What UWE tools can help you make a multi-participant video?

Author: Hannah Duke
Edited by: Tom Buckley, Michael Harris

Video has become an integral part of our learning and teaching approaches. During the crisis this has mostly been presentations to camera. There will be times when a solo piece to camera is not the right approach and you need to have multiple people on screen. This could be a video of a conversation or panel or something a little more ‘stagey’ like a module welcome video. This article explores the choices you have in creating this content.

There are three options you could choose from depending on the type of multi-participant video you would like to create.

Option 1. Recording in Collaborate, exporting from the Collaborate recording repository and hosting the video in Panopto

Example of output

The first option is suitable if you would like the focus to be on one person talking at a time, recording in blackboard collaborate would be the best option because it is automatically set up to focus on one person at a time without the distraction of seeing other people. This will be akin to a series of monologues linked together by a host.


  • Easy to record and find recording; One person on the screen at a time – In the recording whomever is speaking is on the screen so it can focus on them without any distractions
  • More intimate if only one person is on the screen and it removes the distractions of others.


  • By default, you see the current speaker and therefore you can’t see multiple people on the screen at the same time in the recording
  • If the camera is following the current speaker it can be difficult to follow a conversation as it may switch quickly between different people. So a natural conversation can be jarring.
  • The camera following the speaker which can be problematic as if someone makes a noise the camera will focus on that noise. It cannot differentiate between speech and a noise. So careful management of participant microphones is needed to stop the camera jumping around based on unimportant noise.
  • Lower quality video.

Option 2. Multiple videos on screen in the recording

Example of output

There will be times where you need none-verbal communication to be on screen. These are envisaged to be where:

  • a roleplay necessitates depicting a reaction as important;
  • where none-verbal communication is an important facet of the learning outcome;
  • a none verbal service user is involved in creating the output;

If this is the case there is a workflow specific to creating this content. This is best accessed through a conversation with your local learning technologist.

Option 3. Recording separate videos using Panopto and put them together in a playlist

Example of output

The 3rd option is suitable if you are unable to bring all members to one meeting at the same time. This option requires each member to record separate Panopto recordings and put them all together in a playlist within Panopto.


  • If everyone cannot meet at the same time, they can create videos and put them together at the end.
  • Allows for a more polished output in video. Practiced and higher quality.


  • For the people view it could seem like it doesn’t flow that well.
  • They may have different styles of presenting and/ or settings on their machine which may make the output a little uneven.

How to Create Multi-participant Videos

Option 1: How to record in Collaborate, exporting from the recording repository and hosting the video in Panopto.

Option 2: Speak to either Tom Buckley (Frenchay) or Michael Harris(Glenside)

Option 3: How to record separate Panoptos and put them together in playlist.

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