Canvas How-To: Panopto Recordings

Panopto logoThis page contains information about using Panopto to store and stream most .mp4 video files in Canvas courses. Panopto is designed to provide an optimized video streaming experience for students, no matter their device or network connection. Panopto also makes it easy for instructors to add closed captions to their videos.

Panopto Introduction (general information)

With Panopto available, instructors should never upload .mp4 video files directly into a Canvas course. Always upload into Panopto and then provide link to the video in Canvas.

Features of Panopto + Canvas

  • Course Library – Every course in Canvas automatically has a Panopto Recordings folder that serves as the repository for all video files used in that course. Video files can be uploaded into the folder or created using Panopto's software recorder tool. Instructors can place links to specific videos in other parts of Canvas, such as the Modules page or inside a text area (such as for an assignment or quiz).
  • Desktop Recorder – Instructors can record new videos (such as lecture screencasts) directly into the course library by downloading and installing Panopto's recorder application. The application records the webcam and computer screen in a "picture-in-picture" layout. After recording, the video can be edited before being uploaded directly to a course.
  • Closed Captions – All videos stored in Panopto are automatically closed-captioned as part of the processing. Video owners are responsible for checking the accuracy of the autocaptions and making any corrections.  This is done on the Edit screen for the video.  Paid professional captions are available on a case-by-case basis in consultation with OAT and/or DRS.
  • Video Quizzes – Using the online video editor, instructors can add multiple quizzes into the timeline of a video in the course library (each quiz can contain multiple questions). Once this is done, the video can be used as the basis for a Canvas Assignment.

Using Panopto + Canvas (+ Zoom)

1. Getting Started

Watch: Overview of Panopto + Canvas (29 minutes)

Read: Two Ways to Add Panopto Videos in a Canvas Course

Read: Enable Panopto Recordings Library in a Canvas Course

  • This is optional; not required in order to use Panopto
  • Do this to give users one-stop access to all videos uploaded to the course
  • Do this to edit or add captions to course videos
  • Recordings library link can be hidden/disabled without affecting visibility of existing video links

Watch: Uploading Video Files to the Panopto Recordings Library (1 minute)

2. Editing, Captions, Quizzes, Assignments

Watch: Edit/Trim a Video (5 minutes)

Watch: Insert Automatic Captions Into a Video (2 minutes)

Watch: Add a Quiz to a Panopto Video (8 minutes)

Read: Use a Panopto Quiz as a Canvas Assignment

Read: Create a Student Video Submission Assignment in Canvas

3. Zoom Meeting Recordings

If you schedule a Zoom meeting using the Zoom tool in Canvas, the meeting's recording will be copied into the Panopto Recordings folder of the course and be avalable for viewing as soon as it is processed by Zoom.

Prevent Instant Availability of Zoom Recordings – You may wish to edit a meeting recording before making it available (publishing) to the class.  Use Panopto's "Approval Workflow" to keep Zoom recordings unpublished until you're ready to release them.

Install Panopto Desktop Recorder

  1. Login to using your Canvas login. First time users must authorize Panopto to interact with your Canvas course list.
  2. Click Download Panopto in the upper right of the page to start the installation process.
  3. Launch Panopto on your computer.
  4. If necessary, sign in to Panopto recorder with your Canvas login. This will enable Panopto to show you the folders you have access to.
  5. Click "Create New Recording" to begin making your first Panopto recording.

Watch: Record a Video Using Panopto for Mac and Windows

Captions in Panopto

Users are encouraged to rely on Panopto's built-in automatic or "machine" captions for their videos even though they will require review and may require manual correction. Please see: How to Add ASR Captions to a Video for more information.

Professional paid captions from Automatic Sync can still be requested for certain projects. Contact to discuss a specific need.

What About Camtasia?

Most users should consider using Panopto's desktop recorder instead of Camtasia for common recording projects like basic lecture screen recordings. Even though it does not have quite the same advanced features as Camtasia, Panopto is, in general, a simpler and more efficient tool, esp. for delivery to students.

It's certainly possible to assemble a complex .mp4 file using Camtasia and upload it to Panopto for delivery to students!
Side-By-Side Comparison of Camtasia & Panopto
Feature Camtasia Panopto
Product Type Desktop recorder and editor

No default deployment for viewing

Desktop recorder with online editor

Uses Panopto website for viewing

Editing Multitrack assembly (up to 99 tracks)

Transitions (fades, dissolves)

​Audio levels

Trim and snip only
Assembly Combine multiple media items/recordings

Annotate video with callouts, text, highlights, etc.

Insert other Panopto clips into timeline

Insert YouTube video into timeline

Insert web link into timeline

No annotations possible

Quizzes Multiple quizzes possible per video

Scores added to LMS grade book using SCORM integration

Multiple quizzes possible per video

Scores added to LMS grade book using a regular Canvas assignment

Captions Manual entry only

​Special export process required to view

Machine captions available for all recordings within minutes; Professional captions available on request basis

Available immediately in deployed video

Table of Contents Can be created in editor

Requires special export process and upload

Can be created in online editor

Available immediately in deployed video

Deployment .mp4 must be uploaded to Panopto for playback to students

Complex projects (incl. captions, table of contents) must be packaged for upload to Canvas Files area (requires specific workflow)

Other options include YouTube upload and (limited storage in free account)

No usage analytics

Upload .mp4 to Panoptp and add link directly to Canvas Module or embed on a course Page

Optimized Panopto video player for playback (streaming) based on user device and network speed

Universal Panopto video player used for all videos (incl. quizzes)

Direct connection between Desktop Recorder and Panopto folders in Canvas

Robust usage analytics

Panopto + Canvas Help

For assistance using Panopto or integrating it with Canvas, contact Glenn Pillsbury in the Office of Academic Technology.