Watching a lecture on a tablet

The Challenge

A biochemistry major at the University of Washington in Seattle, Katelyn Fischer took a demanding course load with a heavy focus on the sciences. Her class attendance was extremely important, but with commuting to campus and working in retail 20 hours a week in order to establish in-state residency and pay for living expenses, it wasn’t always feasible for her to make it to class.

As she entered the winter of freshman year, Katelyn continued to juggle work, school, and life. In an unfortunate turn of events, Katelyn broke her leg and had to take the rest of the quarter off to heal. By the summer, she was faced with making up the classes she’d had to drop in order to graduate on time and maintain her class cycle.  

Adding insult to injury, in her sophomore year, Katelyn’s backpack was stolen during finals week, with all her class notes inside.

Studying at home

The Solution

The University of Washington has been using Panopto’s video platform for many years as an essential part of its technology stack for remote learning, as well as for increasing student engagement, equity, and accessibility. The university’s use of Panopto is what made college possible for Katelyn. 

Through Panopto’s integration with Canvas, her school’s learning management system (LMS), Katelyn could easily access recorded lectures that she couldn’t attend because of her work schedule, allowing her to stay updated on course content and keep pace with her classmates throughout all four years of college. 

Katelyn also relied on Panopto as a tool for reviewing material and studying for exams. “All of my classes were like drinking from a fire hydrant,” she says. “Being able to go back and rewatch lectures at variable playback speeds, either slower or quicker depending on the content, was huge because I was able to find or hear things I may have missed while taking notes in class.” 

When an unforeseen event disrupted Katelyn’s routine as a student, Panopto was there to support her. With her injured leg making it difficult to get to class, being able to access videos kept her afloat. “Here I was with a freshly healed leg, an extremely heavy course load with a test every week of the quarter, commuting between campus and a job that I had to have,” she says. “Panopto was my lifeblood for keeping up with my classes.” 

When her backpack was taken, Katelyn was able to view hours upon hours of lecture material to make up for the stolen notes. The platform’s high-quality transcription and video search capabilities also made it easy to find, review and understand key points before exams.

Panopto is known to many as a distance learning platform or a centralized hub for a university’s video content. For students like Katelyn, it’s more than that. Panopto makes education equitable when students aren’t able to live on campus or when they must balance school with work or family responsibilities.

“In today’s world, the modern student is often juggling several things while trying to earn a degree,” Katelyn says. “Video allows that to happen.”

“All of my classes were like drinking from a fire hydrant. Being able to go back and rewatch lectures at variable playback speeds, either slower or quicker depending on the content, was huge because I was able to find or hear things I may have missed while taking notes in class.”

Katelyn Fischer, Student – Universty of Washington
A graduate walks towards the sunset

The Impact

Because she had Panopto to keep up with her coursework, Katelyn was ultimately able to graduate on time. She also saved tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees because she didn’t have to extend her time at the university. “If I didn’t have Panopto, I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with my peers and have the same college experience,” she says. 

Not long after graduation, Katelyn learned of a job opening on Panopto’s sales development team. As Panopto is headquartered in Seattle, near the University of Washington, it felt meant to be. Katelyn already knew the technology and how important it was to her education. Working at Panopto would allow her to make a difference for other students like her.  

After successfully interviewing and joining as a Sales Development Representative in 2018, Katelyn has moved up the ranks to her current role as Team Lead. “It provides a different level of value when speaking to customers because I understand how critical it is to have the right tools as a student,” she says. Katelyn’s first-hand knowledge of Panopto allows her to more fully communicate the importance and value of the video platform.

Katelyn is passionate about helping schools make learning more engaging and equitable, and she’s found a perfect fit in her role at Panopto. “It’s a great place to work. It feels like a family, along with helping educators find tools that I know their students need,” she says. “It’s been nice to come full circle working as an employee here.”

Download the PDF case study