Scenario based learning

Let’s start with the first question I’m sure you’re dying to ask, hypothetical reader:  what exactly is scenario based learning? 

Scenario based learning (SBL) involves, as the name implies, teaching through the use of simulated scenarios which use narratives to guide learners through certain situations which can be adapted based on the choices and responses of the learners. 

Much of the basis for scenario based learning comes from situated learning theory, a theory developed by Jean Lave whose theory is that learning occurs best when understood as knowledge that is embedded within an authentic context, activity and culture and which occurs naturally as opposed to knowledge existing as abstract and out of context knowledge as it would be traditionally taught in a classroom environment.

Scenario based learning is therefore an attempt to try and bridge this gap, bringing scenarios that use and simulate elements of context, activity and culture into a classroom environment.

These scenarios work best when they mirror real world situations that learners are likely to encounter within their subject, i.e. medical students dealing with patients, engineering students dealing with a building project.

How is scenario based learning useful for my teaching?

So how can it help in regards to teaching, what’s the use of scenario based learning? It enables a safe space for failure, learners are able to make decisions, including mistakes, and see the consequences of those mistakes play out within the safe confines of the simulated scenario, students can then reflect and evaluate their potential mistakes without suffering negative consequences. 

For example a social worker playing out a potential simulated interaction with a client may make the wrong choices, but they’re able to then reflect on their wrong choices and correct them.

Forging a strong link between theory and practice, by seeing how the theory learners have learnt in an abstract sense can be applied in a practical sense so that learners can gain a greater understanding of the use of the theory and its real world applications.

There may be many discipline specific issues that only really arise and which learners can only learn to deal with when they emerge organically in practical situations, given that these sort of organic situations cannot be brought into the classroom environments learning scenarios provide the next best thing to a real world practical situation.

How can I use scenario based learning  in my classroom?

There are various ways SBL can be applied. One way is to use digital tools to present a scenario to students, scenarios don’t have to be complicated and can be created with simple tools such as a Powerpoint or Google Slides or by using a storytelling tool such as Twine (link to Twine blog post). 

On the other end of the scale there are more in depth tools such as Articulate which allows for the creation of complicated branching scenarios (please note that Sussex does not hold an institutional license for Articulate). Sussex’s online media platform Panopto could even be used for this purpose by creating videos that take the learner through a situation and using a tool such as Slides or Twine to link together the various different videos based on the learner’s choices.

You don’t necessarily need to use digital tools as you can pose scenario questions to students or even act out scenarios with them within a classroom environment and react to their decisions as they make them. 

If you are interested in developing or using scenario based learning within your teaching at Sussex please do get in touch with the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at 

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Posted in Learning Design

Focus on Panopto: Adding a YouTube video to a recording

You may wish to add a YouTube video to one of your Panopto recordings. If you have shown a YouTube recording during a lecture you will need to have paused recording to avoid breaching copyright, but ,  Panopto allows you to link out to YouTube at a certain point in your recording. To the viewer through this will appear as though the YouTube video is part of the Panopto recording.   

To add a YouTube video you need to edit the recording. In the edit screen select the location on the timeline where you would like the YouTube video to appear. On the left you will see the Insert YouTube button.

After clicking the Insert YouTube button you’ll be presented with a new screen which will have a number of fields asking for information about the YouTube video you wish to add, the most important is the first one which says Link, where you can add the link to the YouTube video.

Go to the YouTube video and copy the URL of the page and paste it into the Link field in Panopto. You will then find further options to change the start and end times of the YouTube video. Once you are happy with the settings, click Done. Now the YouTube video will be added to the recording and will appear to the viewer at the point you specified.

For further information see Panopto’s guidance on  Adding a YouTube to a Panopto recording or for help with using Panopto in your teaching contact

Please note: As of the time of writing users accessing Panopto from China will be unable to access YouTube due to restrictions in place by the Chinese government. For a full list of banned sites please see the Wikipedia page on websites blocked in mainland China

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Posted in Panopto, Uncategorized

InShot – A video editor for Android and iOS

Since the introduction of Panopto at the University of Sussex, our thoughts have been on video. Panopto provides a great platform for delivering not only lecture capture but any video.

Modern smartphones make it easy to shoot video and if you have an iPhone or iPad, Apple’s iMovie and the simpler Clips provide solid choices for editing the footage. For the large number of staff and students using Android devices however, the choice is not so clear. In my search I came across InShot, a simple, intuitive video editor which works across iOS and Android.

About the App

Inshot lets you  quickly edit together video shot on your phone or brought in from other devices. Adding text is easy and there is a good selection of music which can be added for free. You can see an example of a video edited on Inshot here:

Example video created using InShot

InShot makes it easy to change the video shape for different Social Media without having to re-edit (something which can be an issue with other editors). 

The free version of the software lacks transitions to smoothly change from one clip to the next but this is a minor issue and overall it is very easy to use.

Editing in InShot. Change InShot has controls to trim video clips, change the speed and mirror the image, among others.

Is it free?

Yes. InShot operates a freemium model where it is free to produce basic videos but you pay for more advanced features and stock media.

Will it work on my device?

InShot has versions for Android and iOS.

Where can I get the app?

InShot is available for Android on the Google Play Store or from the App store for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Ideas for using InShot in learning and teaching

There are plenty of uses for video in teaching:

  • Staff can produce short lecture presentations for a flipped approach to teaching.
  • Editing together Khan Academy-type explainer videos for simple skills.
  • Students can create short revision videos to recap and remind them of key points in a lecture.
  • Students video presentations for formative assessment.

What are the alternatives?

  • PowerDirector. PowerDirector is the go to Android app for higher-end editing. While not as intuitive as InShot it provides a wide set of features such as the ability to layer video, add transitions. The free app is limited to exporting the lower definition 720 video.
  • Adobe Rush. Adobe are well known for their media production tools and in 2019 they released Rush. This is available free to University of Sussex staff as part of the Creative Cloud licence. Students are able to purchase a licence at a reduced rate.

For iOS you also have the Apple options:

How do I share videos created with InShot?

Once you have created a video you need a way to share it and this is where Panopto comes in.

The Panopto app provides an easy way to upload your video to be shared.

  1. Open the app and login to the University of Sussex account.
  2. Select the ‘upload to cloud’ icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Select the relevant module folder.
  4. Finally choose the video to upload.
Select the ‘cloud icon’ top right to upload videos in the Panopto Android app

With any video, always remember to add captions for those unable to access the audio.

Panopto will create automatic captions however it is likely you will need to correct them so do make time for that. You can read more about adding captions in our post: Focus on Panopto: Editing recordings

Want more help and info?

If you have further questions about video for teaching please do get in touch at

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Posted in App review, Mobile learning, Panopto, Uncategorized

Panopto and the flipped classroom

Flipped learning allows students to repeat watch lectures, repeat exercises as needed and generally learn at their own pace. As such it is an inclusive approach to teaching, which accommodates different study habits and abilities. It allows the tutor to use classroom teaching time as a space for students to practice the knowledge they have learned, and ask questions to the lecturer that they may have. This is the idea of a flipped classroom and those engaging in it are asking, “how is the student experience and depth of student learning affected when flip our classrooms?”

The flipped classroom

The flipped classroom is a teaching method being used more in higher education. It  uses pre-class activities to introduce students to materials you would otherwise introduce them to in lectures and uses the face-to-face teaching time to engage them in higher order activities. 

If you wish to change your teaching practice to devote more face-to-face teaching time for any of the following activities you should consider taking a flipped learning approach:

  • Student discussion and exploration of the subject. 
  • Group work, which encourages students to learn from one another
  • Practical work, where it is helpful to have a video demonstration to rewind and rewatch. In this model, students watch demonstrations of practicals before class.
  • Role-play activities to show competency.
  • Student presentations and peer-led teaching.

Flipping with Panopto

Panopto, our new lecture capture and video management system is an ideal technology to support the flipping of your classroom if you choose to recreate the lecture experience at home by creating a series of videos. Videos are ideal for flipping in part, because they can be more inclusive than alternative methods of content delivery and in part, because video fulfills students expectations that they will be listening to a lecture. Usually the tutor will also expect the students to answer questions at home so that students can test their understanding. If the quiz is online it can also give the tutor a feel for the level of student understanding and the particular areas that they are struggling with before the face-to-face teaching session.

Panopto is closely integrated with our online study platform, Canvas. It is set up in many teaching spaces around campus. The captured streams are processed into a video for the web, editable by the tutor and accessible by students from within Canvas. 

However, Panopto video is not only capturable in teaching rooms. The Panoto software is downloadable by any member of staff (or student) of the University and tutors can make video content from whatever device they choose and put it into Panopto. This is what makes it such an ideal tool to allow you to flip your lectures. It can be used to produce short video clips of content or reproduce a lecture that is delivered from your desk and you can embed non-video content including websites and questions that the students need to answer in order to access the rest of the video. 

screenshot of a Panopto recording with an embedded quiz
A Panopto recording with an embedded quiz.

If you are intending to flip your classroom with the aid of Panopto we suggest you cut up your lecture into five to ten minute videos and use the quiz tool to test you students knowledge at the end of each clip. We suggest that you look at the students responses to the quiz questions before the session so you can get an idea of their level of understanding and where they are struggling.

Case Study

In International Development, Dr Anna Laing and Dr Benjamin Hunter have flipped their classroom for a module in Research Methods. They have produced interactive video lectures, which students are expected to do in their own time. The videos give an introductory ‘how to’ lecture on each of the research methods that they teach on the module – quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and participatory approaches. These are short roughly twenty minute videos that are broken up by quizzes on the lecture material to check the students’ understanding of the material. The students must watch the videos before they attend class. Dr Laing and Dr Hunter chose to flip their classroom so they could utilize the classroom time to practice the research skills that they had learnt. 

By week seven, roughly 90% of the cohort had watched the lectures and many had watched them multiple times, with some students commenting that it is helpful to re-watch the videos at their own pace in order to ensure their own understanding. Many students were positive about the flipped experience stating that they ‘do the essential learning individually outside of class, and then bring it together in group workshops’. They felt it did increase the workload and felt pressure to watch the lecture and do the reading, however they cited a number of advantages including that they can pause the video lecture to make notes and they can choose a time when is convenient to watch them. They preferred the pre-recorded videos to the lectures recorded in lecture theatres stating that the sound quality is better and there were fewer interruptions. Dr Hunter says, ‘it seemed to be particularly useful for students whose first language is not English – we have 21 direct entry students on the module, as well as eight visiting and exchange students’. 

From Dr Laing and Dr Hunter’s point of view, the flipped classroom is useful for modules with a practical or skills-based focus as it makes the most of the time spent in the classroom to practice the skills taught, but they were keen to stress that this approach might be unsuitable for theoretical modules where the face-to-face interactive lecture has particular value given the opportunities for questions and discussion that are more difficult with online lectures. Many of the students also said that they did not think the flipped classroom teaching method would fit all their modules.

Benefits and challenges of flipping with Panopto

The benefits of flipping with Panopto are that it is easy to create videos with embedded questions for your students to watch in their own time and it is easy to get feedback on their understanding before you meet them in your face-to-face teaching session. 

However, there are potentially some  obstacles to taking a flipped learning approach. Your change in practice may require you to:

  • Be innovative and explore approaches to teaching, learning and assessment that you have not experienced yourself and are not common in your discipline.
  • Put in more preparation time in producing the video content and the homework quiz questions.
  • Trust that your students will come prepared.
  • Be ready to meet resistance from students who do not appreciate the new study pattern.

For more on quizzes in Panopto see Focus on Panopto: Quizzes and Discussions and if you would like help flipping your teaching with Panopto please contact

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Posted in Learning Design, Panopto

TEL:US Podcast Christmas and 2010s decade special

In the final episode of the decade, I caught up with Ant Groves during Digital Discovery Week. I also sat down with some of our team to talk over our highlights of the academic year so far, and of the decade. 

Merry Christmas to all our listeners, we hope you have a wonderful festive season.

Thanks for listening.

Transcript coming soon.

Banner. Click to subscribe to TEL:US Podcast on iTunes.
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Posted in Podcast, Uncategorized

Focus on Panopto: Editing recordings

Panopto allows creators to edit their recordings. This post looks at the most common editing tasks you are likely to want to do. 


Sometimes you might want to tidy up the beginning or end of a lecture recording. For example, you may have started the recording but there is a delay as people arrive. It is easy and quick to trim a recording in Panopto.

Find your recording and hover over it to click on Edit.

screenshot of edit button on a recording

On the timeline under the video, drag the black line to shade out the portion you want to cut. You can trim the beginning, the end, or a section at any point in the recording.

screenshot of the streams and editing line

When you have made your edits click the Apply button at the top.

screenshot of Apply button

The recording will then be re-processed with your edits, so will be temporarily unavailable to view.

One of the great features of Panopto is that editing is non-destructive – your cuts are hidden from viewers but you can go back and change them, or even use the Revert button to return your recording to its original state.

This guide from Panopto has a video showing How to Trim a Video in the Editor and detailed step-by-step instructions.

Oops! I forgot to resume after pausing!

Being able to pause a recording is useful, for example when there is a break in the lecture or student activities happening. The keyboard shortcut F9 will pause or resume recording. But once a recording is paused it is easy to forget to resume recording – fortunately that is easily fixed in Panopto.

As with trimming a recording, you can use the Edit tools to take out a paused section. The pause will show as greyed out on the timeline and you can drag the edit line to reduce the length of the pause.


When starting a recording at the beginning of a lecture you may not want to spend time giving it a nice title. By default your recording will be identified by the date and time of the recording, but you can change that later.

You can do this when you are making edits, by clicking on the name of the recording at the top of the screen and typing in your changes, then Enter or Return on your keyboard.

Alternatively, if you only want to edit the title you can do that from Settings. You will see the name of the recording and an Edit button. This Panopto guide shows How to Change the Name of a Video in both ways.

Add Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) captions

One of the options in the editing screen is adding captions. Panopto creates captions automatically using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and these can be easily added to a recording.

Please note that the ASR captions will not be available immediately after a recording has processed. Videos up to 1 hour long should have captions ready in 8 hours, but captions for longer recordings will take up to a day.

ASR captions are not 100% accurate as their primary purpose is to support the search function, but they are probably equivalent to the auto-captioning you see on some news programmes. The ASR captions can be edited if required. This guide from Panopto shows the steps to Adding ASR captions.

Editing streams

When you start your recording you select the sources to be recorded. When the recording is processed, these sources appear as editable streams. The video and audio sources are combined into the Primary stream (P1), any secondary sources such as the main screen or additional cameras have a stream each (S1, S2) and if you have added PowerPoint that will be SL.

You can edit all the streams at once, one or more secondary streams independently, delete PowerPoint slides or add new material. The Panopto guide on How to Edit and Add Streams in the Editor will take you through how to do that.

If you have any queries about editing Panopto recordings or would like to discuss how you might use Panopto to enhance your students’ learning please contact

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Posted in Panopto transcribing recordings with artificial intelligence.

Otter floating in water

This week we want to introduce you to a great transcription tool which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to turn the spoken word into text. can transcribe recordings in real time, or create transcripts for uploaded video or audio files. The resulting ‘Smart notes’ are synchronised to the audio, tag speakers and can be searched.

The free version lets you:

  • Record & Playback (0.5x, 1x, 2x)
  • Transcribe in Real Time
  • Identify Speakers
  • Generate Summary Keywords & Word Cloud
  • Search by Keywords
  • Edit & Highlight
  • Share & Collaborate with Groups
  • Organize with Folders
  • Import Audio & Video
  • Export Audio & Text (TXT)

How could be useful in teaching and learning?

There are many situations in which the ability to have a text version of the spoken word is useful, but some are particularly relevant in Higher Education contexts:

  • Accessibility. It is vital that online resources are usable for all students and staff, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences. That can be challenging when using audio but can help. You can read more about digital accessibility and how you can create accessible digital resources on our Digital Accessibility webpages.
  • Interviews. Many disciplines require students and researchers to interview people and transcribe those interviews. is a great tool for this as it can even distinguish between different speakers. There are many student stories about using on the Otter blog.
  • Podcasting. We have written before about Powering up your pedagogy with podcasts and this is an increasingly popular medium but podcasts need transcripts to be accessible. Our Sussex TEL podcast uses to provide transcripts. Find out more about how podcasters are using in this Behind the Scenes with the Podcasters who use Otter post on the Otter blog.
  • Meetings. Supervision or Academic Adviser meetings are very valuable, but sometimes there is so much said that it would be useful to have a transcript to support any notes made. These could create a really useful record of a discussion over time. Don’t forget that if you are recording a meeting you must get the permission of the people being recorded.

Is free?

There is a free version of and paid options. The Otter Free plan gives you 600 minutes of transcription every month, which will be enough for most users.

Will it work on my device?

You can use via a web browser or using the mobile apps for Android and iOS. However you choose to use their Getting Started resources will take you through the steps with nice clear guides.

What are the alternatives?

Here are some alternatives you may want to look at:

Can I get some help from TEL?

If you would like help with using or to discuss how this or any other mobile app could help you in your teaching please get in touch with the TEL team.

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Posted in Accessibility

Focus on Panopto: Sharing recordings

Panopto is primarily used to record lectures, in which case lecturers will usually make the recording directly into the folder for a particular module. When those recordings have finished processing they will be visible to students on that module. Sometimes, however, you may want to handle sharing of a recording in a different way. This post will explore the options.

Using ‘My Folder’

If a recording is not for a specific module, or you think you may want to edit it before it is visible to students, you can use the ‘My Folder’ instead of the module folder. Depending on how you are accessing Panopto you can choose ‘My Folder’ from:

  • the dropdown list at the top of your Panopto library in any Canvas module;
  • the main screen if you are using the Panopto app on your desktop or own computer;
  • the session settings when you start a recording.

You can create extra sub-folders in your My Folder if you want to. Recordings in your ‘My Folder’ will not be visible to students until you move them into a module folder (see below), so it is useful if you want to review and/or edit the recording before making it visible to students. You may also want to add extra material and/or activities to a recording before you share it. Other blog posts in this series look at adding YouTube videos, Discussions and Quizzes in Panopto. Or you may want to record a presentation to a research seminar that you can then share in a website, blog or by email. Panopto provide this guidance on How to Use ‘My Folder’.

One recording for two or more modules?

Sometimes a lecture relates to two different modules (for example where there are core and elective versions of a module). There are two ways that you can make a recording visible in more than one Canvas module or other locations.

Copy and Move

This is probably the easiest and cleanest way to do this. It involves making a copy of a recording and moving the copy into another module folder.

When a recording is shared in this way, students see it in the list of Panopto Recordings for their module and can easily search in the recording and change their view. As the copy is a separate recording you can edit is separately from the original recording – so if you wanted to share only part of the recording with the second module, or add extra content for them, you could do that. Having 2 (or more) separate copies of the recording also means that you can see the viewing statistics for each recording. 

Copy your recording 

From your list of recordings, find the one you want to copy and click on Settings.

Screenshot showing the Settings button on a Panopto recording.

Then from the Manage tab, look for the ‘Copy’ button. You can give your copy a new title at this point if you want to, but if not it will have the same title as the original with (copy) at the end.

Screenshot of the Manage and Copy settings.

A confirmation box will pop up and as soon as you click OK a copy of your recording will appear next to the original. You now need to move your copy to the other module.

Move the copy into another folder

Click on the Settings button of the copy. You can then rename your recording and choose a different folder to put it in. Please be sure to Save any changes here.

Screenshot of the Name and Folder settings.

Your copy will disappear from the original folder and appear in the new folder.


The other option is to embed a recording. This option would be useful for embedding a recording in a blog or website. You can also embed a recording in a Page in Canvas, but this gives students a reduced view and search options as well as restricting your editing options and merging viewing statistics. 

Panopto has guides on how to Share Your Panopto Video on Any Webpage and How to Embed Panopto Videos in a Canvas Page. You will find the Panopto icon here in the Rich Content Editor under the ‘More external tools’ icon.

Screenshot of the 'More external tools' button in the Canvas Rich Content Editor.

More sharing options

You can also use a link to share a Panopto recording. Similar to sharing options in OneDrive you can share with:

  • Specific People
  • Anyone at the University of Sussex with the link
  • Anyone at the University of Sussex
  • Anyone with the link

When you click on the Share button for a recording you will see the link for the recording and the options to specify who can access it. This guide from Panopto shows you How to Share a Video.

What is the difference between sharing and setting availability?

When talking about sharing recordings in this post we have talked about them being ‘visible’ and avoided using the word ‘available’. That is because the availability of a recording is something rather different.

When a recording has finished processing and/or has been moved into a module folder or shared by a link or embedding it can usually be viewed by anyone who has access. The recording will remain visible unless it is removed or deleted. You may want to limit the visibility of a recording without moving or deleting it and you can do this by using the availability settings to specify dates and times when the recording is viewable. 

Screenshot of availability settings

This guide from Panopto shows How to Publish Videos Using the Availability Workflow.

If you have any queries about sharing your Panopto recordings or would like to discuss how you might use Panopto to enhance your students’ learning please contact

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We are the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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