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From scattered to scale–How one large university manages 2TB of new lecture capture video every week

The University of Arizona uses versatile video platform Panopto to record, share and stream large amounts of video

More than a quarter million hours—that’s how much time students at the University of Arizona collectively spent watching recorded lectures, flipped classroom presentations, and other academic video just last year.

But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, just a short time ago, the University of Arizona was like many other institutions when it came to supporting lecture capture and academic video: Different departments experimenting with different solutions to support different objectives.

Recognizing both the rising interest from faculty, as well as the potential value for students, Arizona’s Office of the CIO sought to find a better solution for taking lecture recording campus-wide. The team soon found Panopto—a flexible video platform that made it possible to record, stream, and share video with ease, in a software-based solution that was far easier to manage and far more affordable than the old web of departmental deployments.

Building a true partnership
Panopto was easy to deploy across campus—the Panopto recorder could be quickly installed on virtually any computer, and Panopto’s web-based video library could be accessed in any web browser. Faculty members were thrilled to find Panopto integrated seamlessly with the university’s existing learning management system.

“One of the best things about Panopto has been their level of support,” said Mark Felix, Director, Instructional Support at the University of Arizona Office of Instruction and Assessment. “Panopto’s been a nice fit on the product side, and an excellent partnership on the support side.”

Along with assisting in the campus-wide implementation, Panopto has worked closely with the institution’s OIA and EIS teams to help the university continue to make the most of its video infrastructure and investment. When the UA team sought to optimize bandwidth utilization by splitting its video storage—in the cloud for lower priority files, and on local servers for more frequently accessed materials—the team really began to see what makes Panopto different.

“We’d expected the usual vendor response—‘we’ll make a feature request and talk about it for the next six months,’” recalled Felix. “But with Panopto, everything was doable. That same day they opened a ticket, jumped in our systems, and helped us line up our cloud accounts. It was so much more than we expected.”

Achieving buy-in through ease of use
As awareness was building, the Office of Instruction team pushed to ensure the actual rollout of the new video platform would be as ubiquitous as the initial plan had committed. 

“We knew it had to be easy,” said Felix. “We wanted to be able to say: go to this website, download the software, and it will work. And that’s what Panopto does for us. This lets us quickly move to conversations around how we can creatively use this tool for improving teaching and learning.”

With Panopto providing a solid foundation in lecture capture and video content management, today the University of Arizona is out at the forefront, offering new opportunities to better engage students and raising the university’s profile as a leader in blended and online learning.

There’s more to the story—to read how Arizona has created its classroom video culture, visit www.panopto.com/arizona. 

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