top of page

Self-Recording Using Panopto

Audio and Screen Capture

Panopto is a software service that allows you to combine audio and screen capture in a single recording and store the files on the web with customizable sharing permissions. The recordings can also be exported as stand-alone files. Panopto is currently installed in a limited number of classroom teaching computers in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Wolfe Street and Hampton House buildings. (A list of current rooms with computers configured with Panopto is available on the internal Multimedia SharePoint page [Johns Hopkins Enterprise Directory (JHED) login required].) Johns Hopkins University faculty can download the software to their personal computers from (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty should sign in using the "JHU Prod Shibboleth" sign-in option.)  

Is This the Option for You?

This self-recording option is appropriate for your lecture if the following statements are true:

  • You are already comfortable working with Panopto. (Help documents and a video tutorial are available from the Bloomberg School of Public Health Multimedia Department. Generic basic recording instructions are available directly from Panopto.)

  • You have produced quality lecture captures in your on-campus course; or you have a USB headset, Bluetooth headset, or other high quality external microphone and can produce quality audio recordings.

  • You cannot meet the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) studio recording deadlines or you prefer to create your own recorded lectures.


For faculty and guest speakers who want or need to use this option, if you are placing the downloaded video inside of CoursePlus, we ask that you complete your lecture's Panopto recordings at least two weeks in advance of a lecture's opening in order for CTL to upload the downloaded podcasts of your recordings to the Lecture Materials section of a CoursePlus lecture page. (Only CTL can upload videos into this module of your CoursePlus site.) If you cannot complete your lecture in this time frame, you will still be able to upload the video to your Online Library or link the presentation to your course site.

Why Include Your Self-Serve Recording in the Lecture Materials Section of a Lecture Page?

Videos that appear in the Lecture Materials section will all have a transcript ordered by CTL. And in addition to playing the video online inside of CoursePlus' video player, students can download the video, text transcript, or MP3 export of the video from the module. Another benefit to having CTL upload your recorded video to the Lecture Materials module is that each time an item hosted in this section is accessed by a student, this action is logged by the CoursePlus reporting features. This will appear in the "Access of Individual Course Sections by Each Student" Report (available from the Faculty Tools page).


Before creating your lecture's Panopto recording(s), please take the following steps:

  • If you are using your personal computer, verify that you have the most recent version of Panopto installed from the Johns Hopkins–hosted Panopto site (View Mac and Windows instructions for upgrading.)

  • Be familiar with the Lecture Delivery Best Practices Checklist, including developing your lecture into short sections (10 to 20 minutes each). Each section should be its own Panopto presentation and its own title. A single lecture can easily be composed of several sequential recordings.

  • Be familiar with CTL's Recording Tips

  • Create a good, clean sample audio recording on the device where you will be recording your lecture. You can use a program or app already installed on your computer or an online service such as Record MP3 Online or Online Voice Recorder. Adjust your microphone settings until your recording plays back at a quality that is satisfactory to you. While it may not be as "crisp" as a professional recording, you should be able to listen to your recording at the same volume as any high-quality online audio or video! 

    • Recommendation: Use a USB headset, Bluetooth earbuds, or other high quality external microphone. Be in a quiet room, free of background noise. Listen to the intro of an NPR podcast and then listen to your sample recording. If you need to change the volume between listening to each of them, then you need to go back and adjust your microphone settings!

  • Plan your lecture

    • Have all media for the lecture gathered and easily accessible in a single folder on your computer.

    • Decide what programs you will be using. Panopto allows you to record your entire desktop, including capturing any annotations in programs that allow this option. Close all programs that you will not be using—especially anything that gives you a pop-up notification.

    • Consider composing a script or outline of your main talking points.


When you are ready, go ahead and create your Panopto recordings. Video tutorials and help files are available both on Multimedia's internal SharePoint page (for classroom recordings) and on Panopto's support site

If you are making a classroom recording, you will most likely be making a single recording of your entire lecture. CTL highly recommends that you:

  • Speak clearly and stay in proximity of the classroom microphone.

  • Repeat aloud any student questions (or pass a handheld microphone) so they are preserved in the recording.

If you are making a recording at your personal computer, CTL highly recommends that you:

  • Create a separate recording for each segment (10 to 20 minutes each) of the lecture. (Basic instructions for Windows and Mac installations are available from Panopto.)

    • Test and adjust your microphone settings each time you sit down to record (comparing the volume and quality of your audio recording's playback with those of an NPR podcast or other good-quality source). Try using a USB headset or other high quality external microphone!

  • Only use a webcam (which will record your face while you narrate) as a primary or secondary source if it adds value to the lecture. Note that if you decide to use the webcam, try to make eye contact with your audience and stay on camera. (It is natural to look at your screen when narrating a lecture from your computer, even while the webcam captures your eyes half closed, a big stretch, or even a random out-of-place object in the background—in other words, proceed with caution!) Panopto does not allow you to hide your webcam's video for only part of a streamed or exported recording.

  • If you make a major blunder, pause for several seconds before starting that piece again. You will be able to see the "silence" in the audio piece of the timeline when you are editing the recording.

After uploading your recording(s) to the Panopto server:

Sharing and Exporting

Once your Panopto recordings are finalized, at a minimum you will want to make sure you have published any changes before sharing or exporting

If you share your Panopto sessions directly with your instructional designer, they will have access to them as a backup. You should be able to share the individual recordings or your entire folder. Check your folder or session recording's settings to make certain "Authenticated Users with Access" can download the recordings as podcasts. In addition, make sure that anyone with access can view the sessions, in case you are pressed for time and need to give students a link to a session.

From the settings of a session recording, export the video as an MP4 file by downloading the video podcast of the recording. It is usually fine to keep the default settings, though if you recorded your webcam and do not want that included in the video export, make certain to change the "Type" drop-down menu.

Note that videos uploaded to and shared through CoursePlus should be no longer than 20 minutes in length and no more than 500 MB in file size and should not have a resolution greater than 1280 x 720p (high definition).

Share the videos with CTL. Because the size of these video files will be large, you do not want to email them as attachments. Instead, save or copy the videos to OneDrive or another cloud service that allows you to share the files with CTL. 

Placement in CoursePlus

Panopto recordings can be shared with students in CoursePlus three ways: as videos in the Lecture Materials section of a lecture page, as videos in the Online Library, or as hyperlinks anywhere on the course site. Ideally, faculty should opt to share their videos in the Lecture Materials module, which is the most universally accessible option. Here students will be able to view the videos with interactive transcripts inside of the CoursePlus video player. They can also opt to download the video, text transcript, or MP3 export of each video. In addition, each time an item hosted in this Lecture Materials section is accessed by a student, this action is logged by the CoursePlus reporting features.

  • Sharing through the Lecture Materials Section two weeks or more before a lecture opens:

    • Faculty must share the exported videos with the instructional designer. Most likely, these videos will be very large files, so you can share these through a cloud service, such as OneDrive.

    • The instructional designer and CTL will order the transcripts and upload these videos to the Lecture Materials module of the lecture page.

  • Sharing through the Online Library:

    • Faculty must upload the MP4 versions of the lecture videos to the Online Library. For each video that you upload, please give the file a logical title, including the section letter, if appropriate.

      • Note: Please do not try and upload the (very large) MP4 file of a classroom recording! Instead, consider sharing the link through the Online Library or ask your instructional designer for help sharing the link through the Lecture Materials section of a lecture page. Remember that all videos uploaded to and shared through CoursePlus should be less than 20 minutes in length and 500 MB in file size. For Panopto video podcasts, we recommend the default 720 (30 fps) quality.

    • Link the uploaded lecture video(s) to the lecture page. If you have several videos for a single lecture, consider creating a folder in the Online Library to hold all the videos belonging to that lecture. Then link the folder to the lecture page instead of the individual videos.

  • Sharing the links to the actual Panopto video podcast or session in the Panopto web viewer as opposed the exported videos:

    • If you are sharing the links to the videos directly on Panopto, please import the captions for your videos using Panopto’s automatic captioning feature. Note that as of May 2020, this setting must be made on each individual recording.

    • Make sure the session settings for each of your Panopto recordings (or top-level folder) are correct before copying the output links that you will be sharing with students. Note that if you want to share recordings from one class with an entirely different class, and this second class also has its own Panopto folder set up (i.e., you have opted in via the Faculty Tools link inside CoursePlus), the recording(s) should be copied to the class folder set up for this other course. If you want to share recordings from one class with a different class that does not have its own Panopto folder, the recording should be copied into your personal Panopto folder (“My Folder”) before sharing the link with the students.

    • Copy and share the hyperlinks inside the Outputs section of the Settings to either the "View Podcast" for the video podcast (recommended) or "View Session" through the lecture's Panopto web viewer via:

      • the Online Library and then link these (logically titled) library items to the lecture page,

      • or a custom section on the lecture page edited to include a logical title for each lecture section that is then hyperlinked to the corresponding video.

  • If you want to share a PDF version of your lecture's PowerPoint(s), you will need to upload the PDF files to the Online Library and link these to the lecture page.

More Resources

An abbreviated version of these guidelines Panopto Lecture Capture as a Self-serve Recorded Lecture [.pdf] and How Do I Manage my Panopto Recordings? [.pdf] are available for downloading from our Toolkit Shelf.

bottom of page