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Enhancing Media and Accessibility Using Panopto

Updated media guidelines for Blackboard to begin this summer

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the digital learning environment and support accessibility, all media content must be hosted in Panopto rather than Blackboard as of May 23, 2024, starting with the summer term. Media content includes video, web conference recordings, audio clips, etc. Existing media should be migrated to Panopto as soon as possible, and new media can no longer be uploaded to Blackboard.

Blackboard is a useful system for course management and content delivery. However, it is not designed to perform as a media streaming service. DoIT introduced Panopto in 2018 to support video and media distribution following the discontinuation of TechSmith Relay. Media platforms like Panopto provide a better experience for faculty and students alike.
  • Optimize Media Streaming: Panopto and other media streaming platforms offer streaming capabilities that adjust to the bandwidth of each viewer, ensuring that all students, regardless of their internet speed, can access the content smoothly and without interruption.
  • Accessibility: Videos on streaming platforms provide more accessibility options including machine-generated captioning, adjustable playback speeds, notetaking, chapter breaks, searchable video, and transcripts.
  • Scalability: Media streaming platforms like Panopto can handle a wide range of large media files without impacting the Blackboard course quota. Video, for example, can be reused across multiple courses and terms or shared externally with non-UMBC viewers.
Video platforms, including Panopto, also offer tools for lecture capture, editing, quizzing, and student content creation for video assignments.

Options for Media Hosting

Instructional Technology offers extensive guides, training and support to faculty. Faculty can also request a consultation via RT ticket
  • Faculty and students have access to Panopto for uploading and sharing media content while affiliated with UMBC. 
  • Panopto can host a wide range of media content including video and audio.
  • Both Panopto and VoiceThread support media assignments and provide captioning.
  • Cloud storage is also available, but storage quotas should be considered before saving large video files. Additionally, cloud storage, like Blackboard, does not optimize the video for bandwidth. As such, Panopto is a better option for sharing media with students.
The shift towards using a dedicated media hosting platform reflects our commitment to providing the best possible tools and technologies for education at UMBC. By making this change, we ensure students have an experience with media that is accessible and reliable. 

Connect with Instructional Technology
As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options:
Thumbnail-image: Panopto logo [decorative]

Posted: May 14, 2024, 12:20 PM