Ideas for Using Panopto

Using conferencing such as Google Meet as a substitute for lectures is likely the first thing that springs to mind as you contemplate ways of teaching remotely. Such technology is an important piece of the puzzle, but it may not be the best choice as a direct replacement for lectures.

In a period of disruption students may not be able to easily get online at the same time, or their technology may fail them in some cases. And if your lecture is mostly a presentation, synchronous interaction may not be necessary. In such situations, a recording may be of greater value to students. A recording is not only available whenever needed, but can also be referred to multiple times at a student’s convenience.

Another virtue of making Panopto recordings as a replacement for lectures is that you can make a recording whenever you like, rather than having to make the technology all work properly (both for you and for dozens of students) at a particular time.

It is also possible to livestream Panopto recordings as you make them.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of making shorter, single topic recordings where appropriate as an alternative to replicating the traditional 50-minute lecture format.

Record your lecture slides…and much more

Many people assume recording your lectures involves appearing on camera. Appearing on camera can enhance a recording, and it is very important in some situations, but is by no means necessary. A recording of your voice synchronized with your lecture slides (or whatever you’re showing on the computer screen – websites, documents, software applications) can be more than sufficient in most cases, and reduces the need for set up and equipment.

Here is an example of an audio+screen lecture recording, courtesy of Professor Christina Spiker of the Art and Art History Department. Use the arrow at the lower right to get the full view including features such as enhanced navigation and the ability for students to discuss the material.

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Panopto is a great way to make screencasts – recordings of your computer screen as you demonstrate software, talk through a diagram, work a problem, present your slides, or respond to a written document.

In this example, Professor Joseph Roith in the St. Olaf Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science walks through an upcoming set of exercises in RStudio. Note that the text within RStudio is too small to read well in this embedded version, for best viewing, click the arrow in the lower right to go full screen.

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Record your handwriting

This is a great technique for talking through a complex explanation, or showing how to work a particular problem. This example was created by Professor Alden Adolph of the St. Olaf Physics Department. Check out the fascinating ultra-slow motion views of a baseball hitting a bat at the beginning of the recording.

If, like most people, you don’t have your own touchscreen, the DiSCO has several you can use to record such screencasts.

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Explore documents

The ability to provide verbal commentary as you record your computer screen opens up a multitude of possibilities. In this example, Professor Arthur Cunningham of the St. Olaf Philosophy Department preps his students for an upcoming reading assignment by moving through the actual document, highlighting key passages and providing suggestions for what to pay particular attention to as students do their own reading.

Again, for best readability you should use the arrow on the lower right to go full screen.

Another possibility would be to use the same technique to provide spoken feedback for student writing. If you use this technique, remember to use the sharing settings so only the intended students are able to view the recording.

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