Panopto Moodle Integration

I’ll be using this blog to record and reflect on our trial of the Panopto lecture capture system.  This is the first post.

Sync with Moodle Front Page.

During the summer we integrated Panopto with our Moodle (v2.7).  Initially we placed a Panopto Focus block on the Moodle front page in order to create user accounts for all the staff and students on our Panopto server (we have a hosted account).  This worked because we have a single sign-on system and all users who get to the front page are automatically logged on.  However, we have a separate instance of Moodle for each academic year and when we tested it in the summer we did so with fewer students than are actually enrolled. With a full compliment of students this month we received an error message and were unable to sync the front page with Panopto.  This might be connected with numbers or may be to be to do with the characteristics of the Moodle front page being different to a regular course page. I’m not trying to answer that but worked around it by creating a Moodle course and enrolling all staff on it in the role of students – that gave all staff Panopto Viewer accounts (so they could see an all staff briefing we recorded) and for the time being we do not need all students to have access.

Panopto Focus Blocks on Courses

The Focus Block is easy to install and configure but I am not sure I fully understand how best to use it yet.

Naming convention of Panopto folders

If you add it to a Moodle course it creates a folder on the Panopto server with the same name. Well, sort of… it creates a folder and pulls the Moodle course short name and Moodle course full name and separates them with a colon.  My Panopto server has lots of folders with names like BOB101: BOB101 because the full and short names are the same.  Slightly irritating.

Synchronisation of users

It also gives all tutors on the Moodle course Creator rights on the Panopto folder and all students on the Moodle course get Viewer rights on the Panopto folder. However, the synchronisation is not automated so we will have to go into the Focus block and click the link to add the course to Panopto to add new students.  This is sure to result in students not having access since we don’t have time to check for new enrolments and to reconfigure the blocks every day.  It is something we will be looking for a solution for.

Real names and usernames

The user accounts on Panopto that are created by the Moodle Panopto Focus block take the username from the Moodle username. However, our Moodle users aren’t really aware of their Moodle user names. We display to them their real names – first name and surname and as I said we have single sign on so they don’t even need it to sign on. This isn’t a big issue for the users but for me looking at the users on the Panopto server it becomes frustrating that the integration doesn’t pull through the real names.  It means I cannot search for individuals by name to grant them permissions, I have to first go to another system and look up their user name.

Focus Block focusses on only one folder

You don’t have to add the Moodle course to Panopto (create a Panopto folder with the same name). You can choose to link the Focus block with any Panopto folder. However, I have only just realised that this is an ‘either or’ deal.  You cannot have  both. We know we have a need for displaying the contents of more than one Panopto folder to students on certain modules so, will be looking for a work around for this.  Panopto’s solution seems to be to add numerous Focus blocks but I cannot see how to do this since ‘Panopto Focus’ disappears from the list of available blocks after you have added it once.  Maybe the solution lies in playing about with permissions on the Panopto server or duplicating sessions on the Panopto server and dropping copies into different folders. That would be time consuming.   Something else to add to the ‘to do’ list.

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