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

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

If you would like there to be more of a flow of conversation between people and able to see multiple people on a screen at one time, the 2nd option of recording a Microsoft Teams meeting would be a better option. You can see up to 4 people on a screen at a time in Microsoft Teams.


  • Easy to record.
  • Records up to 4 people on the screen at a time.
  • Being able to view multiple people on the screen at once allows for a natural flow of conversation.


  • You have to see 4 people on the screen at the same time (Spotlight on one person is a feature coming in the future); Only 4 people at a time, not more, so it will show on screen to whoever was speaking last even if they are not relevant to the current topic of conversation.
  • The recording may be hard to follow as it could be difficult to figure out who is talking due to the smaller view on the screen and if it switches between multiple people on the screen.
  • The recording may need editing. Without editing the recording begins with name and time meeting and there is other screen noise(icons flashing up etc) that may need trimming.
  • Lower quality video.

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

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 Michael Harris

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