Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Tag: Jim Holton Page 2 of 3

Instructional Technologist

Panopto in Chrome

Chrome icon

If you’re a Chrome user, you may have noticed recently that a Panopto video stops playing if you toggle to a different tab. This has been enabled by default.

If you’re multitasking like a lot of us, this can be really annoying. If you’d like to continue to be able to play videos in the background while navigating different tabs, you can change your Chrome settings to do so.

How to change the video playback setting:

  1. Inside of your Chrome browser, type: chrome://flags/
  2. A list of “experiments” should pop up.
  3. Find Optimize background video playback in the list.
  4. Click on the dropdown box and select Disabled.
  5. Restart Chrome.

The New Box View

The Blackboard Assignment feature has an online document viewer and online marking interface named Crocodoc, which is a third party technology licensed by Blackboard. Crocodoc will stop working on January 15, 2018 as the technology has been deprecated by the third party supplier. A replacement document viewer and online marking interface will be made available as part of an update supplied by Blackboard. The new inline grading tool is known as the new Box View and will be activated on December 21st as part of the upgrade to Blackboard.

What happens when we move to the new document viewer and online marking interface in December?

When we move to the new document viewer and online marking interface all existing assignments that were submitted in Blackboard will be transitioned to the new interface. There will be a short time where it will not be possible to view Blackboard assignment submissions using the marking interface, but the submissions can be downloaded directly to your computer.

Once the transition to the new document viewer and online marking interface is complete assignments that were marked with the old interface will have any annotations that had been made during marking “burned in” and those existing annotations will no longer be editable. Blackboard has also informed its customers of an issue where comments made within Crocodoc, especially lengthy comments, may get cut off by the right margin within the new Box View. Additional annotations can be made over the top of these old assignments if required.

New and existing assignments will then use the new document viewer and online marking interface.

What changes will I notice with the new document viewer and online marking interface for Blackboard Assignments?

The new document viewer and online marking interface for Blackboard Assignments will have much better support for file types and fonts and will resolve a known issue with rendering of some documents.

The new document viewer and online marking interface will not immediately support “freehand drawing” over a submission – only comments and highlighting.

The image below shows the old and new interfaces side by side.

Assignment view comparison

This table compares the two annotation services.

Functions and DetailsCrocodocNew Box View
File types for conversionPDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCXOver 100 different file types, including video, audio, image, and programming code

File Types and Fonts Supported in Box Content Preview

File types for annotationPDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCXPDF, DOC, DOCX, ODT, PPT, PPTX and ODP

New Box View also supports only point-based annotations on these file formats: AI, BMP, DCM, EPS, GIF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVS, TGA, TIF, and TIFF

Course areasOriginal assignments, Ultra assignments, and in Ultra tests’ additional submission areaOriginal assignments, Ultra assignments, and in Ultra tests’ additional submission area
Annotation typesText- and point-based comments, highlighting, and drawingPoint-based comments and highlighting
DownloadUsers download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotationsUsers can download a copy of a student file, but annotations won’t appear
Print functionNoYes
StudentsCan’t add annotations to documentsCan’t add annotations to documents
Bb GraderCan add annotations to documentsCan add annotations to documents with workaround

Annotate submissions in Bb Grader app


What do I need to do?

If at all possible, consider not grading assignments during the week of December 17th unless all of the assignments can be graded prior to the 20th. Delaying grading will avoid any problems if grades/comments need to be changed for recently graded assignments.

Introducing Panopto 5.6

Get ready for an early Christmas present! Panopto is releasing the next version of its web platform on December 21st — version 5.6. Please note, on the 21st Panopto will be down from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM ET to perform the update. Any attempt to access recordings or upload new videos during this time will result in a “Server unable to connect” message.

Among the headline features of the new version:

  • Blackboard Gradebook integration — Panopto’s video quizzes can be integrated as Blackboard assignments, and quiz results can be accessed directly from within the Blackboard gradebook.
  • Build video presentations in the editor — You can use the HTML5 editor to upload individual media files and slide decks in order to build new video and audio presentations.
  • New analytics capabilities — You can download an Excel spreadsheet that reports on usage by viewing type (mobile vs. embed vs. interactive vs. download).
  • Playlists — Playlists allow videos to be presented in a single, ordered list even if those videos exist in different folders.
  • Support for 360-degree video — You can upload videos captured by 360-degree cameras and watch them using the interactive player, embedded player, and popular VR headsets like Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR.

More information will be coming as the release date gets closer.

DeSales DEIT

Panopto 5.4

After July 21, Panopto for Windows and Panopto for Mac will need to be upgraded to version 5.4 or above. Panopto 5.4 includes important bug fixes and a few new features.

Users on prior versions will be prompted to upgrade when they run Panopto for Windows or Panopto for Mac. Users will need to download and install the latest version of the app. See instructions for details on Windows and Mac.

Panopto for Windows Upgrade Prompt
Panopto for Mac Upgrade Prompt

Note: You will be unable to upload new recordings until they have upgraded.

What’s new?

There have been some small changes to the user interface of both the Panopto web site and the Panopto Recorder. The major changes are:


Blackboard Discussion Boards

Discussions are a popular interaction tool in Blackboard courses. When using surveys, there are a few items to keep in mind:

  • When added to a content area such as the Weekly Units area of a Blackboard course, what is being created is a link. Changing the link name or description does not change the corresponding discussion. Deleting the link will not delete the discussion.
  • All course discussions are listed in the Discussion Board menu within a course. Making a discussion link unavailable or putting a date restriction on a link will hide the forum in the Discussion Board menu. Putting an available discussion link in a hidden folder will not hide the discussion in the Discussion Board menu.

Additional information from “About Discussions, Forums, and Threads” (

Discussions are a good way to encourage students to think critically about your coursework and interact with each others’ ideas. You can create discussions around individual course lessons or for your course in general. As the instructor, you own the discussions. After you start a discussion, you can post comments of your own to guide students.

Just as it is critical to plan and structure your course content, you need to provide structure for online discussions.

The main discussion board page displays a list of forums. A forum is where participants discuss a topic or a group of related topics. Within each forum, users can create multiple threads. A thread includes the initial post and all replies to it. You can create forums and threads to organize discussions into units or topics relevant to your course.

Discussions appear sequentially so all course members can follow the conversation.

Panopto 5.3 update

Panopto5Logo_SmallIn mid-December, Panopto released version 5.3 of their platform. The update includes some new features, including:

  • Quizzing – questions can be added directly into Panopto recordings during the editing process. Instructors can see the results in Panopto, at both the individual student and class levels.
  • Captions – all sessions created after 12/17/16 will automatically have machine-generated captions added. The captions can then be changed during the editing process. Captions can also be manually requested for older recordings.
  • Enhanced editing – several functions previously only available in the advanced editor have been added to the standard web-based editor, including switching between multiple video feeds, adding new slides into a recording, and adding a custom image that appears prior to playing a recording.

Find more details on these new features by visiting the Faculty or Student orientations within Blackboard Learn (, or watch a webinar from Panopto.

Panopto Outage

The Panopto site will be offline Saturday, December 17th, from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

During the outage, you will not be able to access recordings on the server, and any attempts to upload new recordings will result in a “Server unable to connect” message.

Creating a Blackboard Banner Using PowerPoint

This article explains the steps necessary for creating a custom Blackboard course banner using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Creating a custom Banner for a Blackboard course using Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 (or any other version) is a two part process: First you need to create your banner, then you need to upload it to your Blackboard course.

Part 1: Creating your custom Banner with PowerPoint

  1. Choose Start a new presentation, then choose the Design Tab.Design tab
  2. Choose Slide Size. Then choose Custom Slide Size.

Custom Slide Size

  1. On the Slide Size window, choose Banner, then OK.


  1. When prompted, choose Maximize. Leave the default banner dimensions.Maximize
  2. In the Presentation screen, add the course name and other preferred information. Add background colors and images as desired.
    MG-201 Banner
  3. Save the completed banner to your computer as a GIF, JPEG, or PNG file. To do this, click the File button at the top left of the screen, select Save As, then select the location. TIP: Saving to the desktop will make finding and uploading it easier. Select .JPG, .GIF, or .PNG as the file type. Click Save.Format Select Screen
  4. Select Just This One.Just This One

Part 2: Uploading your banner to Your Blackboard Course

  1. Enter your Blackboard course, and choose Customization –> Teaching Style.Teaching Style
  2. Scroll to the Select Banner section and choose Browse My Computer.Browse My Computer
  3. Navigate to and select the Banner you made in Part 1 above.Banner Files Select
  4. Verify the correct file is attached and choose Submit.

Banner Submit Screen

Modified from article published by Rachel Myers, Iowa State University (

Panopto 5.2 Update


Panopto 5.2 Update

The DeSales Panopto server was updated on June 25th, 2016. With this update came several new features and a few updates to the interface. New features include:

A new web-based editor

The new Panopto editor can be used in multiple browsers and does not need Silverlight for basic edits. If all you need to do is create, edit, or delete cuts to a recording, edit table of contents entries, or edit slides, stream start times, you can use the new editor to make those basic changes. The editor does also have a new look. The individual streams now have an icon in front to help you identify them, many of the tools are now highlighted in blue when in use, making it easier to determine which tool is in use, and changes will be automatically saved. Note: Changes will not be displayed to viewers unless the Publish button is selected. You can also more easily undo any changes. More information can be found on the Panopto support site at

*More advanced editing is available through a link found under the More… link at the top-left of the editor, but will still require Silverlight for the more advanced functions.

Automatic upload timer

When using the Panopto Recorder for Windows, a timer has been added that will automatically upload videos if the user forgets to select the Upload button.

Revised styling of embedded videos

If you embed Panopto recordings in Blackboard using the embed code available when viewing the Share options on the Panopto web site, the embedded video will look at bit different. The branding of DeSales University is more tightly integrated with the video itself, and the video will take up less room on the page.

Drop boxes renamed to Assignment folders

When allowing students to create videos for a course, when accessing the settings of a Panopto course folder, the link on the Folder Settings screen is now listed as Create Assignment Folder. The folder listed for students when they access the Recorder themselves should include the course ID & name, followed by [assignments].

Home page updates

The Panopto web site for DeSales ( has been redesigned. Several changes have been made, such as:

  • The left navigation bar has been removed for unauthenticated users.
  • A new grid layout has been added to all session list pages. The grid layout responsively scales to accommodate different browser sizes.
  • A “Shared with Me” view has been added which shows all sessions shared directly with the user or with a group in which the user is a member.
  • The “All Sessions” view has been renamed “Everything” in the navigation.
  • The “Folders” section has been renamed “Browse” in the navigation.

Contact DEIT regarding any questions about these changes.

Blackboard changes to SafeAssign assignments

With the recent update of Blackboard, one of the major changes to the system is the location of SafeAssign. Rather than being its own item under the Assessments menu, SafeAssign is now integrated with the Assignments item. To enable SafeAssign for an assignment:

1. From a Content area, select Assessments…Assignment.

2. On the Create Assignment page, under the Grading section, expand Submission Details.

Assignment Details Screen





3. Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.

Plagiarism Tools Screen






Optionally, select one or both checkboxes for:

  • Allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submissions.
  • Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases.

4. Complete the Create Assignment page.

5. Click Submit.

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