Tools for remote lecturing

This guide supports preparations required to adapt to remote teaching, following the University’s flexible and inclusive teaching methodology. Lectures (or any teaching sessions) may be delivered in real time (live, synchronous) or as pre-recorded videos (any time, asynchronous).

Lectures may be recorded for the following reasons:

  • timetabling conflicts may make it impossible for every student to attend every lecture 
  • different time zones can make it difficult for international students to join real-time lectures
  • tutors may want to illustrate concepts in surrounding text, refer to subject content within a recording, and recommend further reading.

Student feedback from Trinity term 2020 shows that many students prefer recorded lectures as they can go over sections they’re unsure about, they can return to for revision later in the year, and they can pause and watch at their own pace.

Before creating any new material, you might want to consider whether there are any existing resources that you could use, such as:

Lecturers’ skills and proficiencies

It is recommended that as a minimum, a lecturer needs: 

  • knowledge of how to create (and do simple edits) in Panopto (or other) recordings

  • understanding of how to provide student access to Panopto (or other) recordings in Canvas
  • skills in assessment techniques, for example, split recorded lectures into shorter segments (using Panopto editing tools) and embed quizzes into these shorter segments, thus reflecting traditional question and answer sessions during a lecture
  • knowledge of how to generate and add ORLO reading lists.

Required equipment

See the equipment recommendations from the Replay team.

Further guidance

Panopto is fully supported by the University; a site-wide licence allows users to make new recordings of live lectures, upload existing recordings and view recordings as well as share within Canvas courses. Recordings are stored securely in the University’s instance of Panopto ‘in the cloud’. Accessing Panopto through Canvas makes use of the user’s Single Sign-On login details, thus obviating the need to have an account and log in directly to Panopto. 

In order to make recordings with Panopto, the user must first install the ‘manual recorder’ software on their home or work computer. The recommended route is to do so directly from within the Canvas course. The IT Services Replay Team provides full instructions on using the manual recorder including a short video showing how to download and install the software. 

Further guidance is available as follows: 

For technical assistance in using Panopto, please contact the Replay team.

What can I do with Panopto?

For asynchronous (any time) delivery

  • Narrate and record your slideshow (can be broken into chunks, or one continuous lecture).
  • Record the main computer screen and voice-over in ‘screencast’ mode; users can record a PowerPoint presentation and the main computer screen at the same time, choose either option or switch between them. Any open application running on your computer can be recorded in this way – for example, if you are showing a whiteboard app, this can be captured when using the main screen mode (as a secondary video source).
  • Record a feed from a webcam (this can be turned off in the Panopto manual recorder, in preference for audio-only; the latter is required, that is, one cannot record in Panopto without using audio).
  • Record additional video feed, if available (for example, from an external camera).
  • Upload media created in other tools into Panopto. Users can then use Panopto to edit, host and stream content. This can be video (mp4 or other formats), or audio ‘podcast’ style recordings (mp3 format).

For synchronous (real-time) delivery

  • Create a ‘webcast’ in Panopto to broadcast the lecture to viewers in different locations. This is done by opening Panopto in a new browser tab (go to the ‘My Recordings’ folder in Canvas or WebLearn, click the arrow icon top right to open in a new tab; choose the ‘Webcast’ option from the green ‘Create’ button). 
  • The webcast option enables students to watch in real time and participate using audio. They can ask questions through a chat panel (although there is a small delay). Webcasts are also recorded and available to watch alongside any other recordings.

This is part of the Nexus 365 suite, available with Single Sign-On (SSO) login (see information about tools for working remotely). Teams can be used for live (synchronous) lectures or meetings, where all users can participate or share screens. If a lecturer or tutor chooses to deliver a live session using Teams, it must be recorded (one reason is so that students without access are not disadvantaged in any way).

Please refer to further guidance in the FIT Canvas resource including the page Tutorial teaching: introduction.

Note that if you wish to record audio from other people on the call (as well as from your microphone) then you need to tick 'record computer audio' in Panopto. The fact that the session is being recorded must be declared to participants at the outset. You could display a holding slide prior to the start of the session, containing this information. 

Teams meetings can be created within Canvas, from various tools which use the rich text editor. These Canvas tools include:

  • Pages
  • Announcements
  • Course Calendar
  • Discussions
  • Quiz

Detailed instructions are available on setting up Teams meetings from within Canvas. Note that a Teams meeting created in this way should be accessed by all participants only from within Canvas – dates are not integrated with MS Outlook or any other calendars. 

Teams meetings can also be set up directly from Outlook using the Teams plug-in on the Calendar toolbar; this will add the meeting into the Outlook Calendar within the full Teams software application (which we recommend downloading and installing, rather than relying on the web app).

Users without SSO can also access Teams meetings – they are directed to a ‘lobby’ until an authorised person grants them admittance. A pop-up window will appear in the meeting alerting you to who is waiting in the lobby so that you can grant them access.

Designated presenters can present a slideshow in a Teams meeting, share their screen or allow external participants to ‘by-pass’ the lobby. Users are required to have speakers and a microphone if audio participation is required; those built into a laptop computer are usually adequate. All users can enable their camera and microphone and participate in the chat channel.

Meetings can hold up to 250 users at any one time. For meetings with many participants it is important to specify the meeting presenter in advance, encourage participants to switch off video feeds and only unmute their microphones when invited to speak. For larger meetings (over 250 participants) you may wish to utilise ‘Teams Live Events’ – see full details on how to access and use live events on the Teams Live events support page.  

For synchronous (real-time) delivery

  • The host can present and share their desktop or specific applications.
  • Participants can share their screen, if that permission has been enabled.
  • The chat panel can be used to share notes, links to websites, raise questions or make comments.
  • The Microsoft ‘Whiteboard’ can be used within a Teams meeting (this is different to a video call within a Teams chat).
  • Within Teams there is an app called ‘Forms’. The meeting organiser can use Forms to create a quick poll for real-time interaction and feedback from participants. It is best to prepare the questions in advance so that they can quickly be copied and pasted into the Forms app after the meeting has started.

For asynchronous (any time) delivery – recording the meeting

  • Before the live session, please follow the instructions provided in the Recording and Sharing Microsoft Teams Meetings guide.
  • Choose the ‘main screen’ option.
  • Tick the box ‘capture computer audio’.
  • Choose a location to save the recording – ‘My Recordings’ can be used initially, and the recording can be moved later into a suitable Canvas course.
  • Start the recording and minimize Panopto; keep the Teams meeting application in focus during the meeting.
  • Return to Panopto after the meeting and close the recording. It will then be uploaded to the Panopto server in the chosen folder.

For advice or if you experience any difficulties in using Panopto to record a Teams session, please call the IT Service Desk on (01865) 612345. If that does not provide a solution, then you might need to formally request IT Services to turn on Teams recording for you (this is not enabled in Teams by default): complete the Recording in Teams request form. This will be actioned at 5pm each day (including weekends) and, once done, it may take up to 24 hours for the change to take effect.

You can create slides and record audio commentary directly within a PowerPoint presentation (see Microsoft guidance). The saved presentation can be shared with students via Canvas.

Note: It is recommended that users use Panopto to record presentations (see details above), as this provides improved output video for students. These improvements include showing a thumbnail view of all slides, and enabling students to search text (on the slides) and within the audio commentary. 


You may have existing recordings, or you may have produced new ones in Teams meetings which are saved in Stream, recorded your PowerPoint presentation or recorded one in RapidMooc and you need to move or upload these externally created files to your Canvas course.  To assist you with this process, please consult the guide: Panopto – moving recordings between folders.


RapidMooc is a facility offered by the IT Learning Centre, allowing for quick and simple recording of instructional video content. A lecturer or tutor stands in front of a green screen (at IT Services) to present their slideshow, with the benefit of a basic autocue function to read out the notes. Dynamic content can be added very easily.

Learn more about RapidMooc and book time to use the facility

Lecturers may have access to other recording and editing software applications, with which they are familiar and may be suitable for the delivery of remote lectures during Michaelmas term and beyond. 

Screencast-O-Matic, see the ‘Screen casting and Webcasting guide’ for more details.

Snagit and Camtasia 

These applications can work alone or together to capture screen shots or video recordings of a of applications such as PowerPoint.  

Further information:

You may have access to other software and be familiar with other tools. Bear in mind that the University does not offer direct support for these applications. Examples of additional software tools include:

All recordings made using these tools and applications should be uploaded into Panopto (via Canvas) in order to control student access.

Resource type:
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