Copying a Canvas Course with Panopto Videos

by Aaron Bannasch

Use Panopto when You Want to Know More About How Students Watch Videos

If you use video in your Canvas course, you might use Panopto to create or host your videos. Panopto videos are capable of showing detailed student interaction data.

Get Better Video Analytics By Using Unique Videos Each Time You Teach

Panopto video analytics are stored in Panopto forever, which means reusing Panopto videos that contain student discussion comments can be a privacy risk. For this reason, it is helpful to use separate instances of your Panopto videos every time your teach your course. If not, you may find yourself having to sift through past student interaction data to find insights about your current course, or students could see answers and questions that past students have commented (note: you can and should disable comments if you do not use them in your course).

Make New Copies of Your Videos

Panopto does not restrict the amount of videos you can have. This goes for both unique videos and copies of videos. Instead of sifting through old data on the same videos, you can use the Panopto Copy feature to create new instances of each of your videos to collect new data about your current students each time you teach. This is also useful when there are multiple sections of a course taught by you or by multiple instructors since it helps keep the interaction data separate for each section. It takes some extra work to copy and link your videos each time you teach, but it will help you get more relevant analytics about your videos.

Tips for Organizing Copies of Videos

  1. Use a naming convention that is easy to remember, has helpful categorical information, and can sort chronologically to help you analyze aggregate data over time.
  2. Don’t put time-sensitive information in videos that you plan to use over a long period of time. Avoid showing or speaking about times or dates that can confuse viewers watching a video at a later date. If you mention current or historic events, talk about them without a reference to the current time. Or, make a self-aware comment in the video so that future viewers know you anticipated them at the time.
  3. Use Panopto built-in features to organize your videos and mirror that structure in other places, such as the Canvas course layout and in your personal files. That way you can always know where to look in all places that content related to your videos might be stored. This can help make it easier to find items when you have to re-edit videos, revise your Canvas course site, or share your materials with others.

Use the Features of Panopto to Help Keep Your Videos Organized

To save yourself from having to update links to your videos each time you teach, you can also centralize the Panopto videos in your course by using the Panopto menu item. You can instruct students to find videos there instead of giving a direct link. You can also keep videos hidden from students by using folders until the appropriate time for them to access the videos arrives. Organizing your videos in Panopto requires more work, but it’s worth it for valuable analytics and increase student engagement.

If You Don’t Need the Extra Features or Detailed Analytics from Panopto

If you find that the interactive quizzes or detailed analytics available in Panopto aren’t of use to you or your students, you might consider using Arc instead. Arc is a video tool created by Instructure, the same company that makes Canvas. Arc’s integration with Canvas doesn’t require the extra work that Panopto requires since student interaction data is erased every time you copy your course. However, Arc is more limited in features. In a future blog, post we’ll compare Panopto and Arc and help describe potential use cases for each tool.

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