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Lecture Capture is the most valued resource by students - it is an aid for all but has significant value among students with disabilities. It is simple, free and easy to use for disabled students if they have access to a computer. This page documents several examples and helpful tools that Panopto offers to viewers.

To make the best use of this guide we suggest that you browse the information below and then head over to the Getting Started Guide which includes legal and policy guides, then review the Training Material. For other disability-related information please read the Lecture Capture Disability Guidance document and the wider resources available from the University Disability Advisory Service.



How to access captions

When watching video playback, the captions will be located on the left-hand side of the primary screen under the heading ‘Captions’. The captions will automatically scroll as the video plays so it keeps in sync with the presenter's voice. You can also click on the 'CC' logo underneath the player window to display captions underneath the player.

Image of a lecture with captions

After I have uploaded a recording, what are my options for creating captions?

Option A

Panopto has a built-in automated speech-to-text analysis tool which is a free tool that is enabled in the editor of each recording. To activate, open the recording in the editor, navigate to the 'Captions' heading, and select 'Import automatic captions'. Please note, that the Panopto automatic caption system was greatly improved in 2020 and works very well now on clearly recorded speech. Minor errors can easily be created in the captions editor window where text appears in sync with the talk - see image below.. A PDF-format guide covering activating captions is available at the following link:

The guide should open in your web browser. Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac) to save the PDF to your computer.

There is also a short 6-minute video on how to activate automatic captions available at the following link:

  Screenshot of the 'Import automatic captions' button
   Screenshot of the automatically generated captions

Option B

Captions may be created free-of-charge by staff or student volunteers from Oxford University directly within Panopto. It is also possible to export a recording as an MP4 file and use third-party transcription software such as Jubler or YouTube to create captions free of charge. The resulting .SRT file can then be uploaded into Panopto and displayed as captions alongside and/or underneath the video and, if necessary, can be edited further. YouTube has an automated speech-to-text engine, which in some instances can speed up the process of making captions. These can be uploaded on the setting page of each recording.


Option C

You can also use a third party captioning company. There is approximately a 4 day turnaround for the captions to be completed. A fast turnaround is possible, but at an increased cost. The charge for the captions is based on an hourly rate. The captions will be written in American English and will typically be a 98% accurate translation of the spoken words, though various factors such as poor-quality audio or unclear speech may reduce this accuracy. Contact the Replay Service for more information on this.

Keyword Search & Playback manipulation

For students with hearing impairments, or if English isn’t their second language is there a function where they can search for keywords within a lecture or find topics more easily?

Keyword Search

It is possible to find keywords or topics within a lecture quickly and easily. Panopto has a built-in smart search function which allows users to find keywords that are either spoken or contained within the contents of a recording. To begin a search, open the recording and on the left-hand side will be a search box. Enter your term and click the magnifying glass / press enter.

This will show a range of results found within the slide contents, captions, notes, bookmarks, and any discussions on the recording.



Please note that the amount of results varies depending on a range of factors including captions being made available, notes and discussions are utilised, and whether any curation has been done on the recording by administrative staff.

Smart Search is enabled for all recordings across the service by default. If recordings gets updated with new captions and updated slides, be sure to re-index each recording in the settings tab as shown below. 


Playback manipulation

Panopto recordings can be slowed down within the browser, which may be useful for students for who English is a second language. By clicking the speed settings option beneath the player window, recordings can be slowed down to either 75% (recommended) or 50% of their original speed, though the quality of the audio may be reduced. Recordings can also be sped up to 125% (recommended), 150% or 200%.

This image shows the location of playback speeds in the Panopto viewer


Some students may have trouble connecting to the Internet on a regular basis or their Internet speed is not suitable for streaming. What is the best way for those students to watch the lectures?

Option A

Recordings can be downloaded as standard MP3 or H.264 MP4 files for local offline playback. Some media player apps such as VLC Player ( also have playback speed options, and can display external SRT files as closed captions.

Option B

The student would be sent a copy of the transcript and the PowerPoint presentation of the lecture from the presenter and be able to study it manually and offline.

Important note

By downloading a recording of a lecture, the student / user is entering a mutual agreement with the University that recordings may only be viewed by that user and not shared / streamed to a wider audience. Both the lecturer and the University own rights in the recordings. Copyright protects the imagery of the slides, the words spoken by the lecturer and the recording itself. 

Mobility and Access

What happens if one of my students is physically unable to access the lecture room?

Option A

If a student is unable to physically access the lecture room then an alternative room will be set up and a live streaming of the lecture will be shown on a monitor or computer for the student to view.

Option B

The student can watch the lecture live on their device from anywhere with an internet connection. They will be provided with a URL address that will directly link with the lecture.

Recording Permissions

Students must be informed that the lecture is being recorded. A branded notice of Lecture recording can be found in the downloadable Legal Documents pack.

Also found within this pack is a Presenter and Participant release form.

Limiting access to recordings

Some departments choose to restrict access to Panopto to a subset of students (e.g. students with disabilities). The below steps explain how to do this:

Step 1 - Set up the correct roles in Canvas/WebLearn

In WebLearn or Canvas, check that all the students that are part of the course have the correct permissions. In WebLearn these permission roles should be set to access for the students and contribute or maintain for the staff. In Canvas, there are staff and student roles which act in the same way. Staff/contrubutor/maintainer roles are mapped to the creator role in Panopto, student/access roles are mapped to the viewer role in Panopto. Make sure the Panopto tool is enabled in the VLE site/course and click through into Panopto.

Step 2 - Create a usergroup in Panopto and add students

In the Panopto Lecture Capture portal, click System (bottom-left) > User Groups. Click New to create a new usergroup. Enter a sensible name for the usergroup e.g. "Physics Accessibility 2019-20" and click "Create Group". Add one or more users to the group by typing in their name, SSO or e-mail address into the autocomplete box and select the options from the dropdown. The users should appear as "Name - unified\ - e-mail address". If the user does not appear as an autocomplete option, they have probably never signed into Panopto, and you will need to contact them and ask them to click the Panopto tool in the WebLearn site or Canvas course before you can add them. Once you have finished adding users, click on the cross. You can return to the User Group page at a later date and add more users to the group.

Step 3 - Create a subfolder and assign permissions

In Panopto, via the left-hand Browse menu, visit the folder associated with your Canvas course or WebLearn site. Click Create (blue button at top) > New Folder and enter a name e.g. "Quantum Physics 101 - accessibility". Leave the "Inherit permissions from the parent folder" box checked and click "Create Folder". On the next screen, change the "Who has access?" permissions from "Inherit Permissions from [Parent Folder name]" to "Specific People". Click the cross next to the Viewer group, to remove the studnet cohort. Ensure you do not delete the Creator group, as this will remove staff access. Next, in the "Invite People" box, type the name of the accessibility usergroup you created in step 2, and select the correct usergroup from the autocomplete box and grant them "Can View" permissions. Ensure the "Notify people via e-mail" box remains unchecked. Click Save Changes. Once this is done, click on the cross in the top-right of the modal window.

Step 4 - Move or schedule recordings to the subfolder

The final step is to move recordings from the parent folder into the new accessibility subfolder. To do this, in the parent folder, hover over a session and check the box that appears in the top-left of the thumbnail image. You can then select all sessions in a folder by clicking the new box that appears in the top-left of the folder. Click Move, and type in the name of the accessibility subfolder you created in Step 3. You can also schedule future recordings to this new subfolder. Ony staff, and students in the accessibility usergroup, will be able to access the sessions in the subfolder. If in the future you wish to grant access to all students, simply move the sessions back to the parent folder.

Making slides accessible for recording

The below screencast explains how to create accessible PowerPoints for use in Panopto recording, benefiting all students.

Tips for Audio and Video Recording


  • Stay within microphone range
  • Don't stand close to any speakers (to avoid audio echo)
  • Speak clearly at a normal, steady pace
  • Describe visual information
  • Repeat questions from the audience


  • Stay within the camera frame
  • Face towards the audience / camera
  • Try not to turn away when speaking
  • Use black and dark blue markers on the whiteboard
  • Press chalk firmly on the blackboard
  • Make the size of your writing on the board visible

Tips for Audio and Video Recording (short and long versions) can be downloaded from the links below. You may like to print them and put a laminated copy alongside the podium in lecture venues, to assist lecturers in optimising the audio and video aspects of their presentation.  

Tips for Audio and Video Recording - short version

Tips for Audio and Video Recording - long version

We would also advise all faculty using Panopto to review the informative guides on creating accessible resources from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, particularly the guide on  "Creating accessible Powerpoints". 

For recording at home or in the office, please refer to our Best Practices guide on how to get the most out of the Panopto Manual Recorder.

Further Info

If you have any other questions regarding legalities, recording or setting up recordings please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section on the Help site. If you wish to view the departments that are currently using the Panopto Service please visit the Departments page. A list of departmental disability co-ordinators is available here - Additionally, please visit the Panopto Accessibility page for more information.

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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 1 July 2020