Using Panopto Bookmarks, Notes and Discussions tools

This guide explains how students can make use of Panopto’s annotation and commenting tools.


Students can add their own bookmarks to a Panopto video, to mark a place they want to go back to later. Bookmarks are private to the student.

How to add a bookmark

  1. From the Panopto home page, locate the video you want to view and click on the title.
  2. Click on ‘Bookmarks’ on the left.
  3. Play the video, and pause at the point where you want to add the bookmark.
  4. Type a meaningful name for your bookmark into the ‘Add a bookmark’ box and press Enter.
  5. Your bookmarks will be listed in the order they appear in the video, with a timestamp next to each.
  6. You can edit or delete a bookmark by clicking on the three dots next to it.

Screenshot of the side menu for bookmarks, notes and discussions

Click on ‘See all your bookmarks’ or select ‘Bookmarked’ from your Panopto home page to filter your bookmarked videos and see the bookmarks listed by each recording.

Screenshot of bookmarked videos


Students can make notes as they watch the video. This could be a question they want to ask, a reminder of something from a different resource, or anything else they want to write to help absorb the information. They can even add hyperlinks, which they can then access by right-clicking on the link.

As with bookmarks, the notes are timestamped. The student can click on the note to be taken to that section of the video.

By default, notes are private to the student, but they can choose to make them public. Notes can be downloaded to a text file.

How to add a note

Do this in the same way as for a bookmark, but click on ‘Notes’ on the left.

Download your notes by clicking on the download icon next to the channel name.

Screenshot of Notes channel and download button

Notes channels

Students can also create channels to collaborate with others, share notes and discuss points between themselves. To do this, they can click on the dropdown arrow by their name, select ‘Join a channel…’ and type in a name for the channel. Anyone else who types in that name will see that notes that were added under it.

Channel names are case-sensitive. They do not appear in a drop-down list once created, so the name acts as a sort of password – only people given it will be able to access that channel, by typing in the name they have been given.


Discussions are public comments that others can reply to. They can be seen and answered by anyone with viewer access to the recording. There are nested replies to comments, and the whole discussion can be downloaded to a text file.

Screenshot of a discussion comment and reply

Again, discussion comments are timestamped to sync with the video, as well as having the actual time and date recorded for when the comment was left.

How to add a discussion comment

Do this in the same way as for a bookmark, but click on ‘Discussion’ on the left.

If there is already a comment there, you will also have the option to reply to it.

Search function

Notes, discussions and bookmarks can all be searched using the main search bar. The results indicate where the search term was found using icons as shown below.

Screenshot of search results


Emojis can be added to bookmarks, notes and discussions. While they can be just a bit of fun, they could also provide a visual cue to help students organise their notes; for example a hands-up or confused face could be used to mark points they want to ask about in class.

Screenshot of a note with an emoji

To add an emoji, right click in the text box and select ‘Emoji’ from the menu.

Points to note

YouTube videos

Linking to YouTube videos in your desktop recording can be very useful, but bear in mind that notes and discussions won’t sync with the YouTube content. Students can still write notes, but they will be timestamped at the point in your recording where the YouTube content starts.

If you are linking to YouTube content it may therefore be a good idea to present it in short clips with reflection points in between.

Copying sessions

If you copy your Panopto recording so that you can use it in a different module run, bookmarks, notes and discussion comments will not be retained in the copy. This means you can use it again from scratch with a new cohort.

Further information

For ideas on how to use these tools with students, see Active learning using Bookmarks, Notes and Discussions in Panopto.

See also the Panopto help pages on Discussions and Notes.


Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels