Tips for Maximizing YuJa Video Quality within Lecture Captures


Local Capture SettingsYuJa provides the tools you need to create high-quality lecture capture videos for your students, whether you use the YuJa Hardware Hub, YuJa Software Station or YuJa Web Capture. While YuJa’s lecture capture solutions can create crisp and clear videos, in some cases, you may find that you’re struggling with video quality. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some solutions to maximize your video quality or solve video quality problems.

Managing Equipment Issues

In some cases, video and audio quality issues are the result of poorly functioning or inadequate equipment. For instance, you may find that your video and audio quality is poor if you’re recording with the on-board webcam and internal microphone in a laptop PC.
    1. Audio Equipment Choices
A USB microphone is recommended. Both wired and wireless microphones will work, and YuJa is compatible with a wide range of USB microphones. Wireless microphones are a more practical classroom solution, but if you’re recording from your office or a home office, you can certainly use a wired or headset style microphone for clear audio quality.
    1. Video Equipment Needs
For lecture capture recordings, a separate web camera is suggested. These are also available at a wide range of price points, with higher quality products offering improved resolution and increased features. While a microphone and web camera make up the basics of a lecture capture recording, lighting can also matter. If your camera quality isn’t the problem, adding additional lighting may improve the visibility and clarity of your recording. This is especially helpful for on-site demonstrations.

Improving Screen Capture Quality

For most users, the screen capture process will be seamless, producing clear and good-quality recordings without additional effort. In other cases, however, users may have to adjust settings in the YuJa Software Station or their computer to improve screen capture quality. Below, you’ll find some tips and tricks we’ve found helpful to create top-quality screen capture recordings.
    1. Screen Resolution Settings
Match your screen resolution and your screen capture resolution. You’ll find the YuJa Software Station screen resolution settings by editing your Capture Profile and selecting Global Settings. Right-click on your desktop and choose Display to see your computer’s screen resolution.  Do keep in mind that extremely high resolutions may cause playback difficulties for some users.
    1. The ClearType Tuner
Try out the ClearType Tuner included with Windows. In Windows 10, the ClearType Tuner is located in your Display Settings under Advanced Settings; however, it is also available in older versions of windows. Turn on ClearType and use the tuner to improve the display quality of fonts and text on your screen.
    1. Icon Size Settings
In Display Settings, confirm that icons are set to 100% size.
    1. Full Screen Mode
Record screen captures in full-screen mode, rather than in a minimized screen for the highest quality recording.
    1. Zooming In or Out
When showing a file or document on screen, or illustrating a web browser on screen, be certain you are viewing the screen at 100 percent, rather than a lower or higher zoom value. We hope these tips help you to maximize your use of the YuJa lecture capture tools and to create recordings your students will enjoy.        

Ways to Use the Whiteboard for Teaching


WhiteboardThe YuJa Web Capture interface offers several user friendly and accessible tools. One of these is an interactive, online whiteboard. You can use this whiteboard tool in a number of ways. In this post, we’ll look at just a few of those.

Annotate

If you’re used to using a SmartBoard, the whiteboard offers similar tools, accessible through Web Capture. You can share a document and use the whiteboard tools to annotate the document, edit it, or mark out key points for viewers. Annotating documents is an effective and interactive way to engage students during a Web Capture.

annotated

Here, you can see an annotated passage from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. You can also use the whiteboard to illustrate math problems, science concepts or simply to make written notes to accompany your lecture, if you’re not sharing a document.

Brainstorming

The whiteboard is accessible during Video Meetings and can be used for brainstorming with students or colleagues. You can also invite contacts to share a multi-person Web Capture. Mastering the basic whiteboard tools enables you to effectively brainstorm, mind map or work on project planning.  The following tips can make the most of your brainstorming session.

  1. Set some ground rules. Things like “every idea has value” can encourage people to actively contribute to your brainstorming session.
  2. Be open to spontaneous brainstorming. With instantly accessible Video Meeting and Web Capture tools, you can be working with the whiteboard when inspiration strikes.
  3. Let go of perfection! Brainstorming is messy, and that’s okay.
  4. Be okay with boring–sometimes brainstorming isn’t exciting, or even as productive as you’d like.

One of the most important things you can do when brainstorming is to save your work. Fortunately, with YuJa’s tools, that part is automatic. Your Web Capture or video meeting will be uploaded to the YuJa cloud and will be accessible for future reference.

Problem Solving

The whiteboard also offers an effective tool to solve problems. These could be real-world problems in the workplace, or problems posed to a class in a Video meeting or in the real-time discussion forums. Use the whiteboard tools to lay out possible solutions, test those solutions, and come to a final answer.

To problem solve effectively:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Provide any necessary specifics.
  • Identify possible solutions.
  • Choose the best solution to implement.
  • Create a schedule to implement the solution and check in to see if it’s worked, if appropriate.

You can use problem solving tools on the whiteboard with a single student, with a classroom, or with a team of students or employees.

Using Screen Broadcasting to Support Computer-Based Learning


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What Is Screen Broadcasting?

Simply put, screen broadcasting takes what is on your computer screen and shares it as part of your lecture or web capture. Students can see your screen and watch each step you take, even pausing, rewinding and re-watching as needed to master computer-based skills.

Screen broadcasting is ideal for students in a wide range of disciplines, including:

  • Graphic Design. Show students step-by-step procedures in vector-based and photo-editing software.
  • Computer-assisted Drafting. Illustrate functionality of CAD software and demonstrate necessary actions to complete tasks.
  • Coding. Allow students to read code, then watch the actions produced by the code in a direct sequence.
  • Computer Science. Provide visual demonstrations of various essential tasks and programming operations.

While those fields are a first-choice for screen broadcasting, it also offers significant advantages when training in any type of computer software, in an educational or employment setting.

  • Provide training on new company software without requiring in-person attendance at classes. Employees can watch the training when convenient with screen broadcasting.
  • Campus tutoring or support centers can use screen broadcasting to train students to use the Learning Management System or common software options, like Microsoft Office or Google Docs, Sheets, Slides or Forms.

Rather than having to explain or use screenshots to illustrate actions, students have the opportunity to watch you perform those actions on your own computer in a step-by-step fashion. This is also an ideal choice for a flipped classroom–students can see what they’ll be doing before they do it in class!

Screen Broadcasting Options

YuJa offers several distinct and helpful options for screen broadcasting.

Local Capture Settings

  1. Screen broadcasting is a choice available on the local capture profile settings in the YuJa Software Station. The Software Station can be used alone, or in combination with the YuJa Appliance.  The slider next to Capture the computer screen? above turns screen broadcasting on or off.  The Advanced Settings option below allows you to choose to display a single screen, or to display content from a dual-monitor system.
    videocaptures2
  2. Access screen broadcasting through the YuJa Web Capture option available on the YuJa site. Simply select Desktop Screen in the dropdown box, and your screen will be included as part of your YuJa Web Capture. The YuJa Web Capture doesn’t require any additional software, and is accessible from any Windows-based PC.

Creating Engaging Lecture Captures


living-room-371455 Lecture captures provide your 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. Lecture captures that are interesting and appealing to students will help to engage their attention, maintain their focus, and help them learn.

Adding Visual Interest

YuJa makes it simple to incorporate multiple cameras, video feeds, and sources. This brings all of the tools of a well-equipped lecture hall online and accessible to your students, even away from the classroom. These tools are easy to incorporate—plug, play and go! Incorporating visual sources engages your students, including visual learners, as you lecture. In many classes, in a variety of subjects, the lecture is just that—a lecture! This is especially true for online or flipped classes, which don’t have the benefit of student interaction during the lecture. Visual presentation material is essential to take your lecture up a notch; it also makes note taking easier for your 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.
  • 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 in a lecture capture.

Helping Students to Connect with Lectures

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.
  1. Show how, when and why this material matters. This is especially helpful for general education classes. Use real-world examples.
  2. Connect material to information your students already know. Making familiar connections can help students stay interested.
  3. For information dense lectures, summarize or review material before moving on to new material.
  4. Define jargon or unfamiliar terminology.
  5. Use outlines, a table of contents and other tools to help your students organize their note-taking.
  6. 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.
  • Review real-time discussions for student questions
  • Check your analytics for signs students are re-watching portions of videos.
 

Tutorial: Organizing Online Elements for Your Blended or Hybrid Class


screenshotcourseboard1

Online classes and blended classes make assignments, resources, and documents easily available to your students. For some students, following along in an online or blended course will come easily. Others may need more support. Smart organizational strategies can help instructors and institutions to effectively support less tech-savvy students. In addition, you’re providing your students with an example of organizational excellence, showing them how they can use similar tools in their own lives.

File organization consists of several distinct components.

  • File naming systems help you to find the correct file quickly, recognize its contents, and track different versions of similar files.
  • Folders let you group like folders together or to group similar files into one easily accessible folder.
  • Sub-folders allow you to create groups of folders.

These components are quite basic, and you’re likely already familiar with them; however, your home and office organizational systems may be quite personalized, and not ideal to share with your students. You can, however, apply these file strategies to your own file systems if you’d like to be more organized in the office, the classroom or at home!

Naming Your Files

Smart file naming protocols make it easier for both you and your students to find the files you need. For course files, it’s ideal to include both a chronological and a subject reference in the file. For instance, an assigned reading in history could be titled Reading_Unit2_SupplyAndDemand. Here, the student can see that this is the reading assignment for unit two and can see the topic.  Your file names should, for student ease, include a type or topic, a unit or date and a subject.

Organizing Your Files

First, let’s talk about how you can organize your materials, before they go live and online to your students. For many people, the best option is to create a project folder. Within that folder, you can create individual folders to hold different types of materials, or, as an alternative, complete individual units. This makes it easy to see what you’ve done, what you need to do and to find files to upload and share with your students.

We’re going to use the Course Board as our how-to example. When you go to your Course Board, you’ll a large space designed to display the course syllabus or outline, with a file structure to the right hand side. This file structure allows you to create folders and then sub-folders. There are two basic organizational strategies for your course on YuJa.

  • Organize your course chronologically. All files for a week, a unit, or a chapter go into a single folder. For instance, a folder labeled Week One or Unit One might contain the lecture notes, an assignment, and a supplemental reading. Depending on the number of files per unit or week, you might have sub-folders for each of these categories.
  • Organize your files topically. All lecture notes go into a single folder. All assignments go into another folder. Students will need to check multiple folders for each unit, but can easily see all assignments or readings in one folder.

 

When you’ve decided on an organizational system, incorporate your system into your Course Board. Create folders, then subfolders for your files. This makes it simple to upload each file to its correct place on your Course Board.

 

How to Record a Lecture with YuJa


Learning Channel 1

 

Recording your lectures with YuJa is easy. Let’s take a look at how to record a lecture using YuJa.

YuJa offers affordable and practical lecture capture solutions, both for university-initiated lecture capture and instructor-initiated lecture capture. There are three different lecture capture options suitable for the classroom, office or boardroom.

  1. Appliance capture — YuJa appliance integrates into all presentation media and provides you with an easy lecture capture solution.
  2. Software capture –the YuJa software interface allows lecture capture through any laptop or podium computer.
  3. Web capture –the YuJa web capture interface uses the web-based YuJa interface to capture your lecture or podcast recording.

Once installed, all of these options work at the push of a button. There’s no need for IT staff or personnel to make lecture capture happen on a day-to-day basis. Automated scheduling can even make lecture captures a hands-off procedure for presenters or instructors.

The YuJa Appliance

The YuJa Appliance is a hardware device designed for fully integrated classroom lecture capture. The appliance fully connects with all presentation media in the classroom or presentation space, including your SmartBoard, microphones, and cameras.

  • Capture every element of your lecture using the YuJa Appliance.
  • The YuJa Appliance can integrate multiple cameras, making it ideal for larger classroom spaces.

The YuJa Appliance is ideal for regular lecture recordings. Every classroom lecture can be captured, streamed and uploaded to the cloud automatically, or lecture capture can be initiated by the instructor. The Appliance simplifies the lecture capture process and makes it available to every lecturer or instructor in the classroom.

The YuJa Software Capture

The YuJa software lecture capture interface is a practical and flexible way to capture lectures using a laptop computer or podium computer in the classroom or presentation space. With software-based capture, lecture capture can move into any presentation space or classroom with ease. To use the YuJa software interface, you’ll need a web cam and microphone.

  • The YuJa software interface requires no additional equipment, limiting costs.
  • Software-based capture can be scheduled to record automatically or initiated on-demand.
  • The YuJa software interface integrates classroom technology, like the SmartBoard.

Software-based lecture capture is versatile, easy to use, and adaptable for varied situations. Instructors or departments can easily integrate capture technology into their classes, and businesses can use it to share meetings, continuing education and more.

YuJa Web Capture

Web capture allows you to capture lectures or create video podcasts using a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Unlike the YuJa Appliance or software-based lecture capture, web capture is browser-based. You can create your video recording using any computer browser. Web capture is available to all YuJa users, so is also ideal for student or employee presentation.  Others can join in your web capture recording and even participate.

  • Web captures are not designed to work with classroom equipment, but allow you to share files and work on a fully incorporated whiteboard, document pane and screenshare.
  • Web capture works well away from the classroom, including office, home or your favorite coffee shop.

Both the YuJa appliance and the YuJa software interface offer dual-capture technology. Your lecture live streams for students to watch in real-time, and is auto-captioned and uploaded to the YuJa cloud. You’ll find your completed, captioned lecture captures in your learning channel for students to staff to watch, review, and even search for specific content.

Lecture Capture and the Instructor


YuJa captureWhile some instructors may embrace lecture capture technology with excitement, in other cases, the impetus to embrace new technology comes from the department or the institution. In this case, a smart educational program can get your instructors on-board. While you could employ IT staff to set up recording equipment and record each lecture, this is a costly and inefficient choice. YuJa offers two different automated recording solutions that simplify the lecture capture process for the instructor and enable departments or institutions to offer live streaming and cloud-based lecture captures to students. Automated recording makes lecture capture easy for the instructor.

Educating Instructors about Lecture Capture

The first step for any department or institution initiating lecture capture is to provide instructors with education about the benefits of lecture capture. Some instructors may embrace new technologies. Others may be significantly less willing to tackle the challenges of the modern, technology-enhanced connected classroom. Providing education can change that.

The Benefits of Lecture Capture

Lecture captures and livestreams enable students to watch the class remotely or after class.  This offers a number of benefits for both the student and the instructor. What are the benefits of lecture capture? According to the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning, they include:

  • Greater ability to offer additional learning resources.
  • Increased note-taking flexibility for students.
  • Allowing students to review material at their own pace.
  • More time for enterprise video in the classroom.
  • New opportunities for student participation.
  • Ability to catch up after missed lectures.

What Do the Studies Say?

Evaluation studies have shown the following about lecture capture, both with regards to attendance and student learning. These studies can address instructor concerns about lecture capture technology.

  1. Student attendance does not drop with the introduction of lecture capture.
  2. Students report improved mastery and understanding of course material with the introduction of lecture capture.
  3. Lecture capture increases student engagement with the material and may alter student notetaking practices in positive ways.

YuJa offers an easy solution for instructors. The lecture capture process can be automated to provide lecture captures with little or no instructor involvement. This increases the likelihood of compliance with department or institution wide lecture capture policies.

How Does Automated Recording Work?

Automated recording is available in two different formats. You can opt to install the YuJa appliance in classrooms. This appliance integrates with all of your classroom equipment and enables either instructors or IT staff to schedule recordings.

When recordings are scheduled, the appliance starts live streaming the lecture. Additionally, it uploads the recording to the YuJa cloud. Once uploaded, the recording autocaptions and is available and searchable for students to review in the future. The YuJa appliance offers a hands-off solution for instructors, and enables an institution to employ lecture capture for all classes in a classroom with significant ease.

Software-based lecture capture also offers automated recording ability. The recording software is simply set up on a podium computer or instructor’s laptop computer. When scheduled, the software starts to live-stream the broadcast and capture it to upload to the YuJa cloud.

Whichever option you choose, automated lecture capture can simplify the process for instructors and support instructor compliance. Your students can count on the recordings to livestream on schedule and to be available via their class learning channels after class.

 


Zhu, Erping. “Lecture Capture: A Guide to Effective Use.” Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan. Web. Accessed on 16 June 2015.

 

 

 

How to Improve Your Video Podcasts


Screenshot-2

YuJa’s video podcast tool is a practical choice for a variety of different situations. It allows you to easily produce review videos for students, film lectures at home or from your office, or provide some more in-depth insights into the course material. The video podcast tool is not designed for lecture capture in the classroom, and is typically used from an office, either at home or work.

Learning how to film from your office can be a bit tricky, especially since you want clear, high-quality recordings. Background, light and sound all matter!

Equipment

You’ll need a webcam and a microphone. While a newer laptop webcam is adequate, you can also purchase a separate USB webcam. Either a headset microphone or desktop microphone is essential for sound quality. Position your webcam at eye level and set it to the highest recording quality available, in most cases.

Background

If you are filming in a clean, well-organized office, there’s typically no need for additional modifications. If, on the other hand, your office is untidy, or you’re filming from home, simple modifications can clean up your background. You may be able to rearrange things to face a clean, solid-colored wall or create a cloth backdrop. One easy alternative is to purchase a backdrop designed for this use. These typically attach to desk chairs, creating a clean, solid-color appearance. They fold flat for easy storage.

Light

Lots of light will produce a better recording. You should not, however, have a window directly behind your face. Move household lamps or lights to form a triangle around your filming area for the best results. You should have light behind the computer, then to either side of you, but outside of the visible area.

Sound

Take a few moments to listen to your home or office. Are there any noises you can eliminate? Often, noises you are used to and do not notice can create a distracting background hum on video. Turn off unnecessary fans and other sources of “white noise” in the background.

Creating a Video Channel


Learning Channel 1 YuJa’s video channels are an easy and efficient way to organize your video podcasts, lecture captures, and other educational materials online. All videos created in YuJa are automatically part of your class or group channel. Students can easily review all course videos and follow along in order. This makes it easy for students in online courses, but also for any competency- based courses. Well-organized video channels also allow students to easily review materials prior to tests or examinations. YuJa’s learning channels are equally effective for corporate training or providing information to volunteers for your non-profit. With integrated support for YouTube and Vimeo, you can add online videos to your video channel with nothing more than the URL. The ability to include a variety of educational videos supports different types of learners and learning styles, allows you to offer more in-depth information on specific subjects and address possible student questions with ease. You’ll find that any videos you’ve created with the tools available in YuJa are already located in your learning channel. There’s no need to add these videos to your channel, but you can remove them if you’d like. To add a YouTube or Vimeo video, simply choose add video and enter the URL for the video. In minutes, you can fill your video channel up with useful learning resources for your students. Since you’re sharing a link, there’s no risk of copyright infringement. Finding Videos to Share
  • Check your textbook or curriculum publisher’s website. They may offer video links suitable for your class.
  • Look for subject-specific high-quality documentaries to share. Many are available online.
  • Review well-known educational sites, like Khan Academy for video links.
  • Use user reviews to narrow down your search and reduce your own watching time.
  • Ask students to share favorite videos they find while studying.

Using the Collaborative Space in a Corporate Environment


Offices

YuJa offers an ideal collaborative space, not just for students and teachers, but also for corporate teams. As work modalities change, and more workers spend time at satellite locations or work remotely, online collaboration may need to take the place of face-to-face meetings. While it may not involve sitting around a table with one another, online collaboration in the supportive YuJa environment can offer a productive way to work together, build relationships and complete tasks.  Social learning platforms such as YuJa, that enable collaboration can, according to chip-maker Xilinx, increase employee productivity by as much as 25 percent.

Designing Collaborative Teams

When planning a team for an online collaboration, you may find it effective to think about the structure of the team. Recent research, presented in the Harvard Business Review, suggests that you should maintain structured roles, but allow for flexible task assignment. This best utilizes the strengths and abilities of team members, while maintaining a productive and effective team hierarchy. Additionally, for larger teams, consider structuring your team. It may not be efficient to have regular meetings of 30 or more individuals. Instead, break teams down into smaller groups to allow for productive work flow. The larger group can meet less often to share the products of their work. You may want to have a core management team, handling the most significant decisions, operational staff who have responsibility for a variety of day-to-day decisions and an outer tier, who follows instructions given by core or operational staff; these levels can exist both within a large group and within individual sub-groups. This supports the idea of structured roles, with flexible tasks.

How to Make the Collaborative Space Work for You

  • Train for collaboration. Your employees need to learn how to use the software, but also how to make the best use of the software. Short sessions to support professional social media use can facilitate effective collaboration. In some fields, training in communication skills and emotional intelligence can also support productive collaborations among team members.

Screenshot-Video-Meetings

  • Choose a tool, like YuJa, that works equally well with small and large groups. YuJa can support up to 250 attendees at meetings, but works just as well for groups of two to three. While real-time meetings and video streaming can allow up-to-date communications, since these all save to the cloud, employees can review meetings at their leisure or catch up on missed meetings.

import-files

  • Integration with cloud-based services, like Google Drive and Dropbox, makes it simple to share documents and allow multiple team members to collaborate and work on the same documents. This reduces confusion, makes it easy to track individual contributions, and can allow for the completion of work in a timelier manner.

Screenshot-Video-Meetings-3-1-Modified

  • Allow your team the freedom to manage their own scheduling and collaboration, where possible. Together, they can work out how best to manage their team, take on a sense of responsibility and ownership and enjoy the fruits of their success when projects are completed. YuJa offers not only the option for virtual meetings and team chats, but also multimedia discussion forums to facilitate the exchange of information when everyone isn’t on the same schedule.

Ferrazi, Keith. “How Successful Virtual Teams Collaborate.” Harvard Business Review. October 24, 2012.

 

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