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  6.  — Panopto or Zoom: Which should you use for teaching online?

Panopto or Zoom: Which should you use for teaching online?

Zoom and Panopto allow you to create recordings of online meetings, but they have different strengths and meet different needs for online work and teaching.

Using Zoom for synchronous remote teaching activities 

Zoom is a multi-party, video conferencing application that allows you to meet with students online when you cannot meet in-person. It is best suited for interactive discussions and can be used for one-on-one meetings such as office hours, small classes, and even large classes. Instructors can share the Zoom recordings via a direct link or upload to Panopto.  

Using Panopto to upload, record, edit, and manage teaching videos 

Panopto is a video management solution available through Canvas. The tools are best suited for pre-recorded lectures, flipped classroom, or live webcasts. Instructors can use Panopto to record themselves and/or their screens and easily share the recording back out to students through announcements, assignment/quiz instructions, discussion posts, and pages in modules.  

Review the feature comparison below to determine how and where to best use each tool. Both tools are available at no cost to faculty, students, and staff. 

Learn more about Panopto and Zoom. 

Feature / ToolZoomPanopto
Join by phone
Interactive discussions
  • Yes. Zoom is designed for interactive discussions
  • Up to 300 participants.
  • Unlimited meeting duration.

  • Panopto is not designed for interactive discussions.
  • Viewers can type questions in the Discussion section.
  • Webcasting has a slight time delay and does not include the same interactive features as Zoom.
  • Webcasts can broadcast to 5,000 participants.

Easy sharing of recordings
Zoom recordings stored in the cloud are available to meeting participants in their Previous Meetings.

  • Panopto recordings can be shared in Canvas or Panopto.
  • The sharing settings are more granular.

Playback features
  • Variable speed playback.
  • Search within recordings.
  • Rewind previous 10 seconds.
  • Add discussion or notes.
  • Bookmark a place in the recording.
  • Automated captioning is available for recordings but live transcription is not available for live webcasting.

Display control
  • Presenter’s computer screen.
  • Presenter’s talking head.
  • View both talking head and computer screen simultaneously.

  • Presenter’s computer screen.
  • Presenter’s talking head.
  • View both talking head and computer screen simultaneously.

User view
  • Active speaker view (default)
  • Gallery view: all meeting participants visible simultaneously.

Users can view two screens. By default, the main screen (PC/Mac), but users can choose which source is larger, or display a full screen of one source.

Each user can post a question or comment during the meeting to everyone in the meeting or to an individual participant. This chat conversation can be saved to the local computer when the meeting ends.

  • Users can post questions and make comments via the viewer window during live broadcast.
  • Viewers can also take public and private notes during broadcast.
  • Questions, comments and notes are stored after the broadcast.

Assessment use
  • Yes, quizzes can be inserted into Panopto videos.
  • Instructors can use the Blackboard assignment workflow to ask students to submit Panopto videos for an assignment.

Breakout rooms
Yes, meeting host can create.
Mobile friendly
Yes. Download the Zoom mobile app.
Yes. Panopto is available via mobile browser or app.

Recording lifespan
  • Deleted after 60 days when recording to the Zoom cloud.
  • Recordings can be downloaded from Zoom cloud to your local computer.
  • Integrating Zoom with Panopto automatically uploads Zoom cloud recordings to Panopto, where they are stored for longer.

  • Stored indefinitely.
  • Recordings can be downloaded from Panopto to your local computer.
Students can schedule and start study sessions
Yes, students can use free Zoom license.

Only for Administrators.

Yes, each video has analytic report for Creators.

Page updated 2/01/2023

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