RePlay: the lecture recording service at Royal Holloway


Lecture recording has been used successfully for several years by many colleagues across the College. The current policy consolidates the policy in operation 2019-21, and builds on the positive experience of recording during 2020-21. It has helped make our education both more flexible and more inclusive.

New: Read the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) resources start of session support pack

Hear from colleagues who are already using lecture recording

Learn about the lecture recording service

Benefits of lecture recording technology

  • Flexibility of access for all students
  • Non-linear viewing allows supports review and revision practices
  • Increased accessibility for hearing impaired and non-native speaking students
  • Copyright is protected by streaming content
  • Recordings can be reused in other courses
  • The use of recorded content supports blended and active learning approaches

Features of the RePlay service


Click the image to expand

Panopto interface graphic with labels

  • Automated recording and publishing of scheduled lectures to Moodle course pages
  • Streamed video, audio and multimedia content
  • Platform independent - content can be recorded, uploaded and viewed using Windows, Mac, desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone devices
  • Content can be viewed via Moodle, web browser or a dedicated app
  • User-centric tools - non-linear viewing, playback speed control and recording quality settings
  • Closed captions are automatically created for each video
  • Bookmarks, live notes and discussion areas for each recording (optional)
  • Students can submit content for formative and summative assessment
  • Live and recorded broadcasts - for synchronous and asynchronous viewing

The lecture recording project & the next steps

The first two weeks of Autumn Term 19/20 with an opt-out lecture recording policy were incredible.  Here are some headlines and highlights:

  • A fivefold increase in recorded lectures in Week 1
  • A 95% success rate  (scheduling, audio quality)
  • A continuous improvement mindset which has addressed problems as soon as the occur and prevent reocurrence (mic levels and positioning, video)
  • High levels of academic staff engagment with the service, development sessions and those who support the project

With continuous improvement in mind and the desire to sustain and build upon such a strong start we are looking ahead to he next steps.  Martin King, Senior Learning Technologist prepared a slideshow, initially for the project board but relevant to all stakeholders, on the priorities, pedagogies and possibilities of RePlay (Panopto) and the lecture recording project.

Lecture Recording_ Next Steps

Lecture recording FAQs

These FAQs supplement the Policy on the recording of lecture agreed at AB on 2nd June 2021

1. What is Lecture Recording and what is it not?

Recording is carried out through an automated system, which in its most common form, provides an audio recording of the lecture AND the PowerPoint presentation used in the class (alternative recording possibilities are available to accommodate different class formats).

Recordings are made by the RePlay service (powered by Panopto) and then accessed by students through Moodle to support and extend their work after the class, including for revision, to catch-up on missed classes, and for those with particular educational needs.

Recordings are provided as support material, and are not a replacement for the richer interaction that takes place in the lecture itself, although recording may also be used as part of ‘flipped’ learning.

2. What will be recorded?

All classes which are designated as lectures in the timetable and are being delivered on campus will be recorded automatically. 

A number of other large scale classes will also be recorded where this has been requested by Schools and agreed as suitable for recording.

3. What if I would like something else to be recorded?

Staff can request that non-lecture events are recorded.
To cancel a future recording booking, please contact our Audio Visual team.

Staff may wish to manually record other teaching events; use their own laptop to record live in-person or remote sessions; or pre-record material for flipped-learning.  Additionally, lectures delivered online will require manual recording, as in 2020/21.  The following resources support this:

4. What do I do if I have concerns about a session being recorded?

Although there are many to students of lectures being recorded, the policy recognises that there may be times when recording is not appropriate.  If you believe this to be the case please discuss this in advance with your School Director of Undergraduate Education. It is important to capture the rationale and also ensure alternative resources are available to students. 

It may be that editing aspects of the recording offers a reasonable alternative to protect the benefits to students whilst safeguarding against the risks. (see Q5) 

5. Can I edit my recordings?

Yes.  Recordings can be edited by clicking on the Course Settings link in a Moodle course's RePlay block. From this interface, session settings and content can be adjusted as required.

For more information on how to make specific changes:

6. When and where will my recording be available to release and edit?

Staff can access recordings of their lectures shortly after they have been recorded and processed.  This can take up to an hour if the recording is long and/or at busy periods.

  • The default setting for module folders in Panopto is to NEVER release recorded content

  • This allows lecturers to control if and when recordings are released, and provides time to make any required edits

  • Lecturers can PUBLISH recordings individually and manually

The most direct route to viewing and editing recordings is via the Course Settings link in a Moodle course's RePlay block.

7. Who can view my recordings?

Recordings of lectures are uploaded to their respective Panopto folders and are immediately available to those staff who are assigned to the module’s Moodle course.

Once a recording has been published, the viewer group for that academic course -  that is those students who are enrolled on and log-into the associated course within Moodle – can view it.

8. Academic module contents

Each academic module on Moodle has a folder in Panopto.  Each recording in Panopto inherits its access permissions from its parent folder.  Module folders are set to Never release recordings automatically.

9. My Folder content

Personal folders, referred to as My Folder, provide staff with a private sandbox / safe space to create content without risk of accidental release.

Recordings in personal My Folders can be viewed only by the folder owner.  Materials created here can be moved to module folders for student viewing.

10. How do I delete a recording?

Recordings can be edited by clicking on the Course Settings link in a Moodle course's RePlay block.

Each recording has a delete button.  Accidentally deleted content can be restored (subject to a time limit of 90 days)

11. When and where will students get access to recordings?

Students can access recordings of their lectures as soon as they are released by the lecturer. 

The most direct route to viewing lecture recordings is via the RePlay block in a Moodle course.

12. Where can I get more training and support and examples of good practice?

The E-Learning Team has produced a Creating Engaging Content in RePlay/Panopto Moodle course which covers many aspects of the service including editing lecture recordings, and recording podcasts, or mini-lectures on a laptop.

13. How do I pause a recording?

You can pause and resume a recording at any time by pressing the F9 button on the keyboard.  For those recording with a Mac, CMD-OPT-P pauses and resumes the process.

This is useful if you want to open the floor to discussions of sensitive issues that should not be recorded and published.

14. How do I make recordings from previous academic years available in the current year?

 There is a Moodle-based Guide on how to do this

15. How long are recordings retained?

For the current and one subsequent academic year (to allow for resits).

The college has a formal ‘takedown’ policy.

16. Sensitive content, or views and students living in politically sensitive regimes

Universities have a duty to support freedom of speech but – occasionally – there may be concerns about the  nature of discussions for a range of reasons including commercial and political sensitivity. Lecturers have control of lecture content and can pause a recording when covering restricted or politically sensitive information and/or edit the content before making any recorded lecture available to students.

If you are concerned about these issues, please discuss with the School Director of Undergraduate Education who will be able to advise.

17. How does lecture recording comply with GDPR?

Data protection legislation identifies the grounds (also known as legal basis) on which a data controller (in this case, the College) can process personal data. As a data controller, the College must identify the most appropriate legal basis for each of its activities which involve personal data.

The data protection team has considered the legal basis available and concluded that it was appropriate for the College to process the personal data which would be captured in the recording of educational activities in the pursuit of its legitimate interests to provide education in an accessible and sustainable format to support students beyond the initial delivery of the material.

Please notify the audience in advance that the event will be recorded, maybe attach a note at the beginning of your first slide about the event being recorded.

18. How can I prevent sensitive information from being published?

It is advisable to consider in advance all content you record (especially at the editing stage of the recording) before sharing or publishing any recordings which might identify a person or their personal data information.

Sometimes it may be unavoidable that sensitive information is inadvertently captured through the lecture capture system. If special category data (formerly known as sensitive personal data) is captured consent should be sought, from the individuals who disclose personal data, to share the recording as soon as possible. If consent is not sought or given then the lecture should be edited to remove the sensitive data prior to publishing. 

Special category data includes personal data revealing; racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data and data concerning a person’s health, sex life and sexual orientation.

If you feel that a recording made of a lecture may have sensitivity or privacy concerns, please discuss with your School Director of Undergraduate Education.

19. Can students opt 0ut of Lecture Recording?

Students still retain rights around the use of their personal data, and can opt out of the processing by turning off their cameras, or sitting in an area of the room which is not within sight of the camera where the education is taking place in person.

The College as the data controller has the responsibility to approve and process opt-outs and objections unless the College can demonstrate a compelling legitimate ground for processing the personal data, which overrides the interests, rights and freedoms of the individuals being recorded.

An individual can also object to the processing as it relates specifically to them, but not to the processing as a whole. To do so, they must contact dataprotection@rhul.ac.uk.

20. What do I need to do if I have a Guest Speaker?

Please ensure that if you have any speakers/guests (non employees) invited to address classes that you have obtained their written consent to record their content.

21. I am using my own laptop to present a lecture. Do I need to do anything different?

No.  If personal devices are used for recording lectures, please ensure that you comply with the College’s Mobile Working Policy. Where practicable all recordings made by College staff or on behalf of the College should be made on College owned devices to support fair and lawful processing of personal data.

22. Are there Intellectual Property and Takedown guidance/policy documents? 


Guidance for students

How should students make effective use of lecture recordings?

Nordmann et al. (2018) published a guide for students and staff to promote effective strategies for the use of recorded lectures. 


Nordmann, E., Kuepper-Tetzel, C., Robson, L., Phillipson, S., Lipan, G. and Mcgeorge, P. (2018). Lecture capture: Practical recommendations for students and lecturers. [online] OSF. Available at:  https://psyarxiv.com/ux29v/ [Accessed 15 Jan. 2019].

Read and share with your students a pdf version of this guide

Main points

  1. Promote supplemental use - students should attend live lectures and use recordings to additionally review the material
  2. Promote selective use that encourages deep learning - students should review their understanding of the material and target sections of the recording that need strengthened.
  3. Promote distributed practice - do not label lecture capture as a tool for revision week as this may unintentionally encourage binging the boxset, instead highlight lecture capture as a constant study resource.

What are students permitted to do with lecture recordings?

Students can only watch and listen to recordings.  Recordings are streamed by default and cannot be downloaded.

Listed within our College Student Conduct Regulations, under the 'Types of Misconduct' it states; '‘the sharing on public platforms, including but not limited to, video-hosting sites and social media, of recordings of academic lectures and seminar', is an offence which would constitute misconduct. 

Why can’t students record lectures themselves if they cannot keep up?

A centrally supported, streamed and copyright-protected quality recording, which is published only to those studying a module, is far superior and equitable than the unknown quantity and whereabouts of low-quality recordings.

What does the research say?

If I record my lectures will my students stop attending?

There's no evidence to suggest that this is true at Royal Holloway, where 10% of modules offered recordings of some or all of the lectures in 2018/19.

A review of literature in to the use of lecture recordings in Higher Education found that there was no systematic pattern of results for studies using lecturer ratings of attendance or student self-reports, indicating that associations are likely to be influenced by contextual factors.  Such factors could include the following:

  • quality of the lecture content and delivery
  • timing of the lecture
  • level of study
  • student ability
  • approaches to learning
  • assessment practices

Hear what Newcastle University's Student Union Education Officer has to say about student use of lecture recordings.

Will providing instant access to recordings of lectures only serve to reward those who have skipped them?

Lecture recordings should be viewed as supplementary to live lectures.  One of the most sophisticated analyses of the relationship between use of lecture recordings and grades found that the students who derived the most benefit from watching lecture recordings were the students who also attended the majority of lectures.

Should only badly attended lectures be recorded and made available?

It would be better to understand why attendance rates are poor in the first place.  The effects of lecture recordings on student attendance interact with both the quality of the lectures and the quality of the student. Research at Stanford found that poorly attended lectures had lecture capture recordings that were watched less frequently than well attended lectures.

Will students stop taking notes during lectures if they have access to recordings?

Research carried out by McKinney, Dyck and Luber, 2009 indicated that students that used lecture recordings took more extensive notes.  Given that note-taking is known to increase academic performance ( Kiewra, 1985), students may benefit from the ability to reinforce their lecture notes at a pace of their own choosing.

Got a technical lecture recording query?

Please contact our Audio Visual team who will be able to assist. 

Want to install Panopto on your computer?

Discover how to download Panopto onto your computer by using our IT FAQs.  





Moodle courses

Support videos

YouTube Channel

Social Media




Staff guide to lecture capture

Find out more about lecture recording.


Student briefing guide

A PowerPoint slide for use when informing students that the lecture will be recorded.


Case studies

How are colleagues extending their use of RePlay beyond recording lectures?


Potential uses

How else can RePlay / Panopto be used?