Panopto Lecture Capture in Swarthmore Classrooms

Lecture capture is an academic tool widely used throughout many college campuses that allows a faculty member to record their lecture so students can review it at a later time. Various teaching pedagogies such as a flipped classroom or pre-recording demos also become possible. Further, it helps address accessibility needs by allowing for captioning, variable speed playback and screen reader support.

While lecture capture has been relatively slow to catch on at Swarthmore, a few years ago some progress was seen when we purchased a license for a product known as Panopto. To better facilitate recordings, lecture capture devices and cameras were installed in Science Center 101 and 199. Last Summer, we expanded these offerings by installing systems in the Scheuer Room and LPAC Cinema as well. The Panopto Application is also featured on every classroom computer. Over the past two summers, Media Services has installed ceiling microphones in every classroom that we have upgraded, allowing faculty to audio record their lecture and slides with a few simple clicks.

Additionally, lecture capture cameras were installed this past summer in Kohlberg 228, Trotter 203 and Science Center 104. For those of you who are concerned about the presence of a camera in the classroom, please note that these cameras are wired directly into the computer and are not used for monitoring or security purposes. In order for the camera to record, it must be prompted by the professor from the computer in the lectern. Recording in the lecture halls must be scheduled in advance by the requesting Academic Department or by Media Services. If you are not in one of these classrooms, Media Services has a number of small webcams that can be checked out.

A terrific benefit of Panopto is its versatility. It allows the end user to choose what they want to watch. The viewer can enlarge just the camera, the desktop being displayed, or both at the same time. Panopto can capture Powerpoint slides, which are clickable. It can be useful so that the user can go directly to that slide in the video. Adding a Panopto block in Moodle is a way to have your videos automatically appear in your course site.

To get started recording with Panopto, you can log in at panopto.swarthmore.edu. If you have any questions about recording your class, please feel free to reach out to Media Services at avbox@swarthmore.edu or by talking to your Academic Technologist.