Canvas How-To: Panopto Recordings

Panopto logoThis page contains information about using Panopto to store and stream most .mp4 video files in Canvas. 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 refrain from uploading .mp4 video files directly into the "Files" silo of a Canvas course. This does not apply to projects made with Adobe Captivate.

Features of Panopto + Canvas

  • Course Library – Every course in Canvas automatically has a Panopto Recordings folder that serves as the repository for video files used in that course. Video files can be uploaded into the folder or created using the Desktop Recorder application. Instructors can place links to specific videos in other parts of Canvas, such as the Modules page.
  • 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 lightly before being uploaded directly to a course.
  • Closed Captions – Within the Panopto Recordings folder in a course, instructors can import automated captions for any video with just a few clicks. Once imported and checked for accuracy, the captions are automatically attached to the video for use by anyone. Professional captions are available on a case-by-case basis.
  • Video Quizzes – Using the online editor, instructors can add one or more quizzes into the timeline of a video in the course library. Once this is done, the video can be used as the basis for a Canvas Assignment.

Install Panopto Desktop Recorder

  1. Login to using your Canvas login. You 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.

How To Record a New Video Using Panopto Recorder (Watch Mac | Watch Windows)

Using Panopto + Canvas

1. Getting Started

Watch: Overview of Panopto + Canvas (29 minutes)

Read: 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

Using Existing Mediasite Videos with Panopto and Canvas

OIT distance learning staff are working with Panopto to transfer the existing library of Mediasite files into Panopto. These files will not be placed into a Panopto course folder immediately, but will be accessible via a unique URL, just as they have been in Mediasite.  Contact Kevin Gasaway ( to arrange to have specific videos moved from Mediasite to Panopto. Once the transfer is completed, you will receive a URL that can be posted into your Canvas course (e.g., in a Module, using the "External URL" option).

Machine Captions vs. Professional 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 and export 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 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 via separate SCORM integration

Multiple quizzes possible per video

Scores added to LMS grade book via 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

Can be created in online editor

Available immediately in deployed video

Deployment Upload .mp4 directly to Canvas Module or embed on a course Page

Non-optimized playback (user must download entire file before playback)

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 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.