Flipped Classrooms 101: A History, Benefits and Tools for the Learning Model

The flipped classroom model has been “turning learning on its head” for more than a decade now. While the original impetus, called the inverted classroom, was toyed with by professors at the University of Miami in 2000, their idea didn’t take off. It was, after all, pre YouTube and easy access to video recording software.

Seven years later, two high school teachers in Colorado learned about some software that would record lectures live. Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams committed to pre-recording their lectures for the following year, dubbing the experiment “pre-broadcasting.” Students who didn’t have internet at home were given USB drives containing lectures if they had a computer at home, or DVDs burned with lectures if they didn’t have a home computer.

Since then, the flipped classroom pedagogy has taken off. But what is it, and what are the benefits in education?

Unlike in a traditional classroom setting, in a flipped classroom, lectures happen outside of class, using video learning technology. Scheduled time in class is used for exercises, projects and discussion.


Teacher helping students.Flipped classrooms offer a host of benefits for students, teachers and parents alike. Some of the biggest advantages include:

Students can spend more 1:1 time with instructors during class. Rather than teaching the lesson during the instructional period, the teacher can provide extra help to those who need it.

Students can learn at their own pace. Because students can watch the lecture as many times as they need, as well as pause and rewind along the way, they have more control over the pace of their learning.

“Technology like captioning helps to support visual learners, those who are hard-of-hearing, and English language learners.”

No more missing out. If a student is sick or has to miss class for another reason, they can still watch and learn from their teacher in the same manner as their peers.

Parents can more easily help their children through video learning. Rather than reading the book and trying to figure out how to teach the material, if a parent has a child struggling, they can simply watch the lesson from the teacher and provide assistance.

Software can help identify areas where students are struggling. This makes the model itself a helpful diagnostic tool.

Tools to Facilitate Flipping Classrooms

Flipped classrooms require access to lecture capture tools and video content management systems. Instructors need to be able to easily produce lecture capture for a flipped classroom session and make it accessible to their students via computer, tablet or mobile device.

With the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform’s Software Capture application, teachers can record lectures using nothing more than their on-board webcam and an inexpensive headset microphone.

In a college or university, podium computers or hardware capture provide the opportunity for high-quality recording of lecture content. This can be integrated into the organization’s existing LMS to help students access content in a familiar way.

Whether an instructor is using their own laptop computer for lecture capture or a podium computer, they can integrate Smart Boards, document cameras, and screen recording to produce a full-featured lecture capture for their students.

About YuJa

YuJa is a leader in enterprise video solutions. Our products harness the power of video to educate, engage, inspire and collaborate. We serve organizations of all sizes, within all sectors, including higher-ed, K-12, government, healthcare, non-profit and corporate delivering engaging video experiences. We have legal headquarters in Delaware with primary U.S. offices in Silicon Valley, California and Canadian offices in Toronto.

Five Advantages of Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning may sound like a fancy term, but it’s a fairly straightforward concept. It refers to learning that doesn’t require real-time interaction. Classwork, lectures and content are uploaded online and made available for learners to access when it suits their schedule. This is opposed to synchronous learning, which occurs in real-time. Often, K-12 schools, colleges and universities will combine asynchronous and synchronous learning methods in a hybrid model.

Woman typing on a laptop.

While both models have their place in education, today’s focus is on asynchronous learning and some of its benefits to students. Asynchronous learning offers a number of benefits.

Students Have Control of Their Learning

Learners have full responsibility for their education. Because they decide when and where they’re going to learn, students are active participants in their education.

Asynchronous Learning is Flexible 

Flexibility is particularly important for students who have a myriad of other responsibilities during when lectures would usually be scheduled. Materials are available in a specific place, so students can log in and complete learning modules when they have the time. When learning is made convenient, students are more likely to stay on course, active and engaged.

Students Can Learn at Their Own Pace 

Students have time to reflect on their learning before answering questions, joining discussions or taking a test. Additionally, students can read and review materials, take notes, skip ahead or go back as frequently as they need to before moving on to the next lesson. 

“One of the most empowering benefits of asynchronous learning is that it is respectful to each student’s learning pace.”

Interactivity Can Be Built In and Encouraged Through Asynchronous Learning

Just because asynchronous learning isn’t in real time doesn’t mean it can’t be interactive. YuJa video enterprise solutions has features like in-video comments that allow users to share their thoughts and see other comments as they view; video quizzing in which if a student answers wrong the content is recapped; and interactive assessment capabilities within the video experience including creating video quizzes, inserting related documents, and making interactive comments.

Use Case: Colorado Community College System 

Colorado Community College System is one institution making full use of YuJa’s interactive video feature. With the ability to seamlessly embed quiz questions within a video, instructors found that they can not only improve classroom assessment, but can convert students from passive to active learners as they learn remotely.

Colorado Community College building at dusk.

Asynchronous Learning Helps Remove Technology Barriers 

It would be a mistake for institutional leaders to assume that all students have access to reliable, high quality internet. Solutions like YuJa have accounted for this, creating a strategy to ensure all students can take advantage of asynchronous learning. Technology like adaptive bit-rate streaming and allowing students the ability to download content when they have a solid internet connection and then watch it later are just some of the strategies universities can use to ensure student success. Instructors also can revoke permissions to content, which will then automatically be deleted from devices where it’s downloaded. This ensures content remains managed and secure. 

About YuJa

YuJa is a leader in enterprise video solutions. Our products harness the power of video to educate, engage, inspire and collaborate. We serve organizations of all sizes, within all sectors, including higher-ed, K-12, government, healthcare, non-profit and corporate delivering engaging video experiences. We have legal headquarters in Delaware with primary U.S. offices in Silicon Valley, California and Canadian offices in Toronto.

8 Ways to Use Video for Education

The use of video amongst educational institutions is rapidly becoming more popular today. In fact, “86% of colleges have a presence on YouTube,” and “55% of college presidents predict students will take at least some online classes by 2022.”

This is a result of the many benefits that video holds not only for educational institutions but also for learners. For students, it makes learning possible anytime, anywhere you have internet access. For educators, it strengthens knowledge transfer and makes distance-based learning possible.

Video-based learning is effective as a stand-alone educational tool or as a supporting aid, making it an essential part of the learning process today. To help you use video effectively, we’ve outlined nine ways that it can be used for educational purposes.

Video Content Management

With hundreds of hours of video and digital content being created daily, if not hourly, educational institutions need a way to manage and organize all of it.

A video CMS (Content Management System) makes it easy to securely host and manage multiple types of content in the cloud. A video CMS can also connect to your LMS to enable video within the LMS for lecture capture or online course deployment.

By centralizing all video and digital assets, it’s easier for students to locate and watch the specific content they need. Without a central repository, instructors have no central place to upload content and students will struggle to find the content they are looking for.

Lecture Capture

One of the most popular ways that video is utilized at educational institutions is lecture capture. Lecture capture systems make it possible to capture the full lecture experience. In other words, a lecture capture solution should capture video of the instructor, but also any accompanying devices—like a screen share or documents—that are shared during the lecture. Lecture capture should be able to be ad hoc or planned, making it easy for the instructor to initiate video. Lecture capture should capture any kind of device used in the classroom, whether it’s an iPad, Mac, or PC.

Flipped Classroom

In a flipped classroom, the lecture portion of the class takes place outside the classroom with the support of video. Instructors can record their lecture at home or in the classroom and share it with students for viewing anytime. No matter where instructors are recording, it should be easy for instructors to fire up a recording and pause when needed.

A flipped classroom also gives students easier access to help and likely leads to fewer frustrations among students when getting stuck. With more time available for human interaction, everyone wins. This opens up classroom time for discussions and the ability for students to complete work on the spot.

Live Streaming

One way video can be used to connect with students is through the use of live streaming. Live streaming events are held online, which allows students to use a simple link to access live content via the Internet.

It should be easy to initiate a live stream on the spot or as a planned event. Events should be private, giving access only to those with a customized URL to join the meeting. Live streaming might also be used when an instructor needs to live stream to a second classroom or location.

Live streaming can also be used for live music events, graduations, or campus-wide events that attract a large audience. It also allows those who can’t travel to the event the opportunity to still attend, improving student engagement.

Video Assignments and Student Recording

In the event an instructor wishes to assign homework that has a visual and auditory aspect to it, such as a student speech, video assignments are a great way to enable student recording, especially in distance-based learning environments.

Students can record their responses to an assignment from anywhere and upload it to your video CMS. For example, a nursing student might record a session with a mock patient that includes a sequence of tasks that need to be performed. Once the student has uploaded their video, instructors can review their videos to determine if they meet the assignment requirements.

Video Accessibility and Captioning

In order to make videos searchable by tag or topic and ADA-compliant, AI-based video accessibility can be used.

Immediately after a video is produced,the YuJa Cloud categorizes the video content and automatically generates topic tags and headers through semantic analysis. Topics become searchable tags, making it simple for students to find relevant content to further their academic goals.

YuJa’s automatic captioning, video and audio transcriptions and audio descriptions help you to comply with the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). This act ensures that educational institutions use emerging technologies and communication channels to reach people with disabilities.

Social Learning and In-Video Commenting

Social learning is here to stay given the proliferation of social media among today’s younger learners. Social learning allows students to use a suite of tools that facilitate idea sharing and group collaboration across a variety of modalities, including text, documents and video.

By enabling things like real-time discussions within a shared or live video, media sharing and polls, students can aid each other in the learning process. This method is helping many tech-savvy, social students become more engaged with video content through real-time collaboration when watching video.

Video Conferencing

One way to make distance learners feel like they are in a classroom with the instructor and other students is through the use of video conferencing, which also makes learning possible anywhere.

Instructors can host and conference in students with an internet connection and a URL that is shared with your guests for access to the event.  All that video conferencing requires is a built-in webcam and a mic to hold meetings, tutorials, or lectures, for example.

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Creating Screen-reader Friendly Resources

Screen readers are a tool used by individuals with vision impairments, as well as individuals with some types of learning disabilities. Screen readers work by reading aloud text content presented on a screen. 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.

Some things about screen readers might surprise you. Individuals who routinely use screen readers may speed up the speed far beyond what you might expect; 300 words per minute isn’t unusual. 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.

Creating Screen-reader Friendly Resources
  • 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, like 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.

The Importance of Providing Digital Documents

In classrooms and offices, many people rely upon paper handouts, whether these are meeting minutes, supports for multimedia presentations, or other information. For individuals with visual impairments and some types of learning challenges, this is an inadequate solution to provide accessibility.

To meet the needs of students who use screen readers, consider providing content prior to the meeting or course in a digital form. The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform provides the ability to upload a variety of file types directly into an overall media collection. This makes the paper handouts or documents you might give someone in person available to every user before a meeting or class. You can, of course, still provide the same documents in paper form; you may even want to offer a larger print version for users who struggle with small print.

In addition to allowing the direct upload of document files, the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform also enables 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. This is an effective way to supplement media-based learning or information sharing, but can also provide users who do need screen readers and other assistive technologies with an improved understanding of video content. 

Previous article: Making Video Content Accessible

Creating an Accessible Higher-Ed Video Library that Exceeds Section 508 Requirements

To meet the needs of a diverse audience, video content needs to be accessible to users with a variety of different needs and abilities. With regard to video content, accessibility issues are predominantly focused on visual and auditory supports. Captioning and description technologies can make video learning more available for students with visual or hearing impairments.

Captioning for Accessibility

For individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing, closed captioning technology makes video learning accessible. In addition, closed captioning may be helpful for students with auditory processing disorders and English language learners. There are several options available for closed captioning.

While closed captioning makes videos more accessible to users, instructors and creators can increase the overall quality of captioning. When recording video content, choose a good-quality USB microphone. Take the time to test the microphone and choose the best distance and volume for recording. Be certain to speak clearly. Pace your speech appropriately; pause for punctuation. This can help improve the quality and accuracy of captioning, especially if you’re relying upon auto-captioning.

  • Auto-captioning technology provides a computer-generated caption file. Auto-captioning is highly effective, but is less likely to accurately capture accurate or technical terminology.
  • Auto-caption files can be downloaded and edited for accuracy. This is an effective way to maximize caption accuracy while limiting costs.
  • Human captioning services offer top-quality captioning to support students with disabilities.

Audio Descriptions for Accessibility

Audio descriptions provide additional information for students who cannot clearly see on-screen content. These are not designed to fill in or explain content discussed out loud in the standard audio track, but rather to provide an additional description to support content referred to, but not explained in the standard audio track.

Description technology enables the addition of a second audio track to video content. This second audio track provides the ability to incorporate audio descriptions of on-screen content. Users can toggle between different tracks.

  • Create a short description track to provide a description of visual content; tracks can be timed to fit in where needed in the video.
  • Provide an alternate track incorporating both the standard audio content and the necessary descriptions using the same audio description upload options.

Screen Readers and Other Options

Modern technology has maximized accessibility of online resources for students with disabilities. Many students rely upon additional technology to facilitate their use of online resources, including screen readers. Screen readers read screen content to student with visual impairments, or translate text into Braille. The ability to highlight text for use with a screen reader is helpful for students relying upon readers.

For students with physical disabilities, the ability to use keyboard shortcuts can be a helpful way to navigate online content. Facilitating keyboard shortcuts through the use of an HTML5 media player is an effective way to increase accessibility.

Use YuJa for Freshman and Transfer Student Orientation

Across the country, colleges and universities are welcoming new students to their courses and campuses. Most institutions opt for an orientation program to acclimate students to college life, whether they’re living on-campus as a traditional student, living at home, or are a non-traditional student. For most students, this is a normal part of college life. Some students, however, can’t make it to these events.

  • Orientation activities are often scheduled in the summer; some students may be working or too far from campus to attend.
  • Non-traditional students may have responsibilities that prevent them from attending.
  • Parents may not be able to take off work to attend family orientation activities.
  • Online education students may be unable or unwilling to come to campus for in-person orientation.

Components of an Orientation Program

Take a moment and think about the components of your current orientation program. Most campus orientation programs include:

  1. A campus tour, with tours of residence halls, in many cases.
  2. Introductory “Welcome to College” speeches and sessions.
  3. Department-specific sessions to introduce students to staff and faculty in different departments.
  4. The opportunity to meet with various offices, including admissions, financial aid, and residence life.
  5. Informational sessions on campus life, study abroad, work-study jobs, and safety on campus.
  6. Opportunities and activities to encourage students to meet one another and begin making friends.

Creating an Online Orientation

For traditional students living on-campus, there are few substitutes for the chance to see their residence hall and try out the dining hall for the very first time; however, creating an online orientation can effectively serve the needs of students who can’t travel for an online orientation, and for parents who can’t be present at orientation day activities.

Above, we discussed six key components of a traditional, on-campus orientation. YuJa can bring all of those components online for your students and parents. You can opt to create your orientation sessions on the YuJa Public Channel, to allow anyone to see them, or on your Campus Channel. In that case, students and families with YuJa credentials can access orientation video content.

Let’s look at each of these six orientation components, if they’re online, rather than in person.

  1. Upload videos of  your campus, video tours, and 360 degree video views to take the place of a campus tour.
  2. Use YuJa lecture capture technology to bring your “Welcome to College” speeches online.
  3. Encourage individual departments to host Video Classes and question-and-answer sessions for new students. These can be paired with introductory videos using lecture capture technology for each department.
  4. Use Small Group Video Meetings to allow students to meet with key campus offices. This secure technology enables a student or a student and her family to talk with key offices on campus.
  5. Record various informational sessions using the YuJa Software Station or YuJa Hardware Hub. This can solve space concerns, and allow parents or students to re-watch and review key information.
  6. Video Conferencing sessions and the Real-time Discussions can allow new students to get to know one another, even if they’re not able to meet in-person.

Improving Graduation Rates with YuJa

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “The 2013 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2007 was 59 percent. That is, 59 percent of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2007 completed the degree at that institution by 2013.” These rates vary between institutions–the more selective the admissions process, the higher the graduation rate. At institutions that accept less than 25 percent of applicants, the graduation rate soars to 89 percent.  The average rate for completion of community college credentials in six years is only 41 percent. Four-year graduation rates are, unsurprisingly, significantly lower.

Since colleges and universities across the country are battling low graduation rates, many are seeking solutions to encourage college completion, whether at a four-year college or a community college. Completion initiatives vary widely, ranging from a reduction in required credit hours to improved student support services, tutoring, and advising. There are a number of major organizations working to support completion initiatives across the country, as well as initiatives in-house in many community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.

group of graduates

It’s essential to remember that graduation rates aren’t really just numbers. Those numbers represent people who, for whatever reason, chose to drop out and not complete their college education. YuJa offers tools to help your institution maximize student retention and reduce the number of students who fall between the cracks and leave their college educations behind. It’s reasonable to assume that students who start college plan to finish; so, what happens that turns a student from a hopeful freshman to a college dropout? Conversely, what keeps students attending until graduation?

Maximize Graduation Rates

Smart strategies can help maximize student graduation rates. These are practical, affordable solutions that can be implemented quickly to support students at all levels of learning.

  • Provide the tools for students to study, including study skills training. Use lecture capture technology to enable students to review lectures, and reduce issues caused by poor attendance. Create online courses to teach study skills–students who might not attend in person may be willing to watch videos to improve their skills. Students that succeed academically are less likely to dropout.
  • Maximize access to faculty and staff. Institutions that employ a higher percentage of full-time faculty and staff have higher completion rates; making both full and part-time staff more accessible to students may provide additional benefits. Online office hours are an easy and practical way to encourage interaction and create personal connections. The same online office hours tools can make adviser and mentor relationships more practical for both traditional and non-traditional students.
  • Spending more per student, particularly on academics, increases student retention and graduation. For many institutions, this may be less than practical; however, with online learning and lecture capture, you can offer a personal learning experience to many more students with limited additional expense.

“Fast Facts.” National Center for Education Statistics. Web. Accessed on 1 May 2016.

“National College Completion Initiatives.” American Association of Community Colleges. Web. Accessed on 1 May 2016.

Durkin, Jeff. “Factors Affecting Community College Completion Rates.” Linn Benton College. Web. Accessed on 1 May 2016.

Teaching Resilience with YuJa

Grit, determination,  and resilience–these are traits strongly associated with higher college graduation rates, as well as increased success in the workplace. Increasingly, the responsibility for teaching resilience falls to colleges and universities. Students may enter college afraid of failure and lacking the ability to appropriately manage the college workload. New technological tools, like YuJa, can help to maximize student success and can even offer opportunities to teach grit and resilience to students. Many of the resources out there address teaching these skills to children. While that’s important, colleges can’t turn back time, but can address these skills with incoming freshmen and non-traditional students.

Understanding Grit

What do we mean when we talk about these traits? What exactly is “grit”? University of Pennsylvania professor Angela Duckworth defines grit as “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them”. This trait, perhaps even more than intelligence or other advantages, may be connected to success. Scores on Duckworth’s grit scale correlate closely with achievement, even in very difficult circumstances. In many cases, the most intelligent students have the lowest grit scores. Since learning comes easily to these students, they may not learn resilience.

Qualities specifically associated with grit include:

  • Optimism
  • Self-control
  • Perseverance

Five Ways YuJa Can Help

YuJa is a tool for educators, but is also an effective way for student services personnel to engage with students.

  1. Optimize student services efforts by creating quizzes, polls and assessments that test grit, resilience and optimism. This allows you to direct services to the students that need them most.
  2. Use YuJa to create specialized courses for incoming freshmen, struggling students, or non-traditional students.  Lecture capture technology makes it simple to create a course teaching the skills associated with grit, while quiz tools allow you to assess your overall success.
  3. Encourage incoming, struggling and non-traditional students to use the multimedia discussion forums to create a social support network.
  4. Integrate social learning into the classroom to create a supportive atmosphere for students to work together, develop beneficial collaborative relationships and move forward in their learning.
  5. Emphasize connection and relationships with instructors through online office hours, chats and live video conferencing with YuJa.

Hanford, Emily. “Angela Duckworth and the Research on Grit.” American Radioworks. Web. Accessed on 30 June 2015.

Lyon, Amy. “Grit Curriculum Overview.” Edutopia. Web. Accessed on 30 June 2015.

Richter, Beth J. “Building ‘Grit’ and Determination for College Completion.” Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Web. Accessed on 30 June 2015

The Benefits of Captured Lectures and Lessons

Traditional classrooms can benefit from captured lectures and lessons, using YuJa’s “Connected Classroom” platform. Lecture are accessible to students in real-time (live) and for future use (captures), and can be made available for students in any location, making this a functional tool for all learning environments. A study conducted in Cornell University’s College of Engineering found that lecture capture, “is a significant new pedagogical tool. It increases flexibility for students, it can improve both learning and grades, and it can help instructors”.

  • Online learners need high-quality lecture broadcasts, accessible through a convenient cloud-based interface.
  • Non-traditional students can access lectures on their own schedule, making education more available and accessible.
  • Traditional students can take advantage of lecture broadcasts for review and test preparation. According to research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, more than 80 percent of undergraduate and graduate students surveyed preferred traditional courses with lecture capture over traditional courses without lecture capture.
  • Lecture broadcasts, complete with multimedia integration, can meet the needs of different types of learners, both visual and auditory. For students with special learning needs, lecture broadcasts can take the place of notes, low-quality in-class recordings, and improve their ability to learn. Furthermore, research in 2006 suggested that many students found access to lecture capture to be empowering, enabling them to take control of the learning process. (Simpson, 2006)

Exploring lecture captures can enrich both online and in-person learning for students and offer faculty new ways to improve learning and retain students.

Dimiduk, K. (2009) Report on VideoNote for the Task Force on VideoNote, E‐learning and Online Courseware Systems. A Report prepared by the Engineering Teaching Excellence Institute, Cornell University, August 2009.

Simpson, N. (2006). Asynchronous access to conventional course delivery: A pilot project. British Journal of Educational Technology, 37(4), 527-537. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00534.

Sonicfoundry. (2011). Evaluating the impact of Mediasite lecture capture on retention, recruitment, and student satisfaction. Retrieved from https://www.sonicfoundry.com/white-paper/evaluating-impact-mediasite-lecturecapture-retention-recruitment-student-satisfaction.

Veeramani, R. (2008) Insights regarding undergraduate preference for lecture capture. Retrieved from https://www.uwebc.org/uwebi/.

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