Recording lectures and designing supporting online activities

All lectures will be recorded in MT2020. Recording lectures ensures that students and tutors are not exposed to the high-risk environment of crowded lecture theatres. Sharing recorded lectures with students means that they can engage with lecture
material even if they cannot attend a live streamed event.


Pedagogical guidance

Recorded lectures are both inclusive and flexible, and feedback from students suggests they are a very welcome aid to learning. Benefits include being able to repeat important sections later and searching both the written text and spoken words (if
using Panopto). They also offer advantages for tutors, since existing lecture presentations can be easily adapted; the lecture can be broken down into shorter chunks, making recording more manageable. It’s hard to produce an engaging 50-minute online
lecture alone in a room with your laptop. Tutors suggest producing shorter chunks of lectures on particular themes or concepts; and imagine that you are explaining these concepts to a small group of students – this helps to develop the tone of your

This visual shows some possible follow-on activities after students have watched a recorded lecture:


Lecture can be moved to Panopto, and other elements incorporated such as group work, discussions, polling either virtual or in-person using Canvas, Teams and Vevox.



Recording and sharing lectures in advance offers the possibility of adding supporting online activities to help replicate those that would normally take place in a live lecture (questions and answers, polling, and student interaction and discussions).
You could offer a live Q and A session in the lecture timetable slot or include an asynchronous timeslot for students to submit questions. Once you have collected questions, answers can be shared via Canvas, or you could make a short recording to
discuss the answers. There are many excellent online tools (polls, quizzes etc.) for promoting active learning alongside online lectures. These can be used to explore student foundation knowledge, enable students to test their understanding of concepts,
encourage student discussions, or apply and use newly learnt themes and concepts.

If you would like to give a live streamed lecture from your own computer you should ensure that these lectures are also recorded and shared with students, so that those who cannot attend the live streamed session can watch the lecture as soon as they
are able. You can design short pauses into your live lectures to invite student questions via online chat or ask students to respond to a live poll.

To ensure all recorded lectures are inclusive, a good quality microphone is essential so that students can hear clearly what the lecturer is saying. The Panopto automated captioning service can produce a fairly accurate transcript, or paid-for services
may be used to provide better quality transcripts.

Technical guidance

The preferred and supported methods of pre-recording teaching content is to use the Panopto (Replay) service from home. If you wish to record on-site and have
the recording uploaded for sharing online (via Panopto in Canvas) you should contact your department to discuss when bookable rooms and recording facilities will be available.

The preferred and supported method for recording live streamed lectures is to record the session using the built-in recording functionality in Teams and then share this with users in a Canvas course by first uploading the recording to
Panopto. See the guidance on recording a live session in Teams and sharing on Canvas.

When live streaming lectures using Microsoft Teams (often referred to as MS Teams or simply Teams), student interaction can be invited in the form of asking questions via the chat functionality or responding
to a live Teams poll. Be aware that streaming a lecture live via Panopto in some cases may incur an approximately 30-second time delay making such live interactivity problematic. Teams has no such delay and is better suited to live lectures where
student interactivity is desired.

Once the recording has been uploaded to Panopto, the recording can be edited to include quizzes at selected points.

Check that pre-recorded videos have subtitles, captions or transcripts (in line with the Web Accessibility regulations which came into force in September 2020). For videos recorded in Panopto, built-in speech-to-text software generates captions automatically
and no further manual editing is necessary. If you know that some students will depend on captions, you may want to correct possible errors in the caption text (e.g. names, technical terms). Captions can be manually edited in the Panopto interface
at any point. See Replay accessibility guidance.

By default, the captions are stored in the background, and can be switched on by the viewer (by clicking the CC button). If a student reports that the automatic captions are not good enough, refer them to the Disability Advisory Service who can arrange manual captioning for special needs.

Useful links

Many departments and faculties are reflecting upon how programmes are taught, what materials are assigned and how students are assessed. Academics and administrators who would like to consult with the CTL as they design flexible and inclusive programmes
may contact us at

Scenario (teaching type):
Teaching level:

Resources for flexible and inclusive teaching