In 2011, a Chemistry professor asked Instructional Technology Services to help her find a solution to record lectures. She wanted students to be able to review lectures and slides after class, and wanted the recordings to be easy-to-find. Instructional Technology Services at Haverford reviewed several technology platforms to record and manage lecture capture recordings, and finally chose Panopto.
Prior to the pandemic, Haverford professors were primarily using Panopto for traditional automated lecture capture. Students would come to class, the professor would begin teaching, and Panopto would automatically record, share, and store the lecture. When classes moved online and students and professors were all in different locations, professors needed a new recording tool – one that could do synchronous video conferencing and record at the same time.
The selected video conferencing solution, however, had its limitations: the video editing capabilities and long-term video storage were minimal, and it wasn’t the best solution for sharing class videos. With this system, the recordings weren’t being saved in the correct folders in Moodle and it was difficult to find videos once they were recorded.
When it became clear to Instructional Technology Services that Haverford would be shifting to remote learning, they quickly turned their attention to training teachers and staff on how to use various technologies to keep the college running smoothly.
Through a combination of training courses and individualized help for professors, Haverford delineated best practices on how to use the video conferencing system and Panopto together for maximum effectiveness. The video conferencing system was to be used for capturing live sessions and Panopto was the software for creating and editing asynchronous video as well as storing and managing video recordings.
Much of the training for Panopto focused on how to create flipped content and how to rethink content delivered via video. Instructional Technology Specialists Sharon Strauss and Alexander Savoth encouraged professors to create short videos (10 minutes or less), rather than recording long lectures. They stressed the importance of using online teaching pedagogical best practices – breaking up 40-minute lectures into smaller, more digestible pieces for on-demand viewing.
Once live recordings were available in Panopto, professors could easily edit them, “You can do more editing in Panopto than you can with the video conferencing system,” says Strauss. “With the video conferencing system, you can only clip the ends. But with Panopto you can make cuts in the middle and that’s really helpful if people just want to share part of a meeting.”
“Today, we use Panopto a lot. In addition to lecture capture, we use it to store video conference recordings and other video content that people need to stream, especially videos that faculty create and need to share with their classes. These features have been especially useful during the pandemic.”Sharon Strauss, Instructional Technology Specialist – Haverford College
Prior to the pandemic, Haverford only had six classrooms configured to support video recording. When the college decided to use a hybrid model of teaching in the fall of 2020, it made 22 classrooms video conference and Panopto-ready, with high-quality cameras and microphone systems.
The combination of the shift to virtual and hybrid learning, combined with investments in training and technology, caused Panopto usage to increase substantially during the pandemic.
“Today, we use Panopto a lot,” Strauss says. “In addition to lecture capture, we use it to store video conference recordings and other video content that people need to stream, especially videos that faculty create and need to share with their classes. These features have been especially useful during the pandemic.”
The pandemic allowed professors to experience the benefits of video as a powerful learning tool. Students came to rely on the videos as rich study aids, and those with learning disabilities benefited even more from accessibility-friendly features.
At Haverford, the “new normal” is replete with opportunity as students and faculty increasingly turn to Panopto for ever-better learning experiences.