YuJa to Attend OEB Global Conference 2023: The Learning Futures We Choose

YuJa is committed to providing robust tools that transform teaching and learning. Conferences provide a way for the team to listen to those in education about what’s working for them and what they need to continue providing high quality, collaborative, accessible learning experiences to learners in the modern world.

OEB Global is a vibrant and thought-provoking conference and exhibition with keynote plenaries from world-class speakers, debates, panel discussions, and endless networking opportunities that provide the perfect environment to stimulate, explore and inform working practices to create a better digital learning world.

“As humanity faces up to the biggest challenges of the tech revolution, OEB 2023 leads the discussion about how we can use technological change to shape the future of learning. A future that is created by us, not by machines,” the OEB Conference website says. 

By bringing together participants from the higher education, workplace, and government sectors since 1995, OEB critically examines how technology opportunities and challenges are transforming the world of learning. 

Find YuJa in the exhibitor’s hall at Booth B15.

Six Ways to Support International Week of Deaf People

International Week of Deaf People (IWD) is a global event held the last full week of September to raise awareness of the rights, contributions, and culture of deaf individuals.

This year, IWD is set for Sept. 18- 25. The theme is “Building Inclusive Communities for All.” Each day has its own theme under the larger inclusivity theme, which are listed as follows: 

  • Monday, Sept. 18: Declaration on the Rights of Deaf Children 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19: Building Capacity Across the Globe
  • Wednesday, Sept. 20: Realizing “Nothing Without Us”
  • Thursday, Sept. 21: Putting Deaf People on the Agenda
  • Friday, Sept. 22: Achieving Sign Language Rights for All
  • Saturday, Sept. 23: International Day of Sign Languages: A World Where Deaf People Can Sign Anywhere
  • Sunday, Sept. 24: Building Inclusive Deaf Communities

”A world that is more conscious of deaf persons’ needs and rights is a world where deaf people are provided the access they need to contribute as equals.”

Learn more about each day on the World Federation of the Deaf website.

Coming together to show awareness for Deaf people within communities helps people better interact and communicate with deaf people. This week gives people an avenue to advocate for policy change and improvements in education, employment, and accessibility. 

“A world that is more conscious of deaf persons’ needs and rights is a world where deaf people are provided the access they need to contribute as equals,” the World Federation of the Deaf states.

Here are a few ways organizations and individuals can support IWD:

  • Promote Awareness: Use your organization’s communication channels, such as social media, newsletters, and websites, to spread information about IWD. Raise awareness about the importance of deaf culture, sign language, the importance of assistive devices and technology, and the challenges faced by deaf individuals in various aspects of their lives.
  • Create Accessible Content: Ensure your organization’s online content is accessible to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Provide captions, subtitles, and transcripts to make your content inclusive.
  • Collaborate with Deaf Organizations: Partner with local or national deaf organizations to co-host events and share resources. Collaborating with experts and advocates from the deaf community ensures that your activities are respectful, accurate, and relevant.
  • Advocate for Policy Change: Use the IWD to advocate for policy changes that promote accessibility, equal rights, and inclusion for deaf individuals. Engage with policymakers and relevant stakeholders to raise awareness about important issues.
  • Host an Event: Organize events, workshops, webinars, or seminars focused on deaf awareness, sign language education and accessibility. These events can help educate your employees, clients, and your community about the experiences of deaf people.
  • Make a Long-Term Commitment: Supporting the IWD is not just about a week of activities. Consider making your support for the deaf community an ongoing commitment beyond the IWD. Implement sustainable practices, such as offering accommodations, fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, and regularly engaging with deaf organizations, and make sure you’re giving deaf people a seat at the decision-making table.

Ensuring accessibility is essential for deaf people to have equal opportunities, rights, and engagement in every facet of life. Accessibility tools and technology, such as captioning, alternative formats facilitate interactions in educational settings, workplaces, healthcare environments, and daily interactions. 


Enhancing Classroom Engagement With a Student Response System

The Evolution of Student Response Systems

The first clicker system was developed by the U.S. Air Force developed in the 1950s for training personnel. Stanford University and Cornell University followed with the adoption of clicker systems in educational settings in the late 1960s, according to the International Journal of Learning Technology. The technology wasn’t what it is today, but as cell phones evolved, so did cell enabled SRS technologies, which were less expensive and easier to use. By the early 2000s, the technology was used widely in universities.

Technological advancements have transformed SRS systems into sophisticated platforms that support various question types, group collaboration, and seamless integration with digital learning environments.

Benefits of Using a Student Response System

Students use cell phones in class. Enhanced Classroom Engagement: SRS encourages active participation by allowing students to respond to questions in real-time. This active learning approach shifts students from passive listeners to active contributors, fostering deeper understanding and retention of course material.

Immediate Feedback for Students: With a student response system, students receive immediate feedback on their responses. This enables them to gauge their comprehension levels and identify areas that require further study, promoting a self-directed learning process.

Formative Assessment Opportunities: Instructors can employ SRS as a formative assessment tool, evaluating student understanding during lectures or class discussions. This enables instructors to adapt their teaching in real-time and address misconceptions right away.

Encouragement of Inclusive Pedagogy: A SRS allows students to respond anonymously, creating a more inclusive and supportive learning environment. It also accommodates diverse learning styles, which helps make education accessible to all.

Data-Driven Insights for Educators: A SRS generates valuable data on student performance and engagement. Educators can analyze this data to identify trends, assess teaching effectiveness, and personalize instruction for individual student needs.

Implementing Student Response Systems Successfully

To harness the full potential of SRS and enhance classroom engagement, educators should consider the following strategies:

  • Set Clear Learning Objectives: Align SRS activities with specific learning objectives, ensuring that the questions asked directly contribute to the course outcomes.
  • Incorporate a Variety of Question Types: Utilize a mix of question formats, including multiple-choice, open-ended, and interactive polling, to keep students engaged and accommodate diverse learning preferences.
  • Integrate SRS Questions into Lectures: Introduce SRS questions at strategic points throughout the lecture to keep students attentive and break the monotony of passive listening.
  • Encourage Group Activities: Use SRS to facilitate collaborative group activities and discussions, fostering peer learning and teamwork.
  • Provide Feedback and Reflection: After SRS activities, discuss the results with students, address common misconceptions, and allow time for reflection on the material covered.

Leverage the Power of Student Response Systems

Student Response Systems have proven to be powerful tools for enhancing classroom engagement in higher education. By promoting active learning, providing immediate feedback, and fostering inclusivity, SRS not only improves student outcomes but also transforms traditional teaching into an interactive and dynamic experience.

Embracing technology in education, such as student response systems, ensures that the learning journey remains relevant and meaningful for today’s students, preparing them for success in a constantly changing world.

What is LTI 1.3 and Why is It Important in Higher Ed?

LTI 1.3 is backed by 1EdTech Consortium, a nonprofit member organization “committed to advancing technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment,” the organization states on its website

“Together, the 1EdTech member community is a force multiplier to accelerate digital transformation to enable education institutions to be more innovative, provide a more seamless user experience, and dramatically reduce the cost of integrating products into the educational enterprise systems.”

“Together, the 1EdTech member community is a force multiplier to accelerate digital transformation to enable education institutions to be more innovative, provide a more seamless user experience, and dramatically reduce the cost of integrating products into the educational enterprise systems.”

Benefits of Adopting LTI 1.3

The new security framework behind LTI 1.3 provides enhanced security measures that prioritize the privacy and protection of sensitive information with a more robust security model. 

According to 1EdTech, its security frameworks adopt the industry-standard protocol IETF OAuth 2.0 for authentication services and JSON Web Tokens for secure message signing. It also adopts the open ID Connect workflow paradigm. 

This provides enhanced agility, flexibility, and scalability, while also providing encryption and a mobile-ready model independent of web browsers.

LTI Advantage Builds on LTI 1.3

students looking at a laptop

LTI Advantage expands on LTI 1.3, which makes it easier to build, manage and offer courses while also providing security that puts CIOs and platform providers at ease. LTI Advantage offers three end-user services, including assignment and grade services, deep linking, and names and role provisioning services. 

YuJa is 1EdTech Certified

YuJa, Inc.has implemented the Learning Tools Interoperability and LTI Advantage, and has obtained the IMS TrustEd Apps™ Seal for Data Privacy Certification through 1EdTech (previously the IMS Global Learning Consortium).

YuJa provides modular IMS-certified LTI 1.1 and LTI 1.3 (LTI Advantage) LMS enterprise connectors and cross-connectors for every major LMS – including Canvas, Blackboard, D2L Brightspace, and Moodle – to ensure worry-free integration.

Tips for Improving Lecture Capture Audio Quality

Audio quality is essential for capture functionality; users need to be able to hear what you are saying. Poor audio quality makes captures less useful, and may leave users feeling discouraged and frustrated.

There are multiple components to the overall quality of an audio recording, including the space in which you’re recording, the equipment you’re using, and the settings for your microphone.

The Recording Space

The physical space and ambient noise present can impact the overall quality of the audio in your recording. Consider the differences between a small conference room and a large lecture hall full of students. In an empty conference room, you may have few audio issues. In a full lecture hall, there is likely to be a great deal of ambient noise. While you cannot address all aspects of background noise, you may be able to control some of the following:

  • Turn off ceiling fans and additional, unused appliances and phones. Close your windows to block out vehicles and other outside noise.
  • Position microphones away from the classroom computer. Computer fans can be a significant source of additional noise.
  • Ensure there’s no echo. Typically, a smaller recording space is better to reduce echo, but carpet, furniture, and acoustic foam tiles in a space can all help reduce echo.

The Microphone

The right microphone is essential to good-quality audio recordings. In a small space, like an office, the built-in microphone in a laptop computer or headphone microphone may be adequate. There is little background noise in a small space, and fewer audio challenges. Still, if you choose this method, ensure you have access to editing software that can help enhance the audio.

In a larger lecture hall or auditorium, it’s recommended that you choose a uni-directional microphone, which picks up sound only from one direction. This means the noise of the classroom or conference space will not be picked up on the microphone, while the speaker’s voice will be clear and audible.

Ideally, the microphone should be placed 3-5 inches from the speaker. A stand, or a lapel microphone if you need to move around the room, can help keep the microphone the same distance from the speaker throughout the recording. It also ensures the speaker can use their hands for visual demonstrations.

The Sound Check

In addition to preparing the space and making smart microphone selections, it is helpful to take a moment to check your sound and assess sound quality. Do a test run to check that audio is clear, crisp, and balanced.

If there are two speakers, it’s helpful to record on separate tracks so they can be adjusted separately. Each speaker should wear headphones to avoid picking up the other speaker’s audio as background noise.

YuJa Software Capture enables you to test your audio feed before you begin recording. Check the monitor to assess your volume levels. You can also opt for a short on-demand recording to check and review your audio quality.

YuJa’s HTML5-based Video Editor also allows instructors to edit audio to remove pauses, adjust audio gain adjustments, amplification and re-normalization capabilities.

Expanding Video in Blended Learning Environments

Many instructors who have taught blended courses are quite familiar with basic lecture capture, but may not have fully explored the options available through video today.

The Benefits of Video

Video offers several distinct advantages as a learning medium, whether it’s being used in the context of a flipped classroom or to provide supplemental learning materials.

  • Since video combines visual, text, and auditory elements, it effectively reaches individuals with different learning styles.
  • Video relies on and makes use of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
  • Images, including moving images in the video, are more likely to be remembered than text.
  • The brain can process images more quickly and efficiently than text.
  • Video is ideal for shorter attention spans, common in students raised in today’s digital age.

Expand Video Learning

Video learning doesn’t have to be limited to a traditional recording of a course lecture, with an instructor at the podium and a digital presentation. Consider integrating some of these suggestions into your blended learning or distance learning courses to keep students engaged and active.

Keep It Short

Breaking videos down into shorter, more digestible pieces is known as chunking or micro-lessons.

Because research has shown that students better learn and retain information that has been broken down through chunking, instructors have embraced the method in their course design.

Learners report that videos from six minutes to 15 minutes in length are preferred to traditional, full-length lecture videos. You can still cover the content, but break it up into shorter sections or elements to keep students focused on learning.

Personalize or Brand your Content

Consider using the same introduction for all of your video content, or integrating some of the same structures throughout. If you think about the videos your students watch on their own time, there is often a clear introductory sequence that identifies the video maker and topic.  This is an ideal time to provide your students with the information they need about the video content or other course activities.

YuJa also offers a custom-branded EnterpriseTube to provide a public face for your organization. Accessible without logging in, this is a great way to showcase public events, share information, and show what your institution has to offer while keeping everything aligned to your brand.

Provide Feedback

While many videos are used by all students, recording tools also enable you to provide video feedback to a single student or a small group of students. Skip the red pen and provide detailed feedback on a rough draft, project, or another assignment.

Teach Hands-on Skills

In many fields, students do not only need to know the information but also need to be able to perform set skills. Video recording can allow you to show those skills to students who might not have been able to attend, or who need to review a demonstration. With access to a demonstration video, students can more easily master these skills, whether you’re working with a piece of software or performing a medical procedure.

Creating Screen-Reader Friendly Resources

Screen readers work by reading aloud text content presented on a screen, and they may be used in combination with other assistive technologies like a screen magnifier. Most screen readers are software-based, and offer a number of features. They are controlled via keyboard commands, using a standard or Braille keyboard and can identify the cursor’s position, read text, locate particular words or text in a set color, and perform other key tasks. Screen readers can also work with Braille display technology.

When users are using a screen reader to understand a website, they need an array of information, including what language is being used; however, they may not need as much information when they’re reading documents. 

Making Documents Accessible to Screen Readers

While video content is often quite accessible to users, either through carefully describing what is on the screen or integrating audio descriptions along with a video file, text-based files may pose additional challenges for users with vision impairments.

Learning how to create screen reader-friendly documents can enable you to improve accessibility for users. The tips here apply to a variety of document types, but are most relevant for the types of documents content owners are likely to provide to users, including .PDF, .DOCX, and .PPT files.

“Including headings and subheadings in your content is important, as 67.5% of screen reader users jump through headings as their primary way to navigate content.”

  • Create a logical underlying structure. This typically relies upon tags. These tags, just like tags in a website, help the screen reader software to understand the correct order of information in a document.
  • Provide alternate text (or alt text) information about image and graphics. For instance, if you have presented an image of a red car, driving down a highway alongside the beach, the alternate text should enable the user to listen to the screen reader to understand that there is a picture on the document and the content of that picture. Longer alternate text descriptions may be needed for some graphics.
  • Incorporate navigation aids, such as a table of contents or bookmarks to improve the ease of navigation for all users.
  • Avoid the use of unusual or specific fonts. These can confuse screen readers, leading to difficulty for users.
  • Keep paragraphs short. The most common way to read content is by paragraph, so keeping paragraphs short enables users to go back and re-read content on a page more easily.
  • Incorporate headings and subheadings. Screen readers can jump to headings, which is a primary way users navigate pages  (67.5%), according to WEB Aim’s Screen Reader User Survey.

Provide Accessible Digital Documents for All Users

In classrooms and offices, many people rely upon documents in both paper and digital formats, whether these are meeting minutes, supports for multimedia presentations, or other course materials. To meet the needs of students who use screen readers, consider providing content prior to the meeting or providing the document in a digital form. The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform enables:

  • The ability to upload a variety of file types directly into a media collection, which makes documents available to every user.
  • Math equation support for screen readers. Math equations can be read aloud to users, including equations embedded in documents and included in images.
  • The ability for content owners to upload documents directly associated with a particular media file. These documents can be viewed while viewing the media or can be downloaded for a later or separate review.

Listed are some of the most effective ways institutions can supplement media-based learning and information sharing while providing users who need screen readers and other assistive technologies with an improved understanding of content.

Case Study: How YuJa Helps North Carolina Virtual Public School Provide Supplemental Instruction to Tens of Thousands of Middle and High School Students Statewide

Students in sixth through twelfth grades enroll through their local public school, and grades are reported to their school for credit. The courses use learning management and collaborative software to maximize student interaction in each class. The purpose of the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NC Virtual) is to provide e-learning opportunities to students.

Read the full case study here.

Increasing Accessibility with Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are an additional audio track within a video that describes what is on the screen that’s not spoken. Designed to meet the needs of visually impaired users, these helpful narratives are sometimes called descriptive video.

Audio description tracks fill in information that may be missing in the standard audio track, but is displayed to viewers visually. This information may include information about actions being taken, characters, scene changes, and more.

Audio Description Helps Paint a Comprehensive Picture for the Visually Impaired

Imagine a video for a history course on 17th century Holland; the screen shows the image of a painting by Vermeer. The standard audio track may offer information relating to the painting, but doesn’t provide a student who cannot see the screen any information about exactly what is on the screen. girl with Pearl Earing painting

In this case, the audio track might say, “An aged oil painting of a young woman with a blue and light yellow scarf over her hair contrasts against a dark background. The woman’s head is tilted slightly as she looks directly at the viewer over her left shoulder. The young woman wears a pearl earring that nearly touches her white collar under a yellow garment. Heavy folds of the garment suggest coarse fabric unusual for the time period.” 

Now, the user who cannot see the painting has an idea or point of reference for additional content in the video.

The American Council of the Blind and has numerous audio description examples on their Audio Description Project page, which helps “promote and advocate for the use of high-quality Audio Description in television, movies, performing arts, museums, educational materials and other venues where the presentation of visual media is critical to the understanding and appreciation of the content.”

Using Audio Descriptions in Your Video Content

Audio description tracks enable the user to toggle between two audio streams, including the standard audio and the additional audio description. 

There are several different ways to make use of audio descriptions in video content.

  • Video creators can opt to include audio descriptions in their main soundtrack. While this can be challenging, it saves any need for an additional track. For instance, an instructor might say, “the screen shows a PowerPoint slide detailing…”. 
  • Audio description tracks can simply be uploaded as a secondary track. This track can include only the essential audio to fill in information the student requires.
  • An audio description track that includes the full lecture content can also be produced and made available as an alternate track.

Adding Audio Descriptions to Videos with the YuJa Video Platform

YuJa’s Video Platform fully complies with accessibility requirements related to audio descriptions. YuJa’s HTML5 Media Player provides built-in capabilities to add separate, user-enabled Audio Description tags to a video.

YuJa continues to improve accessibility features in the HTML5 Media Player to enhance the learning experience for all students.


Creating Engaging Lecture Capture Recordings for Remote and In-Person Instruction

Teacher looking over students shoulder
Recording lectures through YuJa’s
lecture capture tools provides students with the ability to watch, re-watch, and review lectures wherever they are, using a computer or mobile device.

For online learners and flipped classrooms, lecture captures may provide the only lecture experiences for the class. Recorded lectures that are interesting and appealing to students will help engage students, keep their attention, maintain focus, and help them learn.

Below are some tips to create engaging recordings for all students, whether they attend class face-to-face or online.

Add Visual Interest With Multi-Source Recording 

YuJa makes it simple to incorporate multiple cameras, video feeds, audio and screen sources. This brings all of the tools of a well-equipped lecture hall online and makes it more accessible to your students, even those away from the classroom. Incorporating visual elements engages your students, including visual learners, as you lecture.

Visual presentation material is essential to take your lecture up a notch. It also makes note taking easier for students.

  • Use PowerPoint or another presentation software to incorporate images, notes and other information. You can easily share your screen as you produce a lecture capture recording.
  • Plug in your classroom SmartBoard to allow students to see you work equations, make notes or share information on the board.
  • Document cameras allow you to share printed material with students.

Most instructors are already using PowerPoint presentations, SmartBoards and other tools in their everyday lectures. These tools are even more important when recording lectures.

Helping Students Connect with Lectures

“Incorporating visual elements engages your students, including visual learners, as you lecture.”

Visual interest is not the only way to create an impressive and engaging lecture capture. You can implement many different strategies to maximize the effect and interest of your lecture captures.

Show: Show how, when and why this material matters using real-world examples. This is especially helpful for general education classes. 

Connect: Connect material to information your students already know. Making familiar connections can help students stay interested.

Summarize: For information dense lectures, summarize or review material before moving on to new material.

Define: Define jargon or unfamiliar terminology.

Outline: Use outlines, a table of contents and other tools to help your students organize their note-taking.

Explain: Explain difficult concepts in several ways to reach all of your students.

Use Assessment Tools

YuJa offers a number of ways to assess the efficacy of your lecture captures.

  • Incorporate video quizzes into lecture captures. The results will help define problem areas.
  • Review discussion boards for student questions. Check and see if students seem to be struggling with a certain concept or assignment.
  • Check your analytics for signs students are re-watching portions of videos. Analytics provide insights in real-time.

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