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What Is Panopto?

Panopto is software that can be used to record content and presentations on your computer. It is also a video content management system. Video content management system is maybe best thought of as akin to YouTube. You can upload video to the system, which converts the video to streaming video. These videos can be linked to or embedded on webpages (such as D2L).

If On Camera

If filming yourself via a webcam, the camera should be at your eye-level.
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At home, endeavor to place a soft light behind the camera.
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A better version would be two-point lighting. To look good on camera you will want soft lighting in front of you. Professionals invest in desktop lighting to improve their presence on camera. If you want to go this route, there are options like:

Otherwise, see if there is a desk or reading lamp that you can easily repurpose.

However, there are two important things to note. Currently, Panopto does not have the ability to apply green screen effects - you cannot apply virtual backgrounds as you might in Zoom. Additionally, you will be on camera for the entire recording. You cannot fade yourself out and have your audience focus exclusively on your content. The workaround to this would be manually cover your webcam sensor after completing your speech to camera.

Utilizing Zoom

Some faculty prefer to record in Zoom. Zoom will automatically delete the recordings after 120 days. If you feel that you will need the recordings for a longer period of time, you will want to downloads the recordings and place in Panopto and D2L. You can download the recordings from the Zoom website. You then choose a page in D2L where you want the video to go. and upload to Panopto via the “Insert Stuff” button. You streamed video can be used in any D2L course, or embedded on a website.

Best Practices

There is a considerable body of research that covers in great detail how to best use video in educational resources. Rather that go down that rabbit hole, here are some quick takeaways.

Shorter videos are more likely to be watched by your students. If possible, chunk videos into shorter segments.

Avoid the temptation to number these chunks, as you may find it harder to reorganize content in the future. You can the easily add, remove, and move video segments in your courses.

Rather than simply recording narrated PowerPoints consider recording annotated material, where you write and draw on screen as you present. OpenBoard is an excellent tool to use here, or you can use the annotate features in PowerPoint.

Generally this requires a touchscreen laptop like the on a touchscreen laptop like the Windows Surface Pro. Other options include:

  • iPad: Sidecar on the macOS and the iPad is a great option if you own devices that support this functionality.
  • XP-Pen: At the more affordable end, the XP-Pen stylus operates as a virtual mouse.

Recording With Panopto

The Mac and Windows version of the Panopto recording software are fairly similar, but there are differences. If following Panopto documentation, please make sure you use the version that corresponds to your operating system.

When recording, you should be logged into D2L. The default Panopto folder that your recording will be saved in corresponds to your current D2L course. This can sometimes result in faculty forgetting exactly where their recordings are. Instead, you can change the folder to “My Folder,” which may be easier to find video recordings in. You can create subfolders for additional organization. The default setting is that students can’t download videos, but you can override this for individual videos oral the folder level.

You can also adjust the quality of your recording. The age and speed of your computer may dictate that you use a lower-quality setting.
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If you are intending to create a narrated PowerPoint, you will want to check the “Capture PowerPoint” option in the “Secondary Sources” section. Please note, that unless “Capture Main Screen” is checked, the recording will not contact any animation, annotation, embedded video, or mouse movement. If you need to capture animation, annotation, embedded video, or mouse movement in your PowerPoint video, you will want to check “Capture Main Screen” as well.

If your computer has multiple screens, you can record both of these screens simultaneously. This can be particularly helpful for students where you might be demonstrating a complex task with multiple software tools.

Classroom Use

Panopto is also available in all of DePaul’s classrooms. The same tool that you have used to record at home is on every classroom PC, but you will need to connect a USB webcam and microphone to be able to record. If you don’t have room on the desk, or want something closer to a traditional tripod allowing you to move the camera away from the desk, then a selfie stick might work for you (if it has a tripod stand, that creates stability). Each department has at least two camera kits that can be borrowed for classroom use.

  • Log into the classroom PC with your Campus Connect username and password.
  • Click on Windows icon.
  • Click on “Panopto.
  • Primary Source: Logitech HD Pro Webcam
  • Audio: Microphone (Logitech HD Pro Webcam)
  • Quality: Ultra
  • Capture: PowerPoint
  • Capture: Main Screen

At the end the class, you stop the recording and then upload to D2L. After successfully uploading your recording, you will want to delete the local recording from the PC. Once uploaded, the Panopto video editor allows you to truncate your recording.

Additional Resources

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