Five Advantages of a Lockdown Browser in Higher Education
While the primary purpose of a lockdown browser 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 browsers 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 browsers 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.
Compatibility: Lockdown browsers are designed to work with various learning management systems (LMS) and online testing platforms, making them adaptable to different educational environments.
Enhanced Security: Lockdown browsers 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 browsers 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 browsers 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 browsers 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 browser 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
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:
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Choosing a Lecture Capture Solution to Meet Your Needs
Lecture capture provides opportunities for study and review, increased flexibility and serves different learning styles. When you choose a lecture capture provider that offers ease-of-use, practicality, and functionality, instructors and students will embrace the technology. Simplifying the lecture capture process will help every instructor to embrace new technology and find their way from the classroom podium to the student’s smartphone.
Choosing a Solution to Meet Your Needs
YuJa offers three distinct options for lecture capture. All three leverage the YuJa Cloud for transcoding, streaming and management. Designed to meet the needs of any size class or lectures on any subject, the YuJa Lecture Capture tools easily integrate with your existing classroom technology.
Hardware Appliance: The YuJa Lecture Capture Hardware Appliance is a hardware-based solution that easily equips a classroom for ongoing lecture capture. Once installed, the YuJa Hub can capture every lecture in the classroom, auditorium or lecture hall. The YuJa Hardware Appliance integrates with other input and output devices to deliver high-fidelity audio and video recording.
Software Capture: YuJa Software Capture can be installed on a laptop or podium computer and offers increased access to lecture capture, as well as versatility. Any computer with the software can be used for lecture or presentation captures in any space. Instructors can record videos both in and out of the classroom. Applications are available for both PC and Apple devices.
Browser-Based Capture: The YuJa In-Browser Capture Studio is a HTML5-based browser-based capture solution that provides instructors and students with the ability to create lectures on-the-go using any computer with an internet connection. YuJa’s In-Browser Capture Studio allows you to share files, access an integrated whiteboard, and invite others to join you in recording a lecture or presentation.
Simplify the Process with YuJa’s Lecture Capture Tools
No matter which method you choose, the lecture capture process is simple for instructors. Recording times can be pre-scheduled, making the lecture capture process hands-off, or a session can be started on-demand with the simple push of a button.
Once your recording has begun, viewers can tune in and watch the livestream of your lecture capture on their computers or mobile devices. When the recording is complete, the file is automatically uploaded to the YuJa Cloud, where it is auto-captioned for accessibility and searchability. Within minutes, it becomes a part of your Media Library, and is ready to watch, access and search.
Challenging Advanced Students With Differentiated instruction
“Differentiation has become a ubiquitous term and a much discussed concept in education. Educators everywhere realize that students have diverse needs, and there has been a push to ensure that teachers are using strategies and supports to meet the needs of all students,” a report by Teachers Pay Teachers said.
The same report found that more than 95% of educators view differentiated instruction as important to student achievement. Providing educational support to advanced learners not only engages students, but also more actively involves them in the learning process.
DIFFERENTIATING EDUCATION FOR HIGH-ACHIEVING LEARNERS
YuJa makes it easy for teachers to provide varied work to meet the needs of high-achieving students.
Carol Tomlinson, an expert in the field of differentiated instruction, notes that “a chief objective of differentiated instruction is to take full advantage of every student’s ability to learn.” Differentiated instruction provides all students with learning opportunities they need, but can be especially helpful for advanced learners.
Ideas to help challenge advanced students include:
- Offer more challenging work to students who already have the basic competencies. Students can work independently or in groups.
- Offer a variety of assignment options. For instance, students could be offered the option of a PowerPoint presentation, an essay, a poster, or a video project.
- Break up classroom projects into different portions to allow students to focus on their strengths. Assign high achieving groups research tasks to increase their interest level.
Some of the top strategies for differentiation, according to the TpT report, include individual/small group instruction, leveled activities, scaffolded lessons, formative assessments, offering multiple learning styles, flexible timing, options to show learning and providing student choice.
BUILDING SKILLS FOR HIGH ACHIEVERS
YuJa enables students to engage and interact to build new skills and maximize the educational experience. Some high-achieving students, while successful academically, may struggle with social engagement or have other challenges.
- Real-time discussions enable in-depth conversation about class topics, enabling students who may be less likely to speak up in class to engage online.
- Auto Captioning offers a readable and searchable transcript, facilitating learning for students who do best with visual, rather than auditory learning.
- Students who feel anxious in large group settings may find video presentations less stressful than in-person presentations.