Five Interactive Learning Trends to Look Out for This Year

Research shows that interactive learning, such as incorporating video, polls, and interactive presentations, is six times more effective in helping students learn. 

This article aims to explore five of the most popular interactive learning trends you’ll see in 2024.

1. Mobile First Learning

Smartphones have become an important part of the lives of students and educators alike. A recent study showed that 97 percent of students ages 18 to 29 have a smartphone, and 95 percent of those students bring their phone to class. 

“It is not surprising that 46 percent of students prefer completing coursework on their phone.”

It is not surprising that 46 percent of students prefer completing coursework on their phone, and 8 out of 10 students do. This access has driven the uptick in mobile-first learning, which allows teachers and students to use devices such as laptops, iPads, tablets, and smartphones to receive course content without the need for a traditional classroom. 

The mobile-first learning environment can be supported with the use of technology such as the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform, YuJa Engage Student Response System, YuJa’s Mobile Apps for tablets and phones.  

The Enterprise Video Platform allows institutions to have a video content management system that allows for the storage, management, distribution, and streaming of media content, which can be accessible remotely for educational settings taking place solely online. 

The Engage Student Response System enables instructors to make the online learning experience more interactive by allowing students to collaborate and interact with the course content through Polls and Surveys, and providing immediate feedback. 

YuJa also offers a mobile app for those who strictly uses a phone or tablet for learning, which offers HTML5 players and native apps for users to watch, record, upload and download content.

2. Gamified Learning

Gamified learning, or gamification, is another popular trend on the uptick in the world of higher education. 

This approach integrates game elements into educational concepts, which increases the engagement and interaction from learners. This can be done through Polls and Surveys, which results in numerous benefits, including immediate feedback, an increase in critical thinking, and collaboration.

The YuJa Engage Student Response system is one way you can take part in this trend as it changes passive learning settings into an interactive experience by allowing instructors to gamify course content. This includes allowing instructors to create Polls with various question types such as short-answer, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true or false, and more. This platform also allows students to see clickable images for interactivity with visual materials.

3. Collaborative LearningStudents working together on a laptop

Collaboration is paramount in higher education today. Collaborative learning is similar to any collaborative session in that it has small groups of students work together to problem solve, innovate or complete a task. This in and of itself is not a new concept; however, in today’s digital age technology has given institutions the ability to do this online for students. YuJa offers LMS, third-party hardware and conferencing connectors for the video platform that allow instructors to streamline workflows and make course content more accessible to students. 

Offering a collaborative learning environment in remote settings also gives students the ability to collaborate from multiple locations outside of the classroom and traditional hours.

4. Social Learning

Social learning is an environment in which students learn by observing or interacting with their peers. This is not a new concept in higher education, but how it applies to the use of technology in education is newer. 

Educators are now tasked with creating an atmosphere that fosters connection, collaboration and engagement beyond the traditional walls of a classroom. This change in tactics can be seen through the increased use of flipped classrooms where learning takes on a more interactive role during physical classroom hours and course content is consumed prior to class. 

This approach gives students more flexibility in consuming course content, empowers them to take ownership of their learning, and deepens their relationships in the classroom because it allows them to work more closely together. YuJa can help facilitate flipped classrooms, allowing both students and instructors to focus on the course content rather than technology.

5. Microlearning

While historically used in corporate training, microlearning has made its entrance into the world of higher education. Microlearning is typically used when lessons or concepts are taught in short, concise pieces of content.  

By keeping content short, concise and chunked into smaller concepts allows for better retention. Microlearning is ideal because it offers more flexibility and control for students of what and when they learn — which can be especially beneficial for students who are attending classes online, those who are working, or who have other responsibilities that need tended to during regular school hours. 

YuJa’s ed-tech tools can assist in not only the creation of micro lessons but also increase engagement video quizzes, analytics, and more.

Looking Ahead

Trends this year all support collaborative and interactive learning environments, regardless of location or device used. While the wheel of effective teaching in 2024 may be reinvented from years ago, the goal of education has remained the same — to give students the opportunity and support needed for educational success.



Benefits of Gamification in Higher Education

A Brief Background of Gamification

Gamification employs game-like elements—such as competitions, polling, surveys, and other interactive challenges—in educational settings. The idea has been around for a long time, with many crediting its beginnings to an 1896 campaign run by Sperry and Hutchinson Co. Customers could purchase items from a catalog using “Green Stamps” similar to loyalty rewards campaigns retailers run today.

“Gamification, coupled with interactive tools like polling and surveys, is a transformative force in higher education.”

Another prime example is the Boy Scouts badge system, where children earn badges for mastering skills or participating in certain activities. In the early 1970s, the book “The Game of Work”  by Charles Coonradt was published. Coonradt explored the differences in accomplishments between sports teams and office teams, which set the stage for introducing gamification to education.

In the 1980s, Thomas W. Malone published several academic papers around using video game components in education.

Today, cellphones, apps and other technology make gamification common. Learn more about the history of gamification in this thesis paper by a University of South Carolina student.

Benefits of Gamification in Higher Education

Gamification has many benefits in higher education:

Enhanced Engagement: Integrating polling and surveys into gamified learning environments addresses the challenge of maintaining student engagement, especially in remote or online learning. These interactive tools provide real-time feedback, allowing educators to tailor the learning experience based on students’ needs and preferences.

Collaboration and Social Interaction: Polls and surveys encourage social interaction in the classroom setting.

Promoting Inclusion: The incorporation of polling and surveys provides a platform for student voices. Educators can use these tools to gauge understanding, preferences, and concerns, ensuring that the learning environment is responsive to the diverse needs of the student body.

Skill Development: Polling and surveys with a variety of question types and ways to engage contributes to the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

Immediate Feedback: With polling and surveys, instructors and students can receive instant feedback, which facilitates a deeper understanding of mistakes and supports continuous improvement.

Gamification, coupled with interactive tools like polling and surveys, is a transformative force in higher education. By leveraging these elements, instructors can create an engaging, inclusive, and personalized learning journey for students.

Five Advantages of Lockdown Proctoring in Higher Education

While the primary purpose of a lockdown app is to maintain the integrity of the assessment by minimizing opportunities for cheating and unauthorized access to information, there are a variety of other advantages to using this type of browser in higher education testing:

Reduced Cheating Opportunities: Lockdown apps prevent users from accessing other websites, applications, or files on their device during the assessment. This significantly reduces the chances of cheating through conducting online searches, copying answers, or using unauthorized resources. Lockdown apps are integrated with remote proctoring services that use webcam and microphone monitoring to deter and detect cheating behaviors. This adds an additional layer of integrity to the assessment process.A student at a computer

Compatibility: Lockdown apps are designed to work with various learning management systems (LMS) and online testing platforms, making them adaptable to different educational environments.

Enhanced Security: Lockdown apps often have built-in security measures that help prevent various forms of cheating, such as copying and pasting, taking screenshots, and using virtual tools. Lockdown proctoring can also disable certain browser features, such as right-clicking and opening new tabs, to prevent users from exploiting these features to cheat or access unauthorized content.

Consistent Testing Environment: Lockdown apps create a standardized testing environment for all students, regardless of their device or operating system. This helps ensure fairness and consistency in the testing process. Additionally, lockdown apps are often used for browser-based assessments that require students to interact with online content, simulations, or tools, which can provide a more dynamic and engaging testing experience.

Data Collection and Analytics: Lockdown proctoring systems can collect data on student interactions during assessments, providing educators with insights into how students approach and engage with the content.

Generate Confidence in Every Testing Environment

No matter how an institution conducts tests, it’s important to offer support so students understand what to expect and how to resolve any issues that arise without leaving their quiz page, and so instructors feel confident in the assessment process.   

Using Video Outside of the Classroom to Engage and Support Potential Students

Reaching Potential Students

Video offers an ideal way to reach out to potential students. Unlike text and photos, video offers an immersive experience where potential students can see your campus and the surrounding community.

Instructors and staff can introduce themselves, and the traditional campus tour can go online for students and their families who may not be able to visit in person, including those internationally. 

Consider integrating video content that shows:

  • Campus facilities: What do the dorms look like? How big are the classrooms and classes? How active is the student center? Videos of your campus can help answer these questions for potential students.
  • Faculty and programs: For many students, and particularly graduate students, access to skilled researchers and academic faculty is a deciding factor in school choice. Choose faculty to introduce different schools, departments, courses, and who they can expect to learn from if they attend your institution.
  • The campus community: Show potential students their future classmates. Get video of fun events like the annual water balloon fight, or a charity fundraiser to share with potential students.

Attracting International Students

”Creating rich video content of your campus, community and the surrounding town can give international students an orientation of the area long before their flights touch down.”

At many colleges and universities, international students make up a significant percentage of the student body. For an international student, there may not be an opportunity to visit the campus. Creating rich video content of your campus, community and the surrounding town can give international students an orientation of the area long before their flights touch down.

To appeal to potential international students, share more than just information about your campus and community.

  • Interview current international students, and consider offering some interviews  (or captions) in the native language.
  • Show meetings of international student groups, clubs and activities.
  • Include tours of graduate student housing, including off-campus housing if you’re able.
  • Share success stories of current students or alumni, highlighting impactful community initiatives, and showcasing campus events and activities contribute to a vibrant and engaging culture.
  • Use testimonials and behind-the-scenes glimpses to help ignite curiosity and drive students to take the next step.
  • Consider hosting a Q&A session for prospective students.

Creating an Alternative to the Campus Visit

Students looking at a laptop

While many students will make a campus visit, either before accepting their admission or the summer before they attend, this isn’t an option for all families. A well-rounded video library can provide students with access to much of the information available during a campus visit.

  • Use lecture capture technology to capture classes and workshops offered during campus visits.
  • Record a campus tour. Take the time to explore, just like a potential student might.
  • Get as many people as you can, instructors and students, on camera to help highlight the campus and its community.
  • Create video tutorials for the first day on campus, from moving in to picking up a parking pass and student ID. That way, all students can quickly find how to do these tasks whether they were able to attend orientation or not. 

Interactive video experiences can help educational institutions build trust and credibility while compelling potential students to consider the institution as a valuable partner in their educational journey. Using video for non-instructional purposes presents an opportunity for colleges and universities to attract and support students at all stages of their educational journey. 

July: Celebrating Disability Pride Month

July 26 marks the anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. The law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in a variety of areas, including in institutions of higher education that receive federal financial assistance.

One in four people across all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities and religions have a disability, according to the CDC, and many more will have a disability at some time in their life, whether temporarily or permanently. Disability Pride Month is a time to celebrate and honor the diverse experiences and contributions of those living with a disability, as well as to promote acceptance, inclusivity and advocacy for disability rights.

A Brief History of Disability Pride Month

The ADA was signed into law in 1990, but the first Disability Pride celebration didn’t take place until 2015.

“Disability is a part of the rich tapestry of human diversity, and something that nearly all of us will experience at some point in our lives,” said Jackie Dilworth, communications director at The Arc of the United States, a disability rights organization. “It’s also a significant identity that defines how we experience the world. Yet people with disabilities have been marginalized and misunderstood for generations.”

A flag was designed in 2019, but the initial design with zigzagging bright colorful lines caused symptoms for those who have certain types of disabilities. The redesigned flag, which was created in 2021, has diagonal stripes of the same colors, but softer and in another order (because the original flag didn’t accommodate those with red-green colorblindness) set against a black background.

The charcoal gray background is in memory of those who have lost their lives to ableism, violence, negligence, suicide, illness, and more. Each stripe represents a different type of disability:

  • Disability Pride Flag with charcoal gray background and diagonal lines running from top left to bottom right. Colors are red, yellow, white, blue, green.Red: Physical disabilities, such as mobility impairments, loss of limbs, or chronic pain
  • Gold: Neurodivergence, such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia
  • White: Invisible and undiagnosed disabilities
  • Blue: Psychiatric disabilities, including mental illness, PTSD, anxiety, and depression
  • Green: Sensory disabilities such as deafness, blindness, lack of smell or taste, audio processing disorders, and other sensory disabilities

Honoring and Supporting People With Disabilities

From Thomas Edison, who lost his hearing, to physicist Steven Hawking, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, to athletes, scientists, inventors, and more, people with disabilities make significant contributions to their fields. “The disability community is full of problem solvers, creative thinkers and innovators,” Easterseals said on its website.

Here are some thoughtful ways people and companies can foster an environment of inclusivity for people with disabilities:

Create a culture of inclusion and accessibility, both physically and digitally. This includes providing accommodations like wheelchair ramps, closed captions, and making sure content is compatible with assistive devices like screen readers.

Support disability rights advocacy. There are many worthy advocacy groups and organizations that need financial and other resources to help advance the rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities. Consider volunteering or donating funds.

Promote an inclusive workplace by hiring people with disabilities. Companies should actively work to create diverse workplaces by providing equal opportunities for those with disabilities. Not only is it the law, but it’s the right thing to do.

Educate and raise awareness. Learn and teach others about various types of disabilities to break down stereotypes and promote inclusion and understanding.

There are many resources available, but here are a few places to get started on your educational journey*:

  • Easterseals: For more than 100 years, this organization has worked to empower people with disabilities to enhance quality of life and expand access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities.
  • The Arc: The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and serving them and their families.
  • The National Disability Rights Network: The Network operates in Washington, DC on behalf of the Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As) and Client Assistance Programs (CAPs), the nation’s largest providers of legal advocacy services for people with disabilities.

*YuJa is not affiliated with any of the advocacy groups listed above and is listing them for informational purposes only.

Case Study: How Texas State Technical College Leverages the YuJa Video Platform’s Robust Features to Improve the Educational Experience Campuswide

Texas State Technical College is a coeducational two-year institution of higher education offering courses of study in technical vocational education. Texas State Technical College contributes to the educational and economic development of the state of Texas by offering occupationally-oriented programs with supporting academic coursework, emphasizing highly specialized advanced and emerging technical and vocational areas for certificates or associate degrees.

Read the full case study.

Effective Captioning Strategies: When to Use AI Versus Human

What’s the Difference Between Transcripts and Captions?

Transcriptions are the text form of an audio file. Transcripts include the words you hear and may also include other details, such as background noises, pauses, or music.

Captions are a type of transcript also includes anything isn’t visual, such as sound effects. Captioning divides transcript text into into time-coded chunks known as caption frames. Time-coded frames typically appear on screen as text corresponds to the spoken words in a video.

A video showing a woman wearing a red jacket and glasses with captions on screen.

Having transcriptions and captions available is especially important for those who have little or no hearing, but it also is helpful in situations where it’s inappropriate to listen to something with the sound on. Students also cited using captions and transcriptions to help them focus, retain information, to overcome audio issues, and in studying for exams.

Both captioning and transcripts are alternative formats that provide users with greater accessibility. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about whether to use human or AI for captioning and transcription.

Human and AI Each Have Benefits

There are two main types of transcription or captioning services, human and artificial intelligence (AI). Each option has it’s unique benefits, and depending on your needs, both have advantages to consider based on your application. Chances are that your organization will find a need for both services. It’s less “human versus AI ” and more understanding when each will serve a better purpose for your needs at the time.

Artificial Intelligence Use Cases

If you’re in a time crunch, you can’t beat the speed of AI. The software recognizes speech and translates it to text in real time. YuJa’s AI-based automated speech recognition (ASR) provides captions and transcriptions that are 90-95% accurate on live events and on-demand recorded content.

Over time and usage, the artificial intelligence engine continues to learn and improve.

Some companies go a step further to improve accuracy of AI transcription and captioning. YuJa’s automatic captioning accuracy is validated internally with YuJa Product Team staff on a semi-monthly basis. These tests are carried out on various accents, dialects, and regions of the world to determine the accuracy of the software.

When you need a transcription in multiple languages, AI is a great tool. Sending an audio file out for human transcription in this type of scenario would not only be cost prohibitive, but timely. Many professional transcriptionists only transcribe to their native language, so you would need several people to transcribe one file.

If you need multiple language transcriptions, look for a video solution that provides captioning and transcription in a variety of languages, from English, to Spanish, French, German, French, Mandarin, Arabic, and others.

When to Consider Human Transcription

Because humans have the capacity to understand complex information, human transcription and captioning is the go-to choice for accuracy. YuJa Pro Captioning, professional human captioning, provides 99%+ accuracy.

Language is complex. Humans understand this. We know about and can decipher homonyms. We have the capacity to pick up on changing topics, people using acronyms, interruptions, or speakers with regional dialects or accents, and humans can account for those and other language nuances in the transcript.

While human transcription may take longer to generate, it’s less likely that you will have to go back and re-listen to audio to gain clarity after reading the transcript.

Human transcription and captioning also should be considered in other instances, such as when there are several speakers, when speakers have thick accents, or there is a lot of background noise.

Integration is Crucial

When considering human and AI services for your enterprise or institution, it’s ideal to look for a company that integrates with both. That means the organization understands its customers’ each have unique needs and instances in which human or AI transcriptions and captions would better serve them.

The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform integrates with third-party human captioning services for both automated and manual workflows. Our captioning partners provide ADA-compliant (99%+) captioning solutions to YuJa customers. Caption workflows can also be managed and turned on-and-off when appropriate. YuJa currently supports the following providers: 3Play Media, Rev, Cielo24, AST CaptionSync, as well as some region-specific vendors.

Facilitating Student Learning with Variable Speed Playback

Understanding Variable Speed Playback

Variable speed playback is an option in the Platform’s Media Player that allows students to speed up or slow down playback. Depending on the user’s individual needs, students can cover content quickly for review, or more slowly, for increased understanding and retention. Regular speed playback is 1x, but with YuJa’s Media Player, you can choose speeds from .5x — or half normal speed — to 8x. The “x” indicates how many times slower or faster than normal the video will play, so a one hour video at 4x speed will play in only 15 minutes. Users can easily change speed once or multiple times as they watch a video.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down Playback

Video playing with variable speed playback menu showing.

Both speeding up and slowing down playback offer a number of advantages to students. Consider the following use cases:

Reviewing Recorded Lectures

Lecture capture isn’t just for online learners. Students may use lecture capture recordings to review classes they attended for improved understanding and retention. When watching a lecture they attended, they may not want to spend as much time reviewing; doubling playback speed allows a one-hour lecture to complete in only 30 minutes.

Preparing for Exams

When it’s time for midterms or final exams, students may want to rewatch several lectures as part of their study strategy. Working your way through a full semester or even half a semester of lectures is challenging at a normal pace, but much more manageable when sped up using variable speed playback.

Online Learning

Students that are using lecture captures without brick-and-mortar classroom time may find it helpful to be able to slow down playback during challenging lectures.  This can offer additional time for understanding and mastery, particularly of technical terminology.  The same strategy is effective for students who are catching up on a missed class.

Language Learners

Students learning another language are frequently able to master the material and understand lectures much more effectively when they can slow down playback. Reduced speed means slower speech and improved comprehension for these learners.

Variable speed playback is one way institutions can give students control over their learning materials.  Other features, like search inside video, search within audio captions, slides, notes, bookmarks and indices, all enable students to quickly search videos for keywords and find areas they need to revisit.

Five Tips for Creating an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint slide with YuJa ribbon magnified.

YuJa now has a Software Capture Ribbon that integrates directly with Microsoft PowerPoint. This allows users to automatically sync the start and end of their recording with their presentation. Instructors can also embed their videos directly into their presentation.

Go Big

When recording a PowerPoint, you need to create both visual impact and visual accessibility, regardless of screen size. Choose fonts that are 24 pt. or larger, and opt for clear and readable fonts. Choose images that are bold, interesting, and fill a significant portion of the slide, and keep them relatively eye-catching. Tables, charts and diagrams should be clear and readable, only containing enough text and information to convey the message.

Keep It Simple

Limit each slide to a single idea.  Focus on the key points you’re covering in your lecture. This isn’t the time for pages of text–if you need those, offer them as a downloadable PDF to your students or colleagues. Limit your use of bullet points–consider placing each point on its own slide. Additionally, reducing the amount of text per slide can help students focus more on listening and less on typing.

Focus on Contrast

On a big screen, or in a darkened room, it may be fairly easy to make out light-colored text on a light-colored screen; however, that gets much harder when you’re watching a lecture capture on a smartphone outside, or working with a lower-quality screen resolution. Remember a simple rule. If your background is light, your text should be dark. If your background is dark, make your text light. 

Experts suggest choosing three colors and devoting 60% to the primary color, 30 percent to the secondary color, and 10% to the accent color. PowerPoint offers themes to help make this choice easier and that take light and dark presentation environments into consideration.

Use Animations Sparingly

Animation can be useful in making a presentation more dynamic, and help to emphasize points, but too much animation can be distracting.

Animations can add interest to your presentation and keep your viewers focused and paying attention. Don’t overdo it, though. Microsoft Support notes that “Presentation experts recommend using animations and sound effects sparingly. Animation can be useful in making a presentation more dynamic, and help to emphasize points, but too much animation can be distracting. Do not let animation and sound take the focus away from what you are saying.”

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

For the best quality PowerPoint recordings, take the time to learn and use PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts. This can let you seamlessly start your presentation and transition between slides.

Case Study: How Antelope Valley College Replaced its Former Vendor With YuJa’s Comprehensive, Feature-Rich Enterprise Video Platform

When the platform they were using announced it would no longer offer enterprise education video hosting, Dr. Alex Parisky, Instructional Technology and Multimedia Director, and Greg Krynen, Information Technology Services Technical Trainer, were tasked with finding an alternative solution.

Read the full case study here.

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