Recording training videos of equipment usage for forensic chemistry students, and sharing through Course Resources

Samantha-DrakeSamantha Drake. Lecturer in Forensic Science, College of Life and Natural Sciences, University of Derby.

Samantha has flipped! Flipped teaching has entered the educational consciousness over the past few years. Teachers record materials for students to study outside of class so when they meet for lessons or seminars they are already prepped with an idea of what to do, rather than use contact time for demonstrating procedures or explaining material. This leaves more contact time to discuss or practice under the supervision of the expert teacher who can feedback tips or facilitate discussion.

Samantha comments “The practical ran far more smoothly, with fewer initial queries about the lab techniques, than previous years without the videos. It was also great not to have to spend the first half hour or so demonstrating everything in the video – more time efficient and less work for me in the long run as the videos will be used again in future years.”

Samantha used a consumer grade video camera, borrowed from the TEL Media Team, to record for her forensic chemistry students a series of equipment demonstrations and do worked examples of maths question. Titles included “Making a Solution in a Volumetric Flask”, “Amine Calculations”, and “How to do a Titration”.

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Still from How to do a Titration

She then edited and uploaded the videos into Media Gallery, and shared the videos directly into Course Resources for students to watch before coming to lab, and to review afterwards.

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The videos embedded into Course Resources

The cohort comprised 57 students, and as you can see from the statistics of plays the videos were well used.

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Number of plays per video

In conclusion, using some basic commonly available recording equipment, Samantha was able to make her teaching more effective and efficient, and although recording and uploading required some more effort upfront, this will be paid back manifold in future as the resources are reused. Media Gallery is a simple to use video distribution resources which integrates directly into Course Resources and enables staff to create and distribute flipped teaching materials quickly, and directly to students.


Sharing audio for peer review and submitting for assessment in Course Resources using Media Gallery

Matt Le Mare. Creative Expressive Therapies, College of Health and Social Care

Matt, who ran the Music and Musicianship module in Spring 2016, wanted a way for students to share their formative music assignment with each other within the Course Resources module so they could do peer feedback. He also wanted the students to submit their final assignment, which comprised a piece of music, through Course Resources.

Matt comments that Media Gallery “…works for me as I wanted to electronically move quickly from assessing audio to text and then back again instead of trolling through usb stick, CDs and DVDs, then reading students’ paper submission, then having to give the feedback on paper. It works for the external examiner because she/he can do the same. For students, they can submit electronically, which is what they wanted to do. They can share it if they wish. It was easily set up, just works, and ‘saves’ time!”.

Sharing media within Course Resources

Media Gallery (Kaltura) was the perfect solution for his requirements. First, using the Media Gallery feature, students were able to upload iterations of their music and publish them within the module.

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A view of the Media Gallery containing students’ formative work

Media Gallery also has a comment feature akin to social media, which allows attributed comments to be posted.

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Submitting media for assignments

Mat also wanted students to submit their final piece of music through Course Resources. Previously dealing with media would have required receiving CDs, DVDs or USB flash memory drives with all of the associated management and potential for damage or loss that entails – especially when required by external examiners.

With Media Gallery, students were able to upload their music and submit it directly through Course Resources “Assignment” where it was safely stored and accessible only to the tutors. External moderators are also able to view the work directly through Course Resources, so there is no more worry about sending off media in the post.

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Media Gallery provided a simple and robust solution for Mat’s needs. It also enhanced the student experience as they were able to share their music and get feedback from each other which is kept only to the group enrolled within the module. This effectively extended the classroom into an asynchronous space offering more opportunity for students and tutors to interact outside of physical contact time.

The submission of media within Course Resources solved the problem of access and security of assessed work. Pieces were available immediately within Course Resources to tutors and moderators, and management of physical submissions was eliminated.

Using videos in forums for an online course’s student formative assessment


Yasu Kotera (left), Wendy David. UDOL Online Counselling. University of Derby Online (UDOL).

Students from around the world were studying on the University of Derby Online course in Counselling Skills. Part of the assessment involves students recording their counselling sessions for tutors to view and feedback on. Course Resources is limited in the way it handles large files, especially videos, so Yasu and Wendy were pleased to use Media Gallery (Kaltura) as a way of sharing video. In this case, students recorded a short video, usually on their phone, and shared it by embedding it into a forum. This allowed tutors and peers to comment on the video.


In this screenshot, the uploaded video is displayed over the forum which contains a dialogue between the student and tutor.

Yasu comments “I manage the counselling programmes at the University of Derby Online Learning. Our programmes include video assessments, where students record their counselling sessions and the tutors and peers make comments on them. We used to mail those DVDs to evaluate their counselling skills, but as the programme expanded, it just became unfeasible. Then we started to use a file transfer system, but it still took a lot of time to up / download the videos. We had been trying to find a scalable and secure way to conduct the video assessments, and heard about Media Gallery. Media Gallery enables students upload their video easily in a secure way, and the tutors and peers can see and make comments to improve their counselling skills. This is really crucial in the counselling studies online. We are planning to use Media Gallery more in our programmes

Mitigating cancelled lectures with Panopto Lecture Recording


Elaine Conway. Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance. College of Business, University of Derby.

Elaine used Panopto Lecture Recording to save the day when she was unable to attend lectures on campus due to an accident. Nearing the end of term, and with students preparing for final exams and assessments, she suddenly became unable to attend a face to face session, and instead used Panopto to record her lectures that students might otherwise have missed due to being rescheduled or having run out of teaching time.

Elaine recorded the presentations at home on her computer using Panopto. These were then uploaded and published directly into Course Resources ready for viewing by the students.

The result was that the students were able to get the materials on time and not miss any crucial information for their exams, and Elaine now has recordings she can use again with just a couple of clicks in a future module.

She said “Overall, the students were appreciative of both the lecture and seminar recordings I made and they have been viewed. I also have the recordings as resource for a future class to help in their revision also. Panopto is a good tool, and as with all tools, not perfect, but it certainly allowed me to deliver to my students despite my incapacity.”

Flipped buildings! Wolverhampton University’s STEM building visit

A delegation from Derby University’s TEL were kindly invited to Wolverhampton to see how Wolverhampton’s new STEM facility had flipped teaching built into the design on the building.

Front faced lecture style teaching has been replaced with flipped teaching where all of the practical demonstrations of experiments and equipment usage are recorded using Panopto and made available to students before the practical lab.

The recording station for teachers comprises multiple video sources and audio.

In picture 1, a webcam acts as an OHP, a camera records the teacher and the microscope’s output is recorded (picture 2)

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Picture 1 – Teacher’s recording station

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Picture 2 – The microscope is also recorded as a video source

Student workstations have been provisioned with tablet computers in protective cases on flexible arms. Students use these to either re-watch the video, or record their work for review or assessment. Because the tablets run Windows 8.1, they are joined to the network and can access student folders and software.


Picture 3 – Student workstations in the lab

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Picture 4 – Close up of tablets in the lab workstation

Read more about this: Using Lecture Capture for Learning and Teaching in Science at the University of Wolverhampton.


Digi Know: Adding images in Course Resources

Adding images to the pages in your Course Resources module can make it more appealing, can be used to illustrate or explain a complex point or can help theme your content. Whatever your reasons for wanting to add images, it’s easy to do!

Selecting an image

Finding the right image can be difficult, and you need to ensure you have permission to use that image – even if you’re adding it to a password-protected page such as Course Resources. The library offers some helpful advice on finding and citing images.

Resizing the image

Often images we retrieve from the internet can be quite large, and Course Resources doesn’t automatically resize them. This short guide from Microsoft shows how to resize them using Paint (which should be available on all Windows computers).

Adding the image

When adding a content item in Course Resources, select the Insert/Edit image button in the content editor.

Image to show how to add images to Course Resources

A new browser window will open, select Browse My Computer to locate the file, then enter an image title and description.

screenshot to show the screen for uploading images in course resources

Accessibility – ALT text

The description is for the benefit of visually impaired users who rely on assistive technology such as screen readers. Therefore an accurate description of the image that will provide an equivelent experience for visually impaired readers is needed.

If the image is purely decorate, then a description is not needed. For examples of when to use alternative text see the RNIB Accessibility guidelines for alt text.

Using Panopto to record feedback to students’ questions posted on a MOOC forum

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Dr Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (left) and Dr Tony Anosike.  Academic Innovation Hub, University of Derby Online, University of Derby Business School.

MOOCs are free open online courses becoming that are popular as a way to engage people interested in a subject. The University of Derby’s Academic Innovation Hub have been running highly acclaimed MOOCs, one of which is using Panopto Lecture Recording in an interesting way. As an online course, students are temporally and spatially distanced. Interactions usually occur asynchronously, often via blogs or forums. Students might respond to some materials by posting discussions and questions which the tutor may or may not engage with.

In the Innovating in Operations Management MOOC the tutors, Dr Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes and Dr Tony Anosike, responded to the questions in a “weekly wind up” video recording that answered several of the threads being discussed on that week’s topic.

Using the Learning Enhancement’s Media Team video booth located in B114, the tutors recorded several 30-40 minute feedback discussions covering topics raised that week.

Jose comments: “The experience that we had with Panopto was very positive as it allowed us to communicate with over 2,200 students all over the world without any issue in regards to the different times, and in a more dynamic way. With Panapto, Tony and I had the opportunity of elaborating in specific topics that we considered important for the specific units that we were reviewing every week. Also, we could elaborate on examples requested by the students. For instance, the MOOC content was very oriented towards the manufacturing sector, with plenty of examples regarding this industry. However, the students asked us to provide examples of the application of the Operations Management theory in other industries. We used the Panapto recording sessions to discuss this other examples that were not included in the written content of the MOOC. The Panapto recording sessions also helped us to wrap-up the unit reviewed during that week. The comments of the students were extremely positive, they were eagerly waiting for the recording session to be released every Friday.”

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Screenshot of the Panopto recording giving feedback to learners

Feedback from learners about the wind up sessions has been very positive. Students commented:

  • “I guess excellent is the word. Especially the weekly wind up”
  • “It has been well thought out and the wind up each week is also very informative and engaging.”
  • “The weekly wind-up video helped a lot in summarising the course.”
  • “…also the weekly wind up videos deepen the understability of the learners.”

TEL me more about…digital badges

So what are digital badges? Johanna mentioned in the previous post about Mozilla Open Badges and this helpful video outlines the vision they have for how badges could be used for learning.

The TEL steering group and others at the University are currently reviewing the potential use of badges at UoD. They want to ensure there is governance over badges and how they are awarded in order to retain the value which can be placed on them from students, employers and others who may come across them in the future.

ALT recently published an interesting post on a recent survey they sent out to a range of education institutions and it seems that most are still in the exploration phase of looking at badges, they tend to lean towards their use for CPD and the VLE being the way they would issue them. However, some felt that these features were not always fit for purpose as concerns were raised over whether the badges would remain in place if the module is deleted or the VLE is changed and how to ensure the metadata contained within the badge will still remain valid if these types of changes happen.

Another interesting post is from David Hopkins at University of Warwick who talks about the criteria for which badges should be rewarded and suggests it should not just be for student performance but also for the skills they have learnt such as debating, presenting, group work etc. These maybe considered more meaningful than if the student has passed an assignment or a section of the course.

Another popular use for badges is in MOOCs, with the recent UoD MOOCs called Digital.Me and Bridging the Dementia Divide both using these to award participants for completing units within the course. These are then exported to the Mozilla backpack and can be taken with the learner to then demonstrate what they have learnt to others.