TAFE Queensland is one of the largest vocational education and training (VET) providers in Australia, with a history going back over 140 years. The college delivers practical, industry-relevant training across a range of industries from entry-level certificates to bachelor degrees at more than 60 locations in Queensland.
For over 10 years, TAFE Queensland had used a single video hosting platform to accommodate their video needs, which was mostly used for the capture of video recordings. But as time has gone on and technology has progressed, video has become an increasingly essential component of teaching and learning especially in online delivery. Independently from this, one college department introduced another platform for a specific area of delivery that they felt was not covered in the current video hosting platform. This increased need for video and now the addition of new video platforms to solve edge cases wasn’t sustainable and it was time to look deeper into what was available.
The team researched their business requirements and went to market to see what else was available. It made sense to consolidate the two systems into a single platform and see what integration capabilities were available with the Learning Management System, “One that could be used across the organization that was also interoperable with our LMS Brightspace and, importantly, one that was intuitive for our teachers to use,” says Simon Lewington, Manager of Educational Technologies, TAFE Queensland.
The challenge? To not go with the status quo and introduce real change. TAFE Queensland employs over 5,000 staff in 60 different locations, so it was vital to demonstrate the benefits of implementing a state-wide video solution. “We showed how it would help streamline the recording and sharing of lectures and practical demonstrations, save time for teachers, and provide students with a better learning experience,” says Lewington.
The executive team set specific criteria, including cost-effectiveness, value for money, ease of use, scalability, and security. They then conducted external research to better understand the use of video in education, which included directly surveying teachers, administrators, and students. “Through our research and in talking to teachers, it was clear that the use of video was not only growing, but also that students expected that option,” says Lewington.
After considering a number of top tier potential platforms globally, in 2022 TAFE Queensland decided to make the switch to Panopto.
“The LMS integration is the part that can really impact user experience and their adoption, either negatively or positively,” says Steve Ambrose, Edtech Experience Team Lead, TAFE Queensland. “Often you might only get one chance to win the users over.”
The next step: preparing users for the upcoming change. TAFE Queensland had only a very small window during the semester break – two weeks to be exact – from the changeover from its current platforms to Panopto, and it was critical that the college’s locations had uninterrupted lecture capture.
To ensure a smooth transition in such a short timeframe, the college prepared faculty by providing training and resources before the implementation. When it came to training the teachers who previously used the older platform, TAFE Queensland implemented workshops and monthly 30-minute lunchbox training sessions, each highlighting a different aspect of Panopto.
“We held workshops and provided online tutorials to ensure that everyone understood how to use the new platform,” says Ambrose. “We also communicated the benefits of Panopto to the teachers and the ones that would be training them and provided a way to answer any questions they had.”
The benefits shared included how Panopto would save teachers time, provide students with a better learning experience, and make it easier to share videos. “We also pointed out specific features that would make their everyday work lives easier, such as the ability to search for specific moments in a video and the ease of sharing videos with other teachers,” says Ambrose.
It was also important to ease any concerns that the teachers might have about switching from a different platform. “We wanted to reassure them that they wouldn’t lose any of the functionality they had come to rely on, and that we were going to make the transition as easy as possible for them,” says Daniel Hausin, Project Manager in AV Media and Systems, TAFE Queensland.
The college already had quite a lot of video in use in the learning content, so it needed to figure out how to change all of the hyperlinks to point to a different system. In the end, all the existing links were kept, and a redirect server was set up to point back to the migrated content in Panopto. “This meant that we could tell users who may have been apprehensive about the change that they didn’t need to do anything and their videos would keep working,” says Ambrose.
““Since implementing Panopto, we've seen a significant increase in the use of video by teachers. We’ve made it easier for teachers to create and share the video out, and the students are benefiting from that.””Simon Lewington, Manager of Educational Technologies, TAFE Queensland
With the help of Panopto, TAFE Queensland was able to migrate all its video content to one platform to provide a better learning experience for both teachers and students.
“Since implementing Panopto, we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of video by teachers,” says Lewington. “Teachers who weren’t using video before – they may have had video embedded into their content, but they’re creating video now. We’ve made it easier for teachers to create and share the video out, and the students are benefiting from that.”
Analytics have been a game changer for the college, as it’s now possible to monitor student engagement when viewing videos. “Whether students are not watching a video or they’re dropping off because they’re not actually paying attention to these videos,” says Ambrose, “being able to have the analytics and statistics within the Panopto system has been fantastic.”
These insights have been helpful with informing the college what specific content is working and what’s not. “One of the key [analytics criteria] is completing a video and seeing where there might be a need for change in the content, so we can continue to make improvements to the content to better the participation from our students,” says Ambrose.
Panopto’s interactive features have also enabled the school to explore video beyond just uploading a static lecture. From quizzes to video commenting, learning is much more engaging, promoting active student participation and collaboration. “We have a range of trainers across the organization who have been helping teachers explore new ways to use video in the classroom and online, such as interactive video quizzes and flipped classroom models,” says Ambrose.
The most surprising outcome since implementation? “One thing that was slightly unexpected with this implementation is the rate of user adoption and almost universal acceptance of the change. It’s been extraordinary,” says Lewington. “That’s partly due to the management of the change and partly due to one of the criteria that we went to market with. A product that is easy and intuitive to use.”
Looking to the future, TAFE Queensland has developed a statewide video collaboration working group that meets monthly to discuss various video technologies, with a focus on Panopto features. “We use this forum to improve and tweak Panopto, as well as provide valuable learnings to share,” says Hausin.
Currently in the testing phase, the college is working on enabling students to use Panopto to submit video assessments, with the support of the D2L Brightspace integration. “The results have been really positive as this integration has removed a range of barriers that prevented students from being able to upload, specifically with larger file sizes and longer videos,” says Ambrose.
Panopto’s folder structure will also be a key part of future assessments, as it provides an instructor with one location for student submissions. “It provides us with a single location for all video assessment evidence,” says Ambrose.
At the core of technology growth at TAFE Queensland is continuing to understand the needs of faculty and students. “We’re also interested in connecting with other Panopto customers as the user base grows in Australia,” says Lewington.
With a strong commitment to the Oceania region, Panopto proudly serves a growing number of esteemed customers across Australia and New Zealand, supporting their video learning needs and fostering a vibrant community of learning innovation.