Tips for Evaluating a Student Response System in Higher Education

The system, such as the YuJa Engage Student Response System, allows instructors to pose questions to students through surveys and polls. Students respond in real-time using various devices, such as a smartphone or laptop.

When it’s time to evaluate student response systems for your institution, some key considerations include: 

Does it work within your existing technologies?: It’s critical to ensure the SRS integrates with your institution’s existing learning management system (LMS) and other educational platforms, such as single sign-on, the gradebook, and presentation software. This compatibility will help create a smooth experience and provide efficient data management.

An SRS dashboard should provide robust analytics and reporting features to track student performance and engagement.

What question types are available?: Look for a system that offers a variety of response options, such as multiple-choice, true-or-false, short answer, matching and clickable image. This flexibility allows instructors to tailor questions to different learning objectives through classroom gamification.

How does the dashboard inform decision-making?: An SRS dashboard should provide robust analytics and reporting features to track student performance and engagement. Look for systems that provide insightful data on individual and class-wide progress.

Does it have other helpful tools?: Does the SRS provide additional features and tools, such as mobile apps for on-the-go engagement, attendance tracking, and gradebook integration? 

Does the platform have a user-friendly interface?: A student response system should have an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for both instructors and students, which promotes adoption and minimizes the learning curve.A group of students engaged in their laptops

Is it cost effective?: Consider the overall cost of implementing and maintaining the SRS. Evaluate licensing models, subscription fees, and any additional costs associated with features or support.

Does it offer support and training needed to make the tool a success?: Look for a system that offers instructors and students comprehensive technical support and training resources. Adequate support ensures a smooth implementation and resolves any issues promptly.

Choosing the right SRS not only enhances student engagement but also contributes to a streamlined and effective learning experience, ultimately fostering a positive impact on both instructors and students.

YuJa’s Top 10 Most Read Blogs of 2023

Take a look back at your favorites, catch up on what you missed, and get ready for another year in higher-ed technology insights. 

1. How to Record Lecture Videos: Lecture capture solutions have enabled instructors to record course-related videos just about anywhere. In this blog, we share five steps to get you started recording your own videos.

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2. Challenging Advanced Students With Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction, seen both as a teaching philosophy and instructional strategy, is one method instructors can use to support and challenge learners at all levels. In this blog, we outline ideas for challenging high achievers.

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3. YuJa Announces 2023 Scholarship Winner: 170 students submitted essays to the scholarship essay contest last year. A panel of judges selected Esther Kim, a University of Southern California student, as the winner. 

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4. How Gradient Text Makes Content More Accessible to All: Gradient readers can help people process information. Studies have shown that while using this type of technology, people read further down a page and are more likely to read to the end than when text was presented in a traditional format. In this blog, we share what gradient text is and how it can help people learn.

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5. Blended Learning vs Flipped Classroom: Each modality integrates both online and classroom learning, but they each have advantages in higher education. In this blog, we define each and share potential use cases for each.

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6. What is Scalable Video Transcoding: Transcoding is a process that happens after encoding, which dictates how raw data is compressed and formatted into a video file. This blog explains the process, advantages and benefits of scalable transcoding.

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7. Tips for Maximizing YuJa Video Quality Within Lecture Capture: Video technology is a valuable tool in improving student engagement and facilitating remote learning in higher education. In this blog, we outline ways to use your video platform to enhance student engagement.

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a graphic for flipped classroom

8. Flipped Classroom 101: A History, Benefits and Tools for the Learning Model: Flipped classrooms offer a host of benefits for students, teachers and parents alike. In this blog, we cover the history of the learning model, benefits of its use, and tools to facilitate flipping your classroom.

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9. How to Deliver and Record an Effective PowerPoint Presentation: For most organizations, PowerPoint remains the default tool used to deliver presentations. This blog (written in 2020) gives advice for delivering an effective presentation. If it were written today, we’d include a point on gamifying your presentation with interactive polls and surveys.

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10. Live Streaming in Higher Education: Colleges, universities and other enterprises have been able to implement live streaming as one of a variety of tools to aid students in their education. In this blog, we cover its history, benefits, and examples of how some institutions use it to help deliver content to students.

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YuJa Ed-Tech Platform Updates to Know About

See key highlights below and check out the full release details at updates.yuja.com.

YuJa Enterprise Video Platform and YuJa Himalayas Digital Archiving – Alpine Release 

Update Highlights
  • New Generative AI to Detect Video Chapters (Moments of Impact): With the use of new Generative AI capabilities, Video Chapters allow viewers to automatically select key moments of impact within a video or audio recording.
  • Video Editor Introduces New Audio Waveform Engine to View Multi-Track Audio: The Video Editor features an updated audio waveform processing engine that allows you to view independent audio streams on separate tracks instead of the previous single track that displayed all audio waveforms. Content Creators can also split a video and its associated audio track.
  • Video Editor Can Build a Multi-Stream Video Using Full-Length, Independent Streams: Content Creators can import video clips as new, independent streams, allowing them to create multi-stream videos with up to four streams within a single video.
  • Video Quizzes Support Automatic Grading for Short Answer and Partial Points for Questions with Multiple Answers: Video Quizzes will allow instructors to set grading options for Short Answer question types. Instructors can manually review the answer and enter a grade or automatically assign full points for answers greater than a specified word count. Content Creators can also award partial points for the “Select Multiple” question types.
  • Prioritized Human-Captioning Over Auto-Captions: Video content will now prioritize human-generated captions, automatically replacing any auto-generated captions. These human-generated captions will then be utilized for transcript generation, ensuring content is accurately transcribed.
  • Himalayas Now Performs Automatic Regeneration of Transcodes Based on View Behavior: In YuJa Himalayas Digital Archiving Platform, administrators can set the minimum weekly view count for videos to automatically generate their transcodes, regardless of whether they were never uploaded or deleted through a Recurring Policy Action—Delete Transcodes or Archive to EVP.

YuJa Verity Test Proctoring Platform – Pearl Release 

Key Updates
  • New Dashboard for Live Proctoring: Verity Live provides a more intuitive and seamless navigation experience for proctors. Now, proctors can effortlessly explore various views, including Gallery, Screen View, and Student Specific View. 
  • Verity Live Now Offers Live Student-Specific View: Proctors can quickly direct their attention to a specific student during an assessment by simply selecting a student and accessing a full-screen view of the real-time video and screen feed.
  • Assign Custom Flag Levels for Events: Instructors have the flexibility to tailor event flagging to meet their standards by assigning custom flag levels—Minor, Major, or Severe—for events recorded during proctored sessions.
  • New Event to Flag Audio Detection: To ensure the integrity of a student’s testing environment, any loud audio occurrences during the assessment are automatically flagged if the Record Audio setting is enabled.
  • New Lockdown App Setting to Block Virtual Machines: The Lockdown App will allow instructors to enable virtual machine detection to prevent virtual machines to be used to bypass proctor settings.
  • New Lockdown App Setting to Block Applications from Running: Instructors now have more control during online proctored assessments with the new Block Application feature for the Lockdown App.

Software Capture for PC – Ferrero Release

Release Highlights
  • Refreshed User Interface Using Material Design System: The entire Software Capture user interface has been refreshed to use a Material Design interface, which offers a cleaner interface with a key emphasis placed on updating colors and buttons to provide a clear indication of UI elements, all of which are keyboard accessible.
  • New Recording Mini-Bar with Slide-Out Video and Screen Preview: The Software Capture’s Mini-Bar is fully redesigned to provide a sliding video and screen preview that doesn’t show up in the final recording. 
  • New Fleet Management Capabilities – Automatic Start of Scheduled Sessions When Signed Out of Windows: In cases where a computer is signed out of Windows and Creators cannot access the device, the updated Software Capture application ensures that scheduled sessions will still start on time, capturing active devices such as video and audio sources while awaiting the screen source. 
  • Media Foundation Engine Now Used for Live Streaming, Offering Enhanced Live Streaming Performance: Following our transition to the Media Foundation engine as our primary capture engine for recording, we have now extended this capability to live streams. This enhancement is set to significantly improve the live stream experience for viewers, ensuring the highest quality output is received. 
  • Auto-Retry and Connect Profile Devices During Active Recording Sessions: If a recording device assigned to a selected profile is not plugged in at the start of a scheduled session, Content Creators can simply connect the device during the session. The Software Capture application will then automatically detect and integrate the device into the ongoing recording.

YuJa Engage Student Response System – Quebec Release

Key Updates
  • New Chrome Extension to Migrate Questions from Third-Party Applications: Mentimeter, Poll Everywhere, and Top Hat: A convenient Chrome extension has been released to streamline the migration of existing questions from competing polling tools, including Mentimeter, Poll Everywhere, and Top Hat, to the Engage platform.
  • No More Third-Party Cookies: The Engage LMS integration, with its established and IMS-certified implementation of LTI 1.3/LTI Advantage protocols, has traditionally utilized third-party cookies to ensure secure data transfer between integrated tools. Now, thanks to the adoption of new enhanced protocols, the necessity for third-party cookies is no longer required. 
  • Auto-LTI Role Mapping for LMS Courses: LTI role mapping simplifies user access by aligning the roles within Engage with the highest assigned role in the LMS. For example, if someone has Instructor-level access in one course and Student-level access in another, they can log in to Engage to participate in, create, and publish Polls and Surveys. However, the ability to create and publish content is limited to the course where they have Instructor privileges. This feature is currently only available for Moodle.
  • Real-Time Network Status Monitoring: To address potential network disconnections, we have implemented real-time internet status monitoring. Participants will be able to view their status during a Poll or Survey, and in the event of a disconnection from Engage, participants are immediately notified. Connecting and regaining access to the Poll or Survey is as easy as reconnecting to the network and selecting the refresh button.

The Power of Data and Analytics in Higher Education

The utilization of data and analytics offers a personalized online learning environment that increases engagement and helps identify learning gaps.  

Overview of Data and Analytics

Data and analytics refers to the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of information to inform decision-making, enhance institutional effectiveness, and improve the overall learning experience. In higher education, data and analytics can be used to improve the overall educational experience for students from processes used to teach to best practices and outcomes. 

Analytics provide a wealth of information helpful for making decisions.

Every aspect of learning can be broken down into categories such as attendance, average grades, feedback, test scores, activity online, and more, which all provide quantitative and qualitative data. This information can be especially useful when trying to answer questions, make a decision or solve a problem.

Using Data and Analytics to Improve Education

Analytics provide a wealth of information helpful for making decisions. Two powerful areas data and analytics can inform are student success and overall course outcomes. Doing a deep dive, universities and professors can use data to evaluate the overall academic performance of students to help make improvements to a particular course, or revamping a course all together to meet the needs and demands of students. Analytics can:

Identify gaps in learning: Administrators and instructors can determine which portions of a class’s curriculum students are universally struggling with. This can lead to the improvement of material within courses. 

Provide personalized learning: Through data analytics, professors can more easily identify “at-risk” students and reach out to provide additional support before the student drops out or fails. With personalized learning pathways, instructors can tailor materials to individual students based on their learning styles and preferences. An instructor in a video call with a student

Improve engagement: In addition to improving best practices, data analytics give professors the opportunity to improve overall student engagement, which creates a more meaningful learning experience. In addition to assisting with creating the most effective course design, using data and analytics can help educators create an online learning environment that fosters communication and collaboration between students and with their professors. 

Measure institutional performance: Data and analytics play a crucial role in measuring and improving institutional performance. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as graduation rates, student satisfaction, and alumni success, institutions can identify areas that need attention and implement targeted strategies for improvement.

At the end of the day, higher-ed instructors have the same goal — to provide the best overall learning experience for students. Historically, this required educators to see between the lines to make changes when needed. In today’s ever-changing learning environment, data and analytics gleaned from that data are powerful tools in helping educators make decisions on how to provide the best learning environment, quickly and efficiently. This ultimately gives them more time to do what matters: educate.

Exploring Cold Data Storage Solutions in Higher Education

The evolution of data storage has seen a shift from traditional physical media to more advanced and flexible solutions, such as cloud storage. Cloud computing has revolutionized the way organizations manage and access their data, offering scalable, cost-effective, and convenient storage options.

In the start of the 21st century, early cloud storage providers began offering scalable solutions for data storage that didn’t require companies to keep and maintain server rooms on site. Today, many businesses and organizations of all sizes create and store large amounts of data for a variety of reasons.

In the context of data storage, cold storage refers to storing data that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently but needs to be preserved for compliance, regulatory reasons, backup, or archival.

Advantages to Storing Media in Cold Storage

In the context of data storage, cold storage refers to storing data that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently but needs to be preserved for compliance, regulatory reasons, backup, or archival. A network of connected devices is used to save files, documents and other media to a remote database, rather than storing them on a computer’s hard drive, a local storage device or an on-site server maintained by the organization. Information is accessible when needed, but not taking up active storage space.

Storing media in cold storage offers several advantages, particularly for institutions that need to retain large amounts of data for long periods of time.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cold storage solutions are significantly more cost-effective than traditional storage options, including for third-party providers like Zoom, Class Collaborate, Webex, and Teams.
  • Long-Term Retention: Cold storage is designed for long-term data retention, which can be archived and stored for regulatory compliance, historical records, or in other instances where immediate access is not required.
  • Data Preservation: Cold storage systems are optimized for data durability and reliability. They use redundant storage mechanisms and data integrity checks to ensure that data remains intact over time, reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failures or other issues.
  • Scalability: Institutions can easily scale their cold storage solutions as their data storage needs grow. This allows them to adapt to changing requirements without significant infrastructure changes.
  • Data Security: Cold storage systems can offer enhanced security features, such as encryption at rest, to ensure that archived data remains protected from unauthorized access.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Many institutions are required to retain data due to regulatory or legal obligations. Cold storage provides a reliable way to meet these requirements.
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery: Cold storage can serve as a secondary backup option for critical data, providing an additional layer of protection against data loss due to disasters or hardware failures.

Manage Large Data Workloads With Ease

YuJa Himalayas Enterprise Archiving Platform helps institutions manage large workloads, identify compliance issues and create data retention policies, which are built in the cloud and meets SOC-2 Compliance standards.

Whitepaper: US Department of Justice and Department of Education Warn Educational Institutions That ‘Accessibility Cannot Be an Afterthought’

The letter covers accessibility challenges, legal framework, enforcement actions, and guidance and regulations, as well as highlights valuable resources for obtaining guidance. It also sends a strong message that accessibility is a priority at the federal level and that the government will use its authority to ensure institutions are meeting accessibility standards. 

“Online accessibility for people with disabilities cannot be an afterthought.”

We’ve created a whitepaper that highlights the importance of digital accessibility, along with each of the sections of the letter and what they mean for higher education today.

Read the full whitepaper

Case Study: SUNY Corning Community College Leverages the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform for Instruction and Other Uses Across its Campus

One of the community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Corning Community College is a public community college in Corning, New York. It was initiated in 1957 and moved to its Spencer Hill campus in 1963. This two-year college serves three counties: Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler.

Read the full case study.

The Benefits of HTML5-Based Video Delivery

YuJa’s HTML5 Player offers a versatile, customizable experience for users on any device, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, Apple or Android mobile device. The HTML5 Player is available for both single-stream and multi-stream video recordings, and can be branded to match the institution’s colors. Users can easily modify the viewing experience to meet their own needs by resizing windows, expanding or reducing the Sidebar, and toggling thumbnails and captioning on or off.

In addition, the HTML5 video editor is non-destructive, which means you can roll back mistakes. This is a benefit for students in rural areas where the internet connection may cut out, as it prevents loss of content. Below are some of the other widespread benefits of HTML5 for institutions and students:

Benefits for Institutions

A screenshot of the YuJa Video Player.

While users may see the benefits of HTML5 technology in the user experience, some of the benefits of HTML5 provide institutions with improved functionality and ease-of-use.

  • Branding and Customization: HTML5 technology facilitates color customization of the Media Player, including navigation bars, EnterpriseTube, and adding customization by departments to help make the library and video player have the look and feel of your organization.
  • Accessibility: HTML5 offers increased accessibility options and 508 compliance, necessary in today’s world.
  • Implementation of Mobile Programming: With full playability on a range of devices, HTML5 enables institutions to offer lecture captures and other programming on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

Benefits for Users

HTML5 offers an ideal solution for students to view media on any device with a versatile and functional video experience. Users will see all of the following with HTML5:

  • SYuJa Software Capture's multistream media playerhorter Loading Times: HTML5 provides a faster and better viewing experience than other types of video players, with reduced buffering times, even for users on slower internet connections.
  • Enhanced Playability: Since HTML5 technology is browser-based, it works effectively on nearly any system, including Windows, iOS, and Android. Streaming is accessible on both computers and mobile devices.
  • Reduced Battery Drain: Playing video in an HTML5 player requires less battery power, whether the user is streaming video on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Additional Interactivity Options: HTML5 streams provide interactivity through captions, subtitles, thumbnails, and various playback controls that students can adjust based on their preferences.

Benefits of a Video CMS

Video learning helps both instructors and students. In fact, 81% of US college students said digital learning technologies helps them to improve their grades, according to Statista, and instructors continue to advocate for more online learning courses and educational resources. Consider the following benefits of a video CMS for your organization:

  • A VCMS Offers Customized Roles with Limited Training

    “81% of US college students said digital learning technologies helps them to improve their grades, according to Statista, and instructors continue to advocate for more online learning courses and educational resources.

    A video CMS enables the organization to set specific roles or access levels to information and to customize who can see specific media files. This increases security, and offers the ability to share content with either a broader or a more limited audience. Using a video CMS limits the amount of training required for staff and users, and enables everyone to access information, regardless of technical skills.

  • Cloud-based Storage is Scalable

    Cloud-based storage provides a video solution that is fully expandable. If you need more space for video storage, there is no need to invest in new hardware or systems with cloud-based storage solutions. Additionally, a video CMS has been designed to manage large files.

  • A Video CMS Can Help Ensure Security

    A video CMS is the ideal way to secure media content with security features that enable you to protect sensitive data. Those who are supposed to have access to content will be able to quickly and easily find what they need in a secure environment.

  • A VCMS Enhances Organization and Searchability

    In order to make use of video and media content, users must be able to find content quickly and easily. A well-organized video CMS provides multi-level organization, folders, and sub-folders to store videos and other media. A well-designed video CMS also enables searching organizational video content, including captions, slide content, and metadata.

  • Video Content is Available on Any Device

    Video content needs to be available to users on a variety of platforms, including mobile devices. A video content management system optimizes content for playback on multiple platforms.

  • A VCMS Makes Compliance a Simple Process

    A video CMS makes maintaining regulatory compliance, including with Section 508, ADA, FERPA, HIPAA, and other Compliance, a simple process. Captioning, audio descriptions and keyboard controls facilitate video use in a range of situations and for various needs.

  • A Video Platform is an Affordable Solution

    Expanding existing hardware and staff to meet the needs of video storage, delivery and organization can be costly. Opting to use a software-based tool to meet these needs reduces investment in both hardware and staff.

Improve Employee Onboarding with Video Training

Effective employee onboarding helps maximize productivity, reduce stress, and improve staff retention. In fact, employee onboarding is one of the best uses of HR teams, providing significant reward for both new employees and corporations or institutions. 

A man and woman look at a laptop together.

Well-executed onboarding leads to both increased profits and improved employee satisfaction. Research shows that great employee onboarding: 

  • Improves retention by 82% 
  • Increases productivity by 70% and 
  • Is critical for the success of new hires, with 93% of employers surveyed saying the experience was key to success in an employee’s role. 

Using tools provided within the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform, trainers can provide onboarding activities in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Micro-lesson video recording, which facilitates corporate microlessons; 
  • Social learning, which allows real-time discussion and promoted media engagement; or 
  • span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Video conferencing, which offers engaging options for virtual lessons, desktop sharing, collaboration and more. 

Create Quality Onboarding with E-Learning and Video Content

“Companies want to help employees adjust to the corporate culture, provide needed information for employees to perform their job functions, and improve overall productivity of new hires.”

The goals of onboarding are relatively simple. Companies want to help employees adjust to the corporate culture, provide needed information for employees to perform their job functions, and improve overall productivity of new hires.

Quality onboarding:

  • Aligns new hires to corporate themes, culture, and goals.
  • Provides self-sufficiency for new employees.
  • Increases employee satisfaction.
  • Builds a good image of your company.

Opportunities to Enhance Onboarding

Even well-designed onboarding programs can have some areas for improvement.

  • At many companies, employee onboarding is short and focuses on paperwork. It may, at some companies, last only a day to a week. To remedy this, add online and video learning elements to your onboarding. 
  • Onboarding programs may not meet the needs of different types of learners. To help work through this, incorporate things like quizzes, visual presentations, webinars, and other elements that help all new hires be successful.   
  • Common onboarding strategies may not provide cross-functional insights or information about the skills of new employees that will help them as they begin collaborating and working outside with other departments. 

Consider Implementing Pre-boarding at Your Company

Onboarding often begins on the first day of work; however, more and more companies are introducing pre-boarding, which is when a new hire receives essential information before they officially begin their work duties.

Pre-boarding does not have to be intensive to be effective, and it doesn’t even need to be face-to-face.

  • Provide employees with information about where to go, who to see, and how their day will go before the first day. Make sure that details about parking, security, and commonly asked questions are addressed. Video tours are an ideal way to share this with your new hires.
  • Take care of essential paperwork ahead of time. This reduces the work required on the first day and allows employees to move straight to more active onboarding. Online video tutorials are an effective support for this paperwork.
  • Make sure employees have the name and contact information for key staff, including their supervisors and human resources.

Pre-boarding can be done via email, online, or through video. You can even provide pre-boarding information on paper when an employee is hired.

Improving Onboarding for Your New Hires

Modern onboarding is moving out of the traditional office space, and in new directions. Implementing some of these strategies can make onboarding more rewarding for your employees, help them reach maximum productivity, and work to create a unified (and happy) corporate culture.

Good onboarding makes a difference for companies, for managers and for new hires. Setting up your new employees for success benefits everyone in the office, from the top down.

Join the Hundreds of Organizations Deploying High-Impact Learning Solutions