UK HE Panopto user group – Birmingham

Earlier today (23rd August 2018) I attended the first UK HE Panopto user group held at the University of Birmingham. The session was recorded and live streamed for those for those who couldn’t make it.

It was great to spend time with people from other institutions, many of whom have been using Panopto for much longer than we have and are also using it in very different ways. It seems like there are two main camps:

  • Institutions that have remote recording – Panopto is set up in lecture rooms with dedicated cameras and captures all lectures, policies varied from opt-out to opt-in
  • Institutions that use manual recording led by the academics – Panopto is used in an adhoc way, possibly for lectures, but also in other ways (for screen casting, how to guides etc. – though this also happens in the remote recording institutions)

Currently RAU reside in camp two, but this could change in the future.

Panel session on policies with Mike Ewen (Hull), Andy Birch (UWE) and Karl Luke (Cardiff)

Panel session on policies with Mike Ewen (Hull), Andy Birch (UWE) and Karl Luke (Cardiff)

It was a fairly informal day led by Matt Turner (TEL Partnership and Development Manager) from the University of Birmingham. Birmingham have been using Panopto since 2013 and are now at the point where they have a well-established code of practice and a timetable integrated quick-start system. As Matt put it:”viewings are finally outstripping recordings” and ” we have almost become a victim of our own success” – earlier this year Birmingham ran out of Panopto credit (due to increased use) and had to buy more. You can take a look at their Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi) Gateway training on Panopto for inspiration.

Programme for the day

Programme for the day

Discussion sessions during the day covered areas including:

  • General challenges – Does lecture capture affect attendance? How do you get academics on board? What about change management? Some of the main advice here was to share case studies from people who use it, spread positive message, try and myth bust, don’t spend too much time on editing – students are tolerant of rough starts and ends.
  • Technical set up – How do you carry out integration with timetabling? What about switches, folder structure, use of Linux? How do you get the Panopto ‘on air’ light working?!
  • Policies and code of practice – What is the process in writing a policy? What should one cover? A far from comprehensive list includes: IP, retention (of videos, data and student assignments), archiving (after programme duration plus one year?) process for recording (including clear indication that you are being recorded), copyright, data use – talk about process and service rather than a brand. Who should be consulted (SU, students, academics, registry?) How do you get a policy through sign-off and on to publication? Have you make sure your technical infrastructure can support the demands of your policy? (e.g can you be certain of the age of content or departmental responsibility for it and delete accordingly?)
  • User experience – Involving students in discussions, getting students to make better use of recorded material. Do they actually want every lecturer recorded? Apparently most only watch around 15 minutes of each 60 minute lecture.
  • Consent – What is the process of collection of consent from students? Some institutions have been using approaches that ensure students and staff are forced to re-accept when accessing the site. How does GDPR fit in?
  • Language – there is general dislike of the term ‘lecture capture’ among academics. For a policy perhaps go with ‘policy for recording educational activities’ or ‘captured content policy’.
We were treated to a demo of Birmingham's new Whiteboard capture pilot by Rob Jones.

We were treated to a demo of Birmingham’s new whiteboard capture pilot from Rob Jones.

In the afternoon Panopto’s Debra Garretson gave an overview of the Panopto survey results and encouraged those institutions that have yet to fill it in to get on it with it! The group then discussed suggestions for future features: separating the video and audio stream to allow editing of audio, improvements to the folder structure, better integration with Canvas…etc.

Debra Garretson sharing use cases

Debra Garretson sharing use cases

At the end of the day Andy Birch (UWE) agreed to set up a Slack site for the group to  compliment the existing Jiscmail list. The next meeting will be in February (date tbc) with an group meet-up planned for the one-day Panopto conference in November.


1 thought on “UK HE Panopto user group – Birmingham

  1. Hi
    Sounds like a really useful event, sorry we missed it. We are in ‘camp 2’ as well.
    Was there much discussion about research in this area, as a cross-institutional research project could be really useful for understanding the benefits of this for student engagement and learning.
    Hope to see you at the next event


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