Recording lectures and presentations remotely with Panopto

The university’s system for recording lecture content is Panopto (also called Replay by the university).  This is used for lecture capture in lecture theatres and can also be used to record videos of lecture content. 

On this page, you’ll find advice to consider regarding pedagogy and practicalities when recording videos of lecture content.  This is relevant regardless of the way in which you make the video.  In the links on the side, you’ll find specific guidance on different technical options; you can choose based on what technology you have available, and what will work best for the material you are teaching.  In addition to this guidance from the Mathematical Institute, you might like to see the University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning advice about recording lectures

You might want to see information about the University copyright policy relating to recorded lectures

Recorded lecture material will be made available only to users with an Oxford Single Sign On. 

Viewers can download recorded lecture content via Panopto, which is particularly helpful for those with limited internet access. Students are not allowed to share or disseminate recorded lecture content, as explained in the University policy.

In order to use Panopto, you will first need to log in to the Lecture Capture Website - please do this now (using your SSO), so that links elsewhere in the guidance work correctly.

Planning and structuring video lecture content

  • Providing video lectures gives us greater flexibility than we would have had otherwise, allowing us to focus on what will be most useful for students’ learning.  There are good options for recording yourself, your slides, your computer visualisations, and your handwriting.  We can adjust the length of videos to suit the material, rather than having to break in the middle of a long proof at the end of a lecture. 
  • There is no need to replace a 50-minute lecture with a 50-minute video.  Shorter videos are more convenient for everyone (students and lecturers alike).  Aim for videos lasting 15-20 minutes (or slightly longer or shorter), corresponding to natural sections in the material. 
  • The pacing is naturally different in a video, and that’s fine; there’s no need to aim for the same pace that you would use in a whiteboard lecture.  With Panopto, the viewer can slow down or speed up the video, as well as being able to pause and rewind. 
  • If you use slides or create handwritten notes for your videos, it would be a good idea to make these files available for students alongside the videos.  Some students find it convenient to have their own local copy that they can follow while watching the video. 
  • Please make sure that you label videos clearly, so that the sequence is evident.  It would be appropriate to highlight which videos correspond to which sections of the notes and/or to which problems sheets, and it would be useful to suggest a timetable to help students to plan their viewing (such as a timetable of which videos to watch each week).   

Formats

  • You can choose whether to include a video of yourself.  Audio of you talking over slides (or handwriting) is acceptable.  Some students have reported finding it more engaging and easier to concentrate when they could see the lecturer.
  • Whichever technology you use, you will need to end up with your video in Panopto, and you can then use Panopto for editing and post-production (see the links on the left).
  • It is good practice, for accessibility reasons, to include captions with all videos.  Panopto automatically generates captions, and students can choose whether or not they see these.  At the very least, you are advised to check that the automatic captions do not contain any inappropriate words that you would not want included.  Also, note that if you edit out a section of a lecture then the corresponding captions will not necessarily be deleted.  If you have time available, then you can edit more fully to correct any issues, which will make the captions more useful for students.  Full instructions are on the post-production page.

Sample videos

Here are two sample videos illustrating the use of Panopto.  Note that you can click on the up arrow at the bottom of the video box to bring up the contents list for the video.

Tips for successful videos 

  • If you include a video of yourself, try to look directly at the camera as much as possible.
  • It might at first feel strange to record lecture content with just a computer and no audience.  Some people find it helpful to imagine that they are talking to a small group of three or four students: this helps to get an appropriate level of energy and pacing for a video, even though you can’t see the students.
  • You are likely to want to edit out the start and end of the video, at the least, to chop off the parts where you move from the Panopto recording software to your slides and back, or similar.  This will be easier if you move from Panopto to your slides, look at the camera, smile, and pause for a second, before you start.  Giving yourself a window like this makes it much easier to edit in the right place, rather than trying to catch the millisecond between opening your slides and starting to talk.  Similarly, at the end, pause for a second, then return to Panopto to end the recording.
  • If you make a mistake and need to redo part, or there’s an intrusive background sound, or your cat gets in the way, just wait till the issue is over, pause for a couple of seconds to make editing easier later, and then resume (and redo any short section needed).  It really is worth pausing for a second or two, this makes a noticeable difference to later editing, which is then quite easy.
  • If you are about to move to a new slide or clear the screen in some way, it might be helpful to pause for a moment and perhaps say that this is what you’re about to do.  Viewers can of course pause the video while they review a section, but this becomes easier if there is a clear moment when they can do it. If you put up a line of text and immediately move to the next slide, then it is hard for the viewer to pause.
  • Go for the best sound quality you can manage.  The recording studios will have good quality microphones, if you prefer to record there.
  • Remember that you can’t show the viewer something by pointing at your screen, however tempting this may be! 
  • Turn off any notifications on your computer (email, Teams, OneDrive, Dropbox, …) before you start recording.  (Within Teams, set your status to “Do not disturb”.)  Close any unnecessary windows, especially those containing sensitive information.
  • If you’re recording slides or your screen, move your mouse to the corner of the screen before you start (unless you’re using it during your video), to avoid it being a distraction. 

Where to put your videos when they’re ready to be published

  • Once you have prepared all the videos in a sequence, you will need to move them to the relevant course folder.  
    • Click on "My Folder" in the left sidebar on the Panopto website.
    • If you wish to make a copy to keep in "My Folder", go to Settings for a video, choose Manage from the left-hand side, and you'll find the option to copy your video.
    • Select all the videos you would like to move (the selection checkbox appears when you hover over the video thumbnail).
    • Click on "Move" at the top.
    • Choose the destination folder [You may be able to get there quicker by just typing in your folder name in the top search box].
    • Click "Move".
  • Once you have moved all your recordings, please notify acadadmin@maths.ox.ac.uk .