Access Digital and Distributed Learning

Panopto - Ulster’s new educational video platform

Posted on: 16 Jan 2019 | Views: 2542

Panopto Logo

What is Panopto?

Panopto is an integrated video solution that supports video management, recording, live streaming, in-video searching, automated transcription, quizzing, analytics and mobile responsive video delivery.


In Summer 2018, Information Services Directorate (ISD) introduced Panopto, a video platform designed specifically for Education. The solution was procured to replace Ulster’s existing lecture capture and delivery hybrid solution - TechSmith Relay and Sharestream. A key requirement of the new system was to support video workflows in both physical spaces (teaching spaces) and virtual spaces (Blackboard).

Panopto provides an integrated video capture, editing and streaming workflow which reduces much of the complexities of more feature rich video software. Panopto will also accept video exported from any industry standard software.

In September 2018, Panopto was integrated with Blackboard Learn, allowing videos to be recorded, uploaded and streamed from within a Blackboard teaching space and inherited sharing permissions from Blackboard module areas. Panopto is licenced for all staff and students and during the pilot phase, students have been creating video content and submitting video assessments through the Panopto Blackboard assignment integration.

All teaching rooms at Ulster currently have a video capture solution, TechSmith Relay, installed on the PC. Techsmith Relay will be replaced prior to Semester Two with Panopto, with the new Panopto application becoming the default capture solution in physical spaces.

Emerging practice

Many academic staff have been using Panopto to enhance their Blackboard content with small chunks of video content. This aligns with student expectations as outlined in Ulster’s Digital Student Experience Survey.

These video enhancements supplement existing curriculum content and in some cases support shifts in delivery through flipped learning methodologies.

Shane Wilson, a Lecturer in the School of Computing, Engineering & Intelligent Systems, has provided video tutorial and lecture material in advance of in classroom active learning sessions. Shane’s module COM326 contains almost 17 hours of content (121 videos). Approximately 15 hours of which has been recorded and published this seemster via Panopto. Shane is also using analytics in Panopto to review how the videos are being used and to target interventions with students based on usage data.
Shane comments

Panopto is a fantastic platform. It enables me to quickly organise and publish my video content so that students can access it when they need it most, regardless of the device they are using. Furthermore, the analytics data provided by Panopto helps me identify concepts students are struggling with so that I can pivot my teaching to address their needs.

Chris McGonigle, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences is responsible for co-ordinating a placement module. Aware of the transferrable learning from the peer group involved in varied work experiences, Chris conceived the idea of students undertaking a video-based assessment consisting of a Video log of their work experience.

Previously, pilot work had used Vimeo, but emerging GDPR concerns resulted in a review of this choice and a project plan using Panopto which could provide permissions-based control to trusted users.

The student generated content has been of a particularly high quality with this cohort and Chris is obtaining approval from students and employers to share the content for peer learning and marketing. To support this, videos are being collated in to Panopto playlists which provide structured presentation of the content for both marking and display.

The work has resulted in students developing transferrable digital skills which are being applied within their placement work places with one student winning a regional competition with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for the best overall video.

Panopto Home Page

A number of modules are using video for assessment both as the preferred method and to offer choice to students. Assessment processes which historically required submission of physical artefacts such as programming source code, or spreadsheets are being replaced by videos where the student demonstrates their knowledge and understanding by narrating a screencast of their work. Not only is this a more credible assessment design but it also provides academic staff with improved grading workflows.

Panopto is also being used by professional services departments to produce screencasts and tutorial videos which are then embedded in support materials or shared with specific groups of users. Panopto analytics also provides a method of measuring engagement with the material. Of particularly note in this work is the use of quizzes within the video which has resulted in the development of video content that is no longer passive.


Information about using Panopto with Blackboard is available at and further support is available through the Office for Digital Learning (ODL) via

ODL can provide advice, guidance and technical support about integrating video in to your curriculum. The ISD Helpdesk can provide support with using Panopto in ISD maintained teaching spaces. ODL and ISD work closely with each other so we can direct you to the right person to help you.


What happens to Sharestream videos currently embedded within Blackboard?

Videos, embedded within Sharestream, in Blackboard, will continue to function until further notice. During Semester Two, the videos will be migrated to Panopto and you do not need to do anything to prepare for this to happen.
Depending on the migration process it may be necessary to do some manual work to re-embed some of the videos in to content folders, but this has yet to be confirmed and will be communicated at a later date. Some academic colleagues have decided to download their Sharestream videos and uploaded them directly to Panopto to mitigate any risks. Whilst not essential, this is a good idea and a support page will be launched shortly demonstrating how to do this at

I am currently using Sharestream for video assignment submissions will that still work in Semester Two?

All video assignment drop boxes, from January 2019, should now be replaced with Panopto drop boxes and this support article outlines how to set this up

The student video submission process is arguably not as intuitive as before and we have produced a detailed support document at

I currently use TechSmith Relay to record video in teaching spaces, what will I use during Semester Two?

Prior to the start of term, Panopto will be installed on all PCs that currently have TechSmith Relay installed. The new Panopto application does not auto start when Powerpoint opens but Panopto does have the option of recording Powerpoint or Keynote as a feed alongside audio and a separate video feed if required. Most teaching room machines run Windows, so you can get a feel for what to expect from the Panopto Support pages at and the video below shows how to make a recording straight into your Blackboard area.

As with Techsmith Relay, you will need a good USB microphone to record in a teaching room and it’s always a good idea to check availability with ISD in advance through the Service Desk. Some Schools and Faculty have invested in USB microphones and for a teaching space we recommend omni-directional boundary microphones.

ISD provide support for the use of Panopto in physical teaching spaces and at the time of writing (January 16th 2019) drop in sessions are available to sign up for to get an introduction to Lecture Capture through Panopto. You can also request support via the Service Desk.