Panopto is an all in one video recorder, session builder, and video streaming platform that has been a key part of the Learning Technology Ecosystem at USask for years. The recording and trim tools build a solid foundation for enabling the creation of engaging videos for learning. If you haven’t looked further into the editing suite available in Panopto, this post is for you. Here you will learn about 5 little tricks you can do using the Panopto editor that may make your video creating, editing, and streaming processes just a little bit smoother.
Adding and Editing Slides in the Editor
Panopto includes an option to add a slides stream to your recordings, which when watching a video in the full player can be really helpful for viewing content as well as navigation. This stream can be in addition to the video recording you’ve made of the slides. However, if you’re anything like me, you have probably gotten through your recording, uploaded the video to your Panopto folder only to realize you forgot to click the Record PowerPoint button! Now you need to record the video all over again, right?
Never fear, there is a way to add slides, and even edit them after the fact using the Panopto video editor. One added bonus of this feature is that from term to term, if the video is reusable, but you would like to update an individual slide here and there, you can use this trick to do just that. This editing feature can save hours of recording and re-recording content and is worth checking out before making a whole new video.
Allow Viewers to Download the Slides
Speaking of capturing the presentation slides, you can allow viewers to download the captured slides. You can of course upload your slide deck to Canvas and distribute to your students that way, but Panopto provides an alternative to this if you’d prefer to keep it all in one place. If you update the slide deck and use the previous editing trick, this also means you’ll only be replacing slides in one place, keeping your course materials from suffering the dreaded versionitis.
Downloading the Video or Audio Files You Create
I’ve gotten the question a few times over the past few months about whether or not you can get a copy of the video you record and store in Panopto. The short answer is, yes you can! There are any number of reasons you might do this. A recent personal example for me is that I recently provided a prerecorded session at a conference. Panopto has become my preferred video presentation recording tool since it was adopted at USask, and so I was able to record some sections of the presentation, download the video files, and compile them in a different video editing software (which allowed for more editing control than the Panopto tools). The final video file was sent onto the conference, but if the video was for a class I was teaching I could have uploaded the final product to Panopto for student streaming.
You can also opt to download just the audio, which is useful for external editing as mentioned above, but also perhaps it’s not actually a video you need to share with your students, but just the audio. The bonus tip here about downloading these files is that you can choose to allow viewers to download the files as well. As an avid podcast and audio book listener, I would definitely download audio casts of course lectures to listen to, and I’m sure your students would find this helpful as well.
Create a New Video Version, or Split Your Lecture
This editing tip uses the same process and editing feature even though the reason you might use this feature seems separate. For the first case, perhaps you want to create a new version of one of your recorded videos, but do not want to lose the older version. Even though Panopto’s trim tool is non-destructive (does not delete the clips you trim, but hides them from the viewer instead) changing streams, slides, etc. may permanently affect your video in a way that makes it difficult to revert to the original. A safe way to ensure your work is retained is to use the copy feature. Once you’ve made a copy of your video, make all the changes you want, rename it, and add it to your Canvas course (replacing the original). If for some reason you need to use the original again it will be retained in its original form and is easy to put into Canvas again.
Where I find the real power of the copy tool is is in the ability to split an existing video into parts. I might do this for any number of reasons, but a common one is due to a course redesign. I may have several lecture videos recorded and then when I revise the course topics in the course move around. Maybe my second lecture is now in weeks 2 & 4 instead of grouped together in week 3. I could copy my original recording, and trim the original and the copy to focus on the relevant topics. After renaming the copy I can place both videos where they need to be in Canvas. If I had an especially long video I could break it down into the main topics by repeating this process, which is especially effective when chunking and sequencing course content.
Combine Multiple Videos Together
After discussing breaking down videos into smaller pieces, why might you need to combine Panopto videos? Well, one example is to insert video intros. One program DEU worked with made use of common video intros within courses. This meant that every video in the course had a portion of an introduction sequence that was the same. One way we could have done that would be to record in Panopto, download the MP4 file (detailed above), add the intro in another video editing software, export the new video file, upload the new video to Panopto. I bet that was tiring just reading that lengthy, and unnecessary process. Instead, we exported the video intro as it’s own session in Panopto and added it to each video in the course. Here’s an added bonus of doing it this way, if we updated the intro session it would automatically apply that same update to every single video in the course. This saved so much work.
Another example would be when you want to update your existing lecture videos. Perhaps you discuss a case study in one of the videos and there was a recent development in that case. Adding this update would require a brand new recording right? Not if you’re comfortable with the editor. You can use the add clip feature to record the update and then insert it directly into your existing video. If the update needs to overwrite an existing portion of your video, simply trim the bit you don’t need and voilà video updated.
Learning Technology Ecosystem page for Panopto (includes basic information and contact information for support)
Panopto Documentation includes plenty of helpful tutorials, both in text format and also in video.
Knowledge Base has plenty of USask specific pages related to Panopto and is a great self-serve resource. (login required)