Distance Learning & Instructional Technology

Info: Panopto

Panopto: Learn More

What is Panopto?

Panopto is a lecture capture tool that allows for an enhanced student learning experience and increased instructional efficiency. Record your screen, audio, and/or video content in the classroom or from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Content is easily uploaded to Panopto and to your Canvas course(s). Students can pause, search, review, and add notes to lectures based on their individual learning needs.

Think YouTube, but for education and organizations with more presentation functionality. Almost any video can be uploaded to Panopto, automatically captioned, and then shared or embedded into anything needed.

Panopto recordings can be made using either the application-based Panopto Recorder for Windows and Mac (supports offline recording) or the web-based Panopto Capture which runs in any current web browser regardless of operating system.

Panopto can also be used by students to submit video-based assignments in Canvas. These assignments can be configured to work with Canvas Rubrics and SpeedGrader©, as desired by the instructor. No special student permissions are needed.

How Is It Different From YouTube or Vimeo?

Panopto is a multi-source video streaming service that has built-in basic editing capabilities and questioning tools.

YouTube and Vimeo are considered single-source video streaming services. This means that they can only record from a single source. In contrast, Panopto can simultaneously record the feed from your webcamera while recording your screen which is running a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. You can even embed or link a Panopto feed with a YouTube or Vimeo video.

YouTube offers polling questions which can appear on the screen during the video. However, the results are anonymous and are polling questions only with no "answer key". In contrast, Panopto can present a multiple-choice question on the screen and can synchronize the identity with Canvas and post an actual grade, if desired, based on an actual answer key.

Neither YouTube or Vimeo are integrated with Canvas. If a student video is submitted via YouTube or Vimeo, he instructor must leave the Canvas environment to view and score it. Panopto is seamlessly intergrated with Canvas and allows instructors to use the standard Canvas Assignment Tool in addition to Canvas Rubrics and SpeedGrader©.

What Are Benefits of Panopto?

Panopto presents several primary and secondary benefits to both the teacher and their students.

Disabled Students

Presenting your classroom materials on Panopto allows for students with a range of disabilities to be successful in your classroom. For example, a hearing-impaired student can go back and watch a presentation with closed-captions and be able to absorb everything that was said in addition to what they may have received from their ASL interpreter. For an ADHD student, they can go back and find key points in the lesson.

Reliable Automatic Speech Recognition Captions

To meet the guidelines of Section 508 as required by Texas Administrative Code 206.70, it is very easy to place closed captions into any Panopto video. Once the video is recorded and processed by Panopto, you can easily import, review, and edit the closed captions.

Closed captions serve the primary needs of any hearing-impaired students. They serve the secondary-needs of students whom English is not their native language and students with ADHD.

Asynchronous Delivery and Repetition

Many students benefit from asynchronous delivery and asynchronous repetition. If a student is absent or has some other conflict and is unable to be present for class, they can watch the presentation when their schedule allows and still gain the instruction.

Some students may need to have the material presented a few different times so they can compartmentalize and process it. They can't ask you to repeat something several times in class. However, in an asynchronous video, they can.

Archive / Self-Evaluation

As an instructor, a recorded lecture gives you the ability to archive past lessons, that can be used for a wide-assortment of applications. This gives as resource that you can: tap into in later semesters, share with other instructors, share when preparing a conference presentation proposal, use during other presentations, or use to self-evaluate teaching methodologies.

Storage-Capacity Friendly Student Video Submissions

All courses in Canvas have 500MB of storage space allocated to them. This space is used for instructional files and student uploaded submissions. Videos uploaded to Panopto for assignments in Canvas DO NOT count against the storage capacity of the course as they are housed outside of Canvas.

How Does Panopto Work?

To get started, you will need the following:

  • Computer with Internet Access Capability
  • Built-In or External Web Camera (If you plan to appear in the video)
  • Built-In or External Microphone

Panopto is a basic video recorder that can record audio and video from your computer. It can record from the web camera and from your screen. It can also just be a place where you post videos for students to access that you did not record, but have access to.

Panopto recordings can be made using either the application-based Panopto Recorder for Windows and Mac (supports offline recording) or the web-based Panopto Capture which runs in any current web browser regardless of operating system.

What Types of Recordings Can I Do in Panopto?

Since Panopto is a multi-source video streaming service, as the creator, you can decide which sources you want active when you are recording.


This is the most traditional format for Panopto. This allows for you, as the presenter, to be visible during the presentation alongside your presentation materials (e.g. PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc...).

Video - Active / On (Web Camera)
Audio - Active / On (Microphone)
Secondary Sources - Active / On (Capture PowerPoint)

Video Blog

This is a format where there are no presentation materials to be presented. This is just a video of those who are speaking. This can be of a single individual or a group of individuals.

Video - Active / On (Web Camera)
Audio - Active / On (Microphone)
Secondary Sources - Inactive / Off

Narrated Presentation

This is a format where there are presentation materials to be presented, but the presenter does NOT want to be visible and only wants to be heard during the presentation. While this could be done in PowerPoint, the file size quickly becomes unmanageable with the separate audio files that are generated for each slide. Using a tool like Panopto ensures a good and manageable file size and viewing experience.

Video - Inactive / Off
Audio - Active / On (Microphone)
Secondary Sources - Active / On (Capture PowerPoint)

Live Webcast (Instructors Only)

Any of the formats above can be used in a Live Webcast. Here, you are streaming the video live to participants. Please note that there are differences between a Webcast (Panopto and YouTube) and a Webinar (Zoom, Teams, Skype, GoToMeeting).

In a Webcast, participants can post questions to a side-channel discussion area. The presenter can respond to those items either in the chat or in their presentation. In contrast, many Webinar tools allow for this functionality in addition to microphone questions from participants.

In a Webcast, only a single host is allowed. As such, only one computer can be in control of the Webcast and control cannot be shared or transferred to another computer/user during the Webcast. In contrast, many Webinar tools allow for multiple co-hosts who can control aspects of the presentation.

In a Webcast, the URL (web address) for the Webcast automatically becomes the link to access the archived recording of the Webcast. So, there is no need to send a follow-up e-mail providing a link to the recording. In a Webinar, the URL (web address) for the Webinar is typically unrelated to an archive link for later viewing.

In a Webcast, the recording happens automatically and is posted automatically. In contrast, many Webinar tools require that recording be started and stopped manually.

Externally Recorded Videos

This is a format where you have a video that was recorded externally. This could be a ZOOM conference call/presentation, a short clip of a movie, or any other video that you have created, downloaded, or saved.

Here, you can upload that video to Panopto for easy and secured sharing and streaming access. In addition, with the click of a button, you can add closed captions to the video to meet course accessibility standards.

Resource & Help Guides

The University of North Texas at Dallas Office of Distance Learning & Instructional Technology has several resource materials on-hand for Panopto. Some of these resources are printable and some are video-based.

Printable Resource Guides - Instructors

Printable Resource Guides - Students

Video Resource Guides - Instructors

Video Resource Guides - Students