GVSU selects Panopto to Increase Accessibility and Enhance Teaching with Video

eLearning and Emerging Technologies is excited to announce that Panopto will soon be replacing TechSmith Relay, our current screen and lecture capture software and Ensemble Video, our video-hosting platform. Panopto will provide a new way to engage students with digital video at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and the university wide enterprise video solution will be available to all 25,000 students and 1,800 faculty at GVSU beginning in the summer 2018 semester.


Panopto is the leading platform for business and education, providing an easy way to manage, live stream, record, and share videos.

“As one of the most engaging sources of distributing educational content, video is rapidly increasing in its use by faculty at Grand Valley State University. In fact, during the past few years the number of videos created by faculty has increased substantially,” said Eric Kunnen, Associate Director, eLearning and Emerging Technologies, “Panopto will empower our faculty and students with innovative digital tools to more effectively support innovative teaching and ultimately student success at GVSU.”

Evaluating and looking at the needs of the campus strategically, a pilot of Panopto was executed in the Fall 2017 semester with the principal goal of working directly with faculty in evaluating the capabilities and ensuring their needs for video were addressed.

“We began the process of evaluating video-hosting platforms in the summer of 2016 and after a thorough investigation of available products, their features and capabilities, our team agreed that Panopto was the solution that would take GVSU to the next level of video content creation. Its seamless integration with our Blackboard LMS will give faculty, staff and students the tools they need to further enhance their teaching and learning.” said Vince St. Germain, an eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist on the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team.

During the pilot faculty reported the following benefits when using Panopto:

  • “While testing Panopto it was very easy and quick to create shorter grading videos, and then insert the link into the grade center. The feedback from the students was very positive. It is also convenient that I don’t have to send the video from TechSmith to Ensemble and wait for the transfer.” – GVSU Faculty Member
  • “The amount of time saved by using Panopto contributes to faculty productivity, which would offset any costs in purchasing this product. It also allows for increased student participation through recording.  As we explore an increase in online and hybrid courses, this software is a valuable resource as a teaching/learning strategy and to increase faculty presence in a course.” – GVSU Faculty Member
  • I am in full support of the University switching to Panopto for video recording and storage. Panopto is a more efficient system compared to the current TechSmith Relay and Ensemble combination.” – GVSU Faculty Member

Faculty at GVSU will benefit from using Panopto’s enterprise video solution to improve their teaching through active learning, increasing engagement with students through video. Further, through the Blackboard learning management system integration, accessing the video capabilities is streamlined, providing quick and easy access to Panopto’s powerful video capture capabilities.

“Our faculty will soon have a new set of resources to support students with video,” said Justin Melick, Digital Media Developer in eLearning and Emerging Technologies. “Panopto now gives the ability for students to record, edit and submit video projects for their classes. This is a trend that we have seen growing at GVSU as more faculty are recognizing the need for their students to have basic video creation skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

Students at GVSU can interact with video in a variety of new ways. Panopto provides the ability to connect with other students through discussions that display along side video. In addition, students can respond to quiz questions while viewing video content, directly from the player without launching a separate application.Panopto includes the ability to search for keywords in a video, saving students time in finding the right moment and jumping to the segment of the content they would like to review. Finally, students can access content conveniently from their mobile devices, increasing access to instructional content and allowing learning to happen while on-the-go!

Focusing on the needs of faculty is key.  While professors look to create engaging student user experiences, Panopto provides a brand new set of capabilities. For example, faculty are able to create student video assignments that are easily collected and viewed through Blackboard. Video playback data and analytics also provide greater insight into how video content is being consumed by students. Further, video content is automatically closed captioning, reducing the burden that faculty can have with providing accessible video content.

“Accessibility is an institutional requirement for instructional video,” said Hunter Bridwell, Digital Media Developer in eLearning and Emerging Technologies. “Panopto saves faculty time, and the automated captioning feature was significant in the decision making process. It helps get faculty-created content much closer to ADA compliance in practically 3 clicks. The player and recorder are keyboard navigable and works well with a screen reader.”

Panopto Benefits

  • Creates closed-captioned video for accessibility
  • Offers the ability to edit the beginning, middle and end of a video
  • Provides searching video, enabling students to quickly jump to specific areas or content
  • Enables students to record their own videos using Panopto’s recording software and mobile app
  • Offers the capability to create discussions and assessment questions (true/false, multiple choice, discussion) within video content

“In colleges and universities around the world, video is enabling teachers to engage their students more effectively and helping students personalize their learning experience,” said Sean Gorman, chief operating officer of Panopto. “It’s a privilege for Panopto to partner with GVSU on the implementation of a unified video platform, and we look forward to a successful rollout to faculty and students this summer.”

GVSU Strategic Connection

Panopto supports GVSU’s 2021 Strategic Plan in the following areas:

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

Objective 3.B.1: All systems and policies ensure inclusiveness and accessibility.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution.

Inclusiveness/Access – Incorporating multiple voices and experiences by valuing identities, perspectives, and backgrounds.  Strengthening and expanding possibilities through technology to increase accessibility and remove barriers.

Learn more about Panopto and access more information about the Panopto implementation at GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies Panopto for Faculty support page.

Ensemble Video’s Dropbox and Blackboard Integration Enhances Online Education at Grand Valley State University

Video is becoming more and more strategically important in the delivery of instruction.  At GVSU, the university supports the use of video in Blackboard through the use of Ensemble.

Recently, the staff of eLearning and Emerging Technologies (Eric Kunnen, Justin Melick, Kim Kenward), along with faculty and staff from GVSU and University Libraries were featured in a case study by Ensemble Video about the university’s use of video in teaching and learning. The article is entitled: “Ensemble Video’s Dropbox and Blackboard Integration Enhances Online Education at Grand Valley State University

The Article is Available on Ensemble’s Website


Ten Ways to Use Video in Your Classroom

This year’s Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) conference was filled with three days of intense, hands-on learning experiences centered on the practice of integrating technology and learning.

Presenting at the conference was Jason Valade, Customer Success Manager at TechSmith on “10 Ways to Use Video in Your Classroom”. Jason is a former elementary school teacher and Technology Lead whose love for “all things” video led him to TechSmith and their Customer Success Team.

During the session, Jason ran down his favorite top 10 uses for video in education and showed examples of how both video novices and experts can easily create video content to enhance instruction and engage students.

Tech Symposium

  1. Flip a Lesson

Rather than using class time to introduce new content, record a series of short videos that students can review on their own and then come to class prepared to extend the learning.

  1. Teach when you are Absent

Unable to attend a class, create a video review of that day’s related topics and assignments.

  1. Personalized Feedback

Use a desktop recording application to capture annotations and your voice as you provide feedback on assignments or use a document camera to record your voice while you manually mark up a printed assignment.

  1. Parent / Community Classroom

Post a video update for parents or the community by recording a PPT or Google presentation with the latest class information and achievements.

  1. Stop Repeating Yourself

Don’t keep responding to the same old questions over and over again, create a library of short how-to videos that can be used year-to-year.

  1. Give a Course Overview

Great at the beginning of the semester or when starting a new topic.

  1. Introduce Yourself

Build instructor presence and community. Perfect for online classes.

  1. Walk through Materials

Create a tutorial to review a complex procedure, demonstrate a process or solve a problem.

  1. Authentic Assessment

Let students storyboard, shoot and edit a video for review by the entire class.

  1. Filming Experiments

Use for review, as part of a quiz or other assessment.

Video recordings are quickly becoming a key component in any classroom, whether it’s face-to-face or online, video can be the catalyst that spurs a student’s imagination and learning.

Video Reflective Journals

Literature has shown that critical thinking enhances the learning process and that reflective practices enhance critical thinking. Together, better connections and meaning can be drawn from course materials and subjects, leading to enhanced understanding and a more satisfying learning experience for students.

For Grand Valley State University Professor Michael Ricco the use of Video Reflective Journals or “VRJs”, as he and his students like to call them, can easily bridge this gap. Offering faculty a better understanding of individual student needs and interests while providing students with a lifelong learning artifact that they can continuously return to for inspiration, the “VRJ” model has proven to be a valuable tool for both teacher and student.

See the entire interview.

To learn more about Video Reflective Journals, including an overview of the student survey data collected by Professor Ricco, plan on attending the 15th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium on Wednesday, March 23, from 1-4pm in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons on the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University.

Kim Kenward & Justin Melick share “online student presentations” for Penn State Conference


Kim Kenward, instructional designer, and Justin Melick, digital media developer, in eLearning and Emerging Technologies presented with Dr. Rosemary Cleveland, COE Faculty, presented at the 7th annual virtual conference for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

The session was held on Monday, February 15 at 11am EST via Blackboard Collaborate and their session topic was “Moving Student Presentations Online” and there were over 30 attendees from across the nation.

Session: Moving Student Presentations Online

Abstract: Our conference presentation will help faculty and instructional designers identify technology resources and assignment design considerations for supporting online student presentations. This session will also provide information on the role of student project partners to facilitate student engagement opportunities for peer review, feedback and building online community.
  • Kimberly Kenward, Instructional Designer,
  • Justin Melick, Digital Media Developer,
  • Dr. Rosemary Cleveland, Education Faculty,
    Grand Valley State University

Kim Kenward has worked as an instructional designer for over eighteen years. She has taught and developed several online/hybrid educational technology courses, as well as worked as the Instruction Librarian and Library Director at various institutions. Kim is actively involved in the GVSU College of Education teacher preparation programs, specifically in the area of integrating technology into teaching and learning.

Justin Melick is a Digital Media Developer at Grand Valley where he works with faculty to create a variety of digital content for their courses. He specifically works with faculty to increase instructor presence in their online and hybrid courses and is responsible for building and pioneering the use of GVSU’s Lightboard.

Dr. Rosemary Cleveland has been a faculty member in the GVSU College of Education for fourteen years. Previous to that, she was a school administrator and a teacher for thirty-one years. Rosemary teaches in the graduate teacher certification program in both the online and in-seat format. She is passionate about teacher leadership and curriculum development.

Building community is essential in online learning! – Rosemary Cleveland
Get started with building community in your class on day one. Here, Dr. Cleveland begins her courses with having students create an “about me” slide in Powerpoint.
Attendees in the session shared a variety of ideas of assessment activities for students, ranging from using the discussion boards and peer review tools in the LMS, to ApprenNet, to Voicethread.
GVSU uses Blackboard and Ensemble video for technologies to support this work.  Justin provides support to faculty and students to tackle the technical pieces. A helpful video for students gives students some tips for creating mobile video.  Here is the video:
Screencast-O-Matic is a great tool for students to use to record the screen and share their video assessments.
For more information, please check out the presentation slides on Slideshare!

PBS provides video content for courses at GVSU

In a special session organized by Kim Kenward, instructional designer in IDeL, faculty and staff at GVSU learned about a new resources available via a special partnership with PBS.  Faculty and students can access thousands of FREE, standards-aligned digital resources that can be used for classroom and online courses.

With 100k+ digital resources from a variety of subjects, faculty can integrate the content into their curriculum to help their students make connections to a variety of topics.  Developed in partnership with the WGBH Educational Foundation and supported by public media stations nationwide, PBS LearningMedia offers multiple service levels to millions of educators and students.

In July, Rosemary Cleveland, GVSU COE proferssor and graduate teacher certification students were filmed by WGVU regarding their training and use of PBS Learning Media.  This video is currently on the WGVU Home Page and is airing multiple times on WGVU HD from now until October 30.

Background information about PBS Learning Media can be found at:

Learn more about PBS LearningMedia and create your account by visiting:  You can also follow PBS LearningMedia on Twitter and Facebook.