Best Practice

Panopto: More than lecture capture!

As you move into the summer and the mountain of grading is completed, perhaps you will take the time to consider some new online material for students and the pedagogical purpose it serves.  

You might want to refresh some of your content and experiment with some new options for formative and summative assessment.

It is well worth giving Panopto another look if you are interested in engaging further with video and embedding assessment within video. In the past year, Panopto has rolled out some interesting new features enabling 360 degree photos and video upload, integrated further with Blackboard for assignments and grading and improved accessibility for captions and player function. Additional functionality which will help make editing and crafting educational experiences with Panopto more intuitive while making assessment and analytics more manageable is coming this June. The list of June updates can be found here.

A 2013 EdX study by Philip Guo of the University of Rochester concluded that ‘optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter’. In Instructional Design we encourage academics to ‘chunk’ lectures or longer videos into short videos dealing with discrete topics. Panopto now facilities this more than ever with the swathe of updates they have made to the editor. You can now splice separate videos together and upload new videos more easily.

Panopto has facilitated the inclusion of multiple choice and True/False questions for formative assessment for some time. This year, quiz reporting to Blackboard’s Grade Centre has been added. This opens up the option to embed both ungraded formative questions and graded quizzes which do contribute to student grades and report to Grade Centre. This may help in using video for assessment. It can also be a way of measuring student understanding. It could also be used to gate student progression to the next part of the video. By including these questions, you can ensure that students have engaged with the content rather than just letting the video play through while doing something else! To further enhance student engagement the user interface for comments on Panopto videos will be revamped to allow for conversations to be organised and viewed by thread.

Lastly, you can more easily review user statistics for video views from Panopto from June.  Bearing in mind GDPR, you can schedule reports and download CSV files for offline analysis. You can get data on the video views within a folder, the total session views per user.  The detailed session view per user may be especially useful as it shows minutes viewed and percentage delivered which could provide insights on learner behaviour that could inform your future development of learning resources.

There is certainly a lot more now to Panopto than standard lecture capture. Be sure to check out the new features ahead of the 2018-19 Academic Year.