UniKL needed a solution built specifically for the purpose of managing videos that would make storing, sharing, and searching video content easy as more video content was created.
The Solution: Video Platform With Seamless VLE Integration
“We were looking for end-to-end video content management that would support recording, editing, and publishing,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamaruzzaman Ismail. “It needed to be easy to use that lecturers could use it with minimal technical support. And users needed to feel like it was truly part of Moodle, not another disconnected system. That’s what we found in Panopto.”
After researching the market, UniKL narrowed its search to Panopto and Kaltura. In the end, UniKL chose Panopto for its user-friendly interface, seamless Moodle integration, and scalable licensing model.
The Results: More Lectures Being Recorded and Better Access for Students
Following a straightforward implementation, including integration with Moodle, user provisioning, and internal training, UniKL has seen a healthy adoption of Panopto. Following the introduction of Panopto, the number of UniKL lecturers using videos in their teaching and learning activities doubled. Lecturers continue to produce a large number of eLearning videos, and feedback has been positive.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamaruzzaman explained why he believed the adoption of Panopto in UniKL VLE was so successful. “The top management of UniKL were strongly committed in ensuring the implementation of the right technology systems that were critical to supporting our eLearning initiatives,” he said. “With leadership driving the changes, we were able to utilise a video content management system that would ultimately reduce costs, improve student learning, and capture invaluable knowledge from lecturers.”
Added Prof. Dato’ Hj. Ahmad Zahir Mokhtar, Deputy President, International, Industrial & Institutional Partnership (IIP) at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, “With my tight schedule, the Panopto video system certainly helps me a lot in my teaching. I am able to prepare my lessons as video recordings and have them uploaded into our VLE, which enables my students to learn both prior to my lecture as well as after class time is over. I have incorporated videos into my flipped classroom and problem based learning (PBL) activities as well, which seems to inspire my students and get them more engaged in their learning.”
Today, every lecturer at UniKL is expected to produce at least one hour of video content per year, and many now rely on Panopto’s recording and editing tools to improve the quality of their instructional content. With Panopto, UniKL students are also able to access, search, and play video content directly within the Moodle VLE.
Looking to the future, UniKL is excited to use Panopto to livestream video for campus events and communications. The university also plans to use Panopto internally to support faculty training and staff onboarding.