Lecture capture is not new to Duke Medical Center’s Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP). Since August of 1998, when classes were first video-conferenced live to students at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, CRTP has recorded roughly 6000 hours of class time.
For the first 2-3 years of the training partnership with NIH, VHS tape recordings were duplicated; copies were placed on reserve at the Duke and NIH libraries for students who needed to review or to catch up with missed material. As soon as streaming media technology (Windows Media Player and later, Lectopia) made it possible for students to view archived lectures online, VHS tapes became the fall-back for digital files that needed to be re-created due to file corruption or system error. With CRTP’s move to HD technology, VHS made way for a DVD recorder.
Now, after retiring Lectopia in summer of 2010, CRTP is a Panopto early adopter, recording over 200 sessions in 17 courses since August of 2010. CRTP’s captured lectures consist of audio and video streams, coupled with PowerPoint slides or other electronic documents. The captured lectures, along with associated documents such as PDF files of slides and computer output, are accessible via links within each course’s Blackboard site.
Students may choose to view the captured lectures through the Panopto system or as Windows Media files using Microsoft Windows Media Player. Says Jim Thomas, CRTP Classroom Technician and Panopto Site Administrator, “We continue to offer Windows Media as a backup and it is nearly instantaneously available on Blackboard at the conclusion of the class. Panopto is also very fast; it uploads the captures usually within 15 minutes of each class ending.”
What is Panopto?
DukeCapture-Panopto is the next generation automated lecture and event recording solution being deployed across the Duke campus. Rollout began in July 2010; full production implementation is anticipated by July 2012. Duke’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) centrally administers the system; it is available to schools and departments throughout Duke and the Duke University Health System.
Panopto allows for automatic publication to many different services including streaming and podcasting servers such as DukeStream, Blackboard, and iTunes U. It also features a new functionality called “DukeCapture Mobile, ” which allows anyone to record audio, video and their computer screen using a personal computer, and then publish for users through the same system as the classroom-based recorders. Visit the Duke OIT’s Panopto web page to learn more about this service, system requirements, and functionalities.
Using DukeCapture Panopto Mobile to Increase Classroom Engagement
Classroom-based Panopto lecture capture enables students to review or catch up on missed class sessions. However, instructors who seek to decrease “talking” time and increase student engagement during class time are finding that Panopto Mobile provides an easy way to record preparatory material for students to review BEFORE coming to class so that class time can be used for discussion, problem sets, case studies, or software practice or small group work. Dr. John Williams, for example, records narrated PowerPoint slideshows from his own computer using the Panopto Mobile tool. These recordings do not replace or replicate class sessions; they introduce fundamental and trigger materials in a similar but more engaging manner than traditional textbook readings do, and provide a bridge to class session activities.
Several CRTP instructors used Camtasia software to record similar materials in the past, including statistics tutorials; many continue to do so because of Camtasia’s advanced editing tools and multiple production format options. Dr. Williams favors Panopto Mobile, however, as he can install Panopto Recorder on any computer he uses and he does not need to purchase additional licenses.
Lessons Learned as an Early Adopter
As an early adopter, CRTP continues to evaluate Panopto use and to share its experiences with the Duke Capture staff. CRTP Assistant Director Sharon Updike and Jim Thomas each served on university working groups during the collaborative deployment planning process. They both credit Todd Stabley, Duke Capture Manager, with enabling them to troubleshoot and quickly resolve problems by working closely with them during CRTP’s implementation in fall of 2010.
“A strong collaborative relationship with Duke’s technology experts is critical for our program’s effectiveness,” observes Dr. Linda Lee, CRTP Associate Director. “ Earlier this year in discussions with CIT staff regarding lessons we have learned over the years in CRTP, we identified lecture capture systems as one of two technologies that have high impact on teaching and learning in our program.”
One lesson emerged early in the CRTP’s implementation as Updike and Thomas worked through access issues. “We needed to control access to the recordings,” relates Updike. “This involves a quick administrative process where we give students access through their NetID and they authenticate to get into Panopto. An interesting complication was that many students had out-of-date passwords for their NetIDs. As soon as they updated their passwords, their access issues were resolved.” In resolving this issue for authentication and access, CRTP learned that user passwords at Duke must be synchronized between the Active Directory (win.duke.edu) account required by Panopto and Shibboleth required by Blackboard. The fix is simple: Updating one’s NetID password automatically synchronizes it in the two systems
CRTP’s continuing assessment of lecture capture use provides information that will be used in developing technology FAQs for students. “The biggest advantage of Panopto is that you can double-click on the video or VGA content and make it go full-screen,” says Thomas. “Panopto also plays within a web browser using the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in.” In addition, student feedback will be used in planning orientation for new incoming students in the fall semester. In a recent mid-semester course survey in which students were asked to compare the relative advantages of Panopto and Windows Media Player, Panopto users commented on “easier navigation for slides” and clarity of the visuals as reasons for favoring Panopto. Media Player users cited “familiarity,” and playback speed as their reasons for favoring Media Player. Wrote one student, “…it allows you to control playback speed. I like watching lectures at 2X.”
“It’s not always clear when student are having difficulty viewing the recordings,” states Updike. “We have learned about difficulties at the end of the semester.” In describing student feedback on the program survey she noted, “I would really like to take more time during Orientation this fall to help our students learn more about Panopto and how to use it. I think this will be an invaluable tool for students when they learn about options such as the Notes feature, which enables users to type and save their own class notes along with the recordings .”
Credits: Photographs are from 2006-2007 Annual Report, Duke Clinical Research Training Program, produced by the Office of Creative Services and Marketing Communications ©2007 Duke University Health System MCOC-4965.