Five Interactive Learning Trends to Look Out for This Year

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

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

1. Mobile First Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Gamified Learning

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

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

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

3. Collaborative LearningStudents working together on a laptop

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

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

4. Social Learning

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

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

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

5. Microlearning

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

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

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

Looking Ahead

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

 

 

YuJa’s Top 10 Most Read Blogs of 2023

Take a look back at your favorites, catch up on what you missed, and get ready for another year in higher-ed technology insights. 

1. How to Record Lecture Videos: Lecture capture solutions have enabled instructors to record course-related videos just about anywhere. In this blog, we share five steps to get you started recording your own videos.

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2. Challenging Advanced Students With Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction, seen both as a teaching philosophy and instructional strategy, is one method instructors can use to support and challenge learners at all levels. In this blog, we outline ideas for challenging high achievers.

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3. YuJa Announces 2023 Scholarship Winner: 170 students submitted essays to the scholarship essay contest last year. A panel of judges selected Esther Kim, a University of Southern California student, as the winner. 

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4. How Gradient Text Makes Content More Accessible to All: Gradient readers can help people process information. Studies have shown that while using this type of technology, people read further down a page and are more likely to read to the end than when text was presented in a traditional format. In this blog, we share what gradient text is and how it can help people learn.

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5. Blended Learning vs Flipped Classroom: Each modality integrates both online and classroom learning, but they each have advantages in higher education. In this blog, we define each and share potential use cases for each.

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6. What is Scalable Video Transcoding: Transcoding is a process that happens after encoding, which dictates how raw data is compressed and formatted into a video file. This blog explains the process, advantages and benefits of scalable transcoding.

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7. Tips for Maximizing YuJa Video Quality Within Lecture Capture: Video technology is a valuable tool in improving student engagement and facilitating remote learning in higher education. In this blog, we outline ways to use your video platform to enhance student engagement.

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a graphic for flipped classroom

8. Flipped Classroom 101: A History, Benefits and Tools for the Learning Model: Flipped classrooms offer a host of benefits for students, teachers and parents alike. In this blog, we cover the history of the learning model, benefits of its use, and tools to facilitate flipping your classroom.

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9. How to Deliver and Record an Effective PowerPoint Presentation: For most organizations, PowerPoint remains the default tool used to deliver presentations. This blog (written in 2020) gives advice for delivering an effective presentation. If it were written today, we’d include a point on gamifying your presentation with interactive polls and surveys.

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10. Live Streaming in Higher Education: Colleges, universities and other enterprises have been able to implement live streaming as one of a variety of tools to aid students in their education. In this blog, we cover its history, benefits, and examples of how some institutions use it to help deliver content to students.

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8 Ways to Expand Video in Education Using the YuJa Video Platform

Video-based learning helps strengthen the knowledge transfer and makes distance-based learning more comprehensive and accessible to all. Video is effective as a stand-alone educational tool or as a supporting aid, making it an essential part of the learning process. 

To help you use video more effectively, we’ve outlined some of the ways a video platform can benefit your institution. 

VIDEO CONTENT MANAGEMENT

A screenshot of the YuJa Video Platform CMSWith hundreds of hours of video and digital content being created, educational institutions need a way to manage and organize their media.

A Video CMS (Content Management System) makes it easy to securely host and manage multiple types of content in the cloud. A Video CMS also can connect to your Learning Management System (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.

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 captures video of the instructor and any accompanying devices, such as a screen share or documents shared during the lecture. 

Lecture capture should be able to be ad hoc or planned, making it easy for the instructor to initiate video, and should capture all types of devices, from a desktop computer to a laptop, tablet and even mobile phones.

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, which allows students to use a simple link to access live content via the Internet.

A screenshot of a live stream event with chat open.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 music events, graduation, or campus-wide events that attract a large audience. It also allows those who can’t travel to the event the opportunity to view the event as if they were.

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 an institution’s 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.

STAFF TRAINING AND TUTORIALS

When instructors record their lectures for students, they can review their teaching style and self-reflect on areas of improvement.

Many colleges and universities are using video to create how-to and other training resources for faculty and staff. If the video is evergreen, it can be stored in your Video CMS and used indefinitely. If it needs changes, it can quickly be edited and reused.  

When instructors record their lectures for students, they can review their teaching style and self-reflect on areas of improvement.

VIDEO ACCESSIBILITY AND CAPTIONING

The YuJa Cloud is a powerful video management platform that uses AI to categorize content, generate 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.

IN-VIDEO COMMENTING

In-Video Commenting allows both instructors and students to interact within media to share comments and questions to create an interactive, collaborative experience. To make it easy to view and respond to comments, they’re fully searchable in the Media Player, and viewers can  see all comments in the video sidebar. YuJa’s Media Player effectively becomes an interactive video collaboration space with time-linked, in-video commenting that can also be used to make video quizzes and assessments more interactive.

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

With regard to video content, accessibility issues are predominantly focused on support for those with visual and auditory impairments. Captioning and description technologies can make video learning more available for students with visual or hearing impairments.

YuJa Video Platform Facilitates Captioning for Accessibility

creating-an-accessible-higher-ed-video-library-that-exceeds-section-508-requirementsFor learners who are deaf or hard of hearing, closed captioning technology makes video learning more 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 within YuJa’s Video Platform.

Auto-Captioning: This 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, which is an effective way to maximize caption accuracy while limiting costs.

Human captioning: This type of service offers quality captioning to support students with disabilities. It’s performed by humans, which limits errors, but it is a costlier and more time consuming option. The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform integrates with third-party human captioning services for both automated and manual workflows, with ADA-compliant captioning solutions.

To enhance accuracy of captioning, it’s important to have quality recordings:

  • When recording video content, choose a good-quality USB microphone. 
  • Test your microphone and choose the best distance and volume for recording. 
  • Speak clearly and 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.

Audio Descriptions Enhance 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. Instructors or course creators also can:

  • Create a short description track to provide a description of visual content, and 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 Accessibility 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 students 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.

YuJa is constantly working to increase accessibility not just to meet compliance requirements, but to provide the best possible learning experience for students. 

Incorporating the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform Into Your Institution’s Orientation Program

Traditionally, orientation is held on campus so students can get an idea of where key facilities and classrooms are, as well as meet instructors and peers. Today, students may not be able to attend orientation for a variety of reasons, from their schedule to physical location, or for other reasons. 

YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform Can Facilitate Orientation Programs

“Creating an online orientation can effectively serve the needs of students who live off campus and can’t travel, online students, and for parents who can’t be present at orientation day activities.”

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

Most orientation programs include:

  • A campus tour, with tours of residence halls and other facilities students might visit.
  • Introductory speeches and question and answer sessions.
  • Department-specific meet and greets to introduce students to staff and faculty in different departments.
  • The opportunity to meet with various offices, including admissions, financial aid, and residence life.
  • Informational sessions on campus life, study abroad, work-study jobs, and other topics.
  • Opportunities for students to meet one another and begin making friends.

OrientationEach of these elements can be hosted or enhanced online with the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform. 

  • Administrators can opt to share orientation sessions via direct link or embed code to allow anyone to see them, or on EnterpriseTube for students. 
  • YuJa’s Content Management System (CMS) allows the organization and storage of media content in one location. Administrators, department chairs, and instructors can upload videos, photos, and 360-degree views to help students tour campus. 
  • Lecture capture offers easy to use tools to record and publish speeches no matter what device or where your audience is viewing. The technology also simplifies Q&A forums with live streaming, and allows those who couldn’t attend the opportunity to review later at their own pace.

Instructional Chunking With YuJa’s Video Platform

Instructional Chunking at a Glance 

Chunking in higher education is also commonly referred to as micro-lessons. When put into practice, the material is broken down into modules and then broken down once more into lessons, which are typically 5 to 10 minutes in length. These compact lessons are used as a strategy to break down complex information into more digestible tidbits, making it easier to learn and allowing the brain to process and retain the new information. 

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. Given the rise of online learning, chunking is especially important, as content has to be presented both logically and progressively for students to excel. 

Chunking With YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform

Chunking can be used to benefit students at all levels of education. Research by experts at Nielsen Norman Group showed that people prefer content that is logically divided or chunked because the information appears less difficult and easier to understand. 

YuJa’s Video Platform lends itself to many capabilities, but it’s designed to help make learning and instructing easier, including through chunking instructional material. One way to facilitate chunking is through a flipped classroom, which is a blended form of learning where instruction is done at home through video, and during scheduled class time teachers focus on allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of concepts through discussion, group activities and more detailed instruction. Flipped classrooms naturally lend themselves to take the form of chunking, because lessons are typically taught within a shorter time frame than what is seen in a traditional classroom setting. 

Instructors can take the concept of chunking a step further in a flipped classroom by turning what normally would be a passive learning experience into an active or interactive one. Through YuJa’s Video Capture Instructors can:

  • Create a video quiz with existing video content;
  • Turn their media player into a collaboration space with time-linked, in-video commenting tools;
  • Allow students to review, search and annotate video content.

Using Analytics to Inform Instructional Design

YuJa also allows its users the ability to see how effective videos are through the Video Analytics Suite, which provides instructors and course designers a deeper understanding of how their lessons are making an impact on students.

This additional access helps pinpoint areas of concern, and track participation and user adoption using near real-time reporting tools. Data can be filtered based on specific courses, video and users. Additionally, “hotspots,” or areas of confusion are highlighted, along with drop-off points, popular content and more. Administrators, teachers and faculty also can quickly perform data exports, including setting up automated report generation and publishing. 

No matter your educational institution, YuJa’s products aim to simplify the workflow and make it easy for teachers to provide the best learning experience for students.

Six Reasons to Incorporate In-Video Quizzing Into Higher Education Lectures

        1. Active engagement encourages a deeper understanding of course material: In-video quizzing prompts students to think critically about course content. Instead of passively absorbing information or walking away from a video as it plays, students become active participants in their learning journey, fostering a deeper understanding of the material. In addition, studies have shown that in-video quizzing can help boost retention as students are prompted to recall information as they learn it and are encouraged to learn key concepts before moving on.

          “Students become active participants in their learning journey, fostering a deeper understanding of the material.”

        2. Students receive immediate feedback to help them course correct: One of the key benefits of in-video quizzing is that students get immediate feedback, which allows them to identify and address areas they don’t understand right away. This quick feedback loop contributes to a more effective learning process.
        3. Formative assessments help gauge understanding: In-video quizzing serves as a formative assessment tool, providing instructors with valuable insights into student understanding. This data can guide instructors on how to adjust their teaching approach to address areas where students may be struggling.
        4. In-video quizzing caters to different learning styles: By providing a multimedia approach to learning, in-video quizzing accommodates diverse learning styles, including visual and auditory. This makes the material more accessible to students. In addition, instructors can customize their quizzes to align with learning objectives, catering to individual student needs and creating a more adaptive learning experience.
        5. A screenshot of a video quiz question

        6. Analyzing assessment data can guide instructors on intervention: By analyzing analytics from in-video quizzing, instructors can identify problem areas that exist both for individuals and among larger groups. This data-driven approach allows targeted interventions to support students in areas where they may need additional help.
        7. In-video quizzes help students prepare for summative assessments: In-video quizzes serve as valuable preparation for larger, summative assessments. They help students identify knowledge gaps early on, providing them time for review and clarification before major exams.

        The Importance of Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

        Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that not only acknowledges the diversity of learners but actively embraces it. In this blog, we delve into what UDL is and explore its importance in higher education.

        UDL enables institutions to create learning environments where every student can thrive.”

        A Brief History of the Universal Design for Learning

        “Universal Design for Learning (UDL) emerged from the architectural concept of universal design,” according to OCALI, a project of the Educational Service Center for Central Ohio. “Ron Mace, North Carolina State University, envisioned universal design as a means to promote the design of products and environments that would appeal to all people, yet meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide access for individuals with disabilities.”

        From the architectural design concept, the educational concept was born. At its core, Universal Design for Learning is an educational framework focused on accommodating the diverse needs and preferences of all learners. UDL strives to design learning experiences that cater to a broad spectrum of students, irrespective of their backgrounds, abilities, or learning styles.

        The key principles of UDL are:

        • Multiple Means of Representation: Providing information in various formats, such as text, audio, video, and images, to accommodate diverse learning preferences.
        • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: Allowing students to demonstrate their understanding through diverse methods, such as written assignments, presentations, or multimedia projects.
        • Multiple Means of Engagement: Fostering engagement by offering various ways for students to connect with the content, including choices in topics, activities, and assessments.

        Why UDL Matters in Higher Education A professor creating a video lesson for students

        Institutions of higher education strive to serve students from diverse backgrounds. UDL can support this mission by: 

        Helping Educate a Diverse Student Population: Colleges and universities welcome students from various backgrounds, cultures, and with a variety of learning preferences and abilities. UDL recognizes and values this diversity, ensuring that educational materials and activities are accessible to everyone. UDL allows educators to present information and assess understanding in ways that resonate with various learning styles, optimizing the learning experience for all.

        Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Implementing UDL principles creates inclusive classrooms where every student feels valued and included. This fosters a positive learning environment that benefits the entire academic community. By acknowledging that one size does not fit all and providing multiple means of representation, action, and engagement, educators can better meet the needs of each student.

        Preparing Learners to Enter Diverse Workplaces: In a globalized world, diversity and inclusion are not only ethical imperatives but also crucial for success in professional settings. UDL equips students with the skills of adaptability and inclusivity, preparing them for diverse workplaces.

        Meeting Legal and Ethical Imperatives: Many countries have laws and regulations that mandate equal access to education for all individuals, including those with disabilities. UDL helps institutions fulfill these legal requirements and goes beyond by embracing inclusivity as an ethical imperative.

        Implementing UDL in Higher Education

        To support Universal Design for Learning in Higher education, institutions must provide training and professional development opportunities. Workshops, seminars, and ongoing support can help faculty members integrate UDL principles into their teaching practices.

        In addition, it’s imperative that institutions build accessibility into the creation of course content. This includes providing alternative formats for content, captions for videos, and using technologies that support diverse needs.

        Finally, it’s important to offer a variety of assessment methods to learners, which allows students to showcase their understanding in ways that align with their strengths. 

        In higher education, UDL enables institutions to create learning environments where every student can thrive. By implementing UDL principles, educators contribute to a more inclusive, adaptable, and compassionate academic community.

        Blended Learning vs. Flipped Classroom Models

        Blended learning combines both online teaching and instruction with face-to-face, or traditional classroom-based instruction. This can take a number of forms, but in general, students have some control over the place, path, and place of learning. Additionally, according to the National Education Association:

        • Learning typically occurs through an integrated curriculum.
        • Many activities are presented before class so student can engage in both the online and in-classroom environments.
        • During instructor-led sessions, the educator directs student activities to ensure learning goals are met
        • Post-learning activities help the instructor determine the next assignments to meet educational goals.

        In addition to providing instructors and students with more in-class time for engagement and discussion, for many instructors, a flipped classroom also enables lectures to be re-used from semester-to-semester, simplifying instructor preparation for the course.

        Flipped classrooms are defined as “a type of blended learning in which direct instruction moves to the asynchronous learning space and the synchronous learning space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive environment.”

        In-class time is spent on other activities, such as discussion, hands-on learning, and individual and small-group work. The lesson or lecture portion of the classroom experience occurs predominantly online, while the homework portion of the course is more likely to take place in a group classroom setting.

        When Is a Blended Learning Model Best?

        Blended learning is a flexible option for any college or university with access to lecture capture and video content management tools. Instructors can incorporate as much or as little online learning as they would like into a traditional course. Blended learning may simply enable students to review lecture capture recordings and ask questions online, while a more intensively blended course might integrate some elements of flipped classroom structures.

        Blended learning provides instructors and students with an ideal transition to flipped classrooms, but can also enable traditional classrooms to make use of new tools and technology. This facilitates learning for students with special needs, non-traditional students, and those who need extra support.

        When Should Instructors Flip Their Classes?

        A flipped classroom provides students with increased interaction with one another and with an instructor. This can enable improved understanding and engagement for students, as well as improved attendance. Instructors in flipped classrooms can use their in-class time to efficiently meet the needs of their students, to focus on project-based learning, to encourage small and larger group interaction, and to respond to student questions and assist with assignments.

        In addition to providing instructors and students with more in-class time for engagement and discussion, for many instructors, a flipped classroom also enables lectures to be re-used from semester-to-semester, simplifying instructor preparation for the course.

        Expand Learning for Students

        Blended learning and flipped classrooms have only become more popular as instructors work to provide flexibility to learners. No matter which methodology an instructor chooses, it should be focused on creating an engaged, connected audience with support for students when they need it.

        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.

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