Lucy Ayre, Repository and Open Access Librarian, University of Derby
The Library celebrated Academic Book Week in January of this year through a series of author talks and books displays. The week was rounded off with a panel discussion on the future of academic books, which had quite a bit of interest from people not based at Kedleston Road where the event was taking place.
We had a problem; how were we going to make sure the event could be attended by people virtually? Also, we didn’t just want to show the discussion as it unfolded, we wanted viewers to have an involvement online, contributing in the same way as the audience in the room.
Live streaming sounded out of our reach. After all, we had nothing to spend and not much technical expertise. When TEL suggested using Panopto I was relieved, I knew from using Panopto before that it captured from a webcam as well as whatever is on the computer screen (part of the event was a live online demonstration), and it’s so easy to use!
We created a new Webcast about a week prior to the event, giving it a name and setting permissions to enable anyone on the web to view it.
The default settings for the Webcast include a chat functionality, allowing viewers to type their questions or comments as they are watching the live stream. We uploaded a preview image with information about when the event was taking place. Finally, we took the embed code from the Share settings to embed the live stream neatly onto our promotional webpage.
We had a couple of comments come through on the feed during the live session, and the recording is still up on the event webpage for people to watch back. One down side to the stream was that non-Derby viewers accessing the webcast were prompted to login to UDo in order to leave comments. When using this technology for a similar purpose next time we’ll see if this can be amended in the settings.
The live stream brought a really innovative element to our event. Colleagues at Buxton could book out a room to show the live stream there, which meant we didn’t have to repeat the event across sites, and everyone could feel involved in real-time.
My top tips for using Panopto Webcast to live stream an event:
- Make sure the room you are using has a PC, projector, webcam and microphones (Speak to TEL about which rooms would be most suitable for your event, and speak to IT Field Support if you need extra equipment like we did).
- Setup the Webcast early and embed it onto the webpage you want viewers to see it from.
- Don’t forget to mic up your speakers and audience! Our viewers could hear the panel members but we didn’t have a roaming mic to capture what the audience in the room were saying.
- Have someone monitoring the comments. The comments will pop-up in the corner of the screen, but if like me you have your back to the screen you won’t be able to see who is contributing online!
- Build in some time to edit down the live steam after your event, making a shorter version of highlights.
Now that we know how easy it is to achieve a live stream using Panopto, we in the Library are looking to live stream other events and training sessions.