COVID-19 and the Use of Remote Learning, Video Learning, and Lecture Capture


As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop, YuJa Inc. sends our thoughts and prayers to the individuals and families who are affected. To our partners and customers, as global implications continue to arise, YuJa is committed to ensure that your ability to utilize our products is unaffected as we continue to monitor the steady developments.

 

COVID-19 and the Use of Remote Learning

With institutions worldwide considering how the global outbreak could affect its institutions, major universities have already begun to shift their courses online to reduce risk and the outbreak’s impact on instruction. Many institutions across the University of California system have cancelled in-person classes to make the switch to remote learning and implement various methods of remote work and technology-focused pedagogies more than ever. As developments continue to arise, additional schools and organizations are expected to follow suit.

Utilizing Remote Learning & What is Available

With the increasing switch to online courses permeating schools across the world, e-learning pedagogies such video conferencing tools, online lectures, learning management systems (LMSs), and video platforms are essential teaching tools used to compensate the lack of an in-person classroom setting. 

  • Enterprise Video Platforms provide easy access to digital learning material from any location. With your all-in-one Video Platform, built-in editing capabilities for video content allow for users to revisit saved content to edit recordings, revise slide contents, improve captioning without the need for third-party applications.  

 

  • Content Management Systems (CMS) provide instructors and students with on-demand access to a centralized, searchable video library to store and securely share flipped classroom content and student or instructor-created recordings across multiple formats.

 

  • Video Conferencing allows for instructors to deliver virtual lectures and engage with students to provide live discussions online and present certain presentations remotely. With video conferencing, students can also attend virtual office hours to supplement their learning remotely.

 

As we continue to carefully monitor the developments surrounding COVID-19, our team at YuJa is dedicated to develop a sustainable workflow that helps instructors and students alike continue to maximize their levels of productivity. In a time where individuals have no choice but to work remotely or deal with this illness, YuJa aims to promote clarity and productivity among all institutions worldwide.

 

 

Related Article: Three Ways a Flipped Classroom Can Support Students

 

Instructional Video Technology Best Practices


Best practices in video technology can vary from industry to industry; there are special concerns for instructional videos. Creating skillful and effective instructional video content is critical for educators of all types, ranging from college professors producing media for their students to elementary school teachers to human resources personnel creating informational media for workers. For more information about best practices for general video production, see Video Recording Best Practices.

Understanding Online Instruction

Online instruction and learning is becoming increasingly common in a variety of educational settings, as well as in the context of many corporate instructional needs. The following traits are common in most instances of online learning:

  • Online learning is typically asynchronous. Learners watch media and work on assigned projects on their own schedules. Synchronous activities, or those that take place on a schedule at the same time, are much less usual within the context of online learning.
  • Learners rely upon video content and supplemental materials for instruction, including hands-on demonstrations, lectures, and informational content.
  • Individuals learning online may be most likely to study and work in shorter, rather than longer, bursts of time.

Mastering Instructional Video

Quality instructional video content requires three distinct components; organization, interaction, and assessment. Each of these is a clear best practice for instructional video.

Organization

Media content and supplemental learning materials should be well-organized, both overall and on a lesson-by-lesson basis. Consider beginning courses with a welcome or introductory lesson, providing an introduction to the technology and the subject matter. Breaking instructional units into small, manageable blocks is an effective strategy. 

Interaction

Interaction enables the learner to engage with the course content, the instructor, and other learners. Interaction may take the form of assignments, emails, discussion feeds, and even video creation. In addition, synchronous learning options, like video conferencing, provide opportunities for interaction between learners and instructors and between individual learners.

Assessment

In order to measure the effectiveness of online learning and instructional video, it is essential to measure both user learning, and the use of online learning tools. User learning may be assessed and measured through the use of various types of polls and quizzes. Analytics tools provide organizations with the ability to better understand how instructional video is being used by users and learners within and outside of the organization. 

Improving Audio Quality for Lecture Captures


Audio quality is essential for capture functionality; users need to be able to hear what you are saying.  Poor audio quality makes captures less useful, and may leave users feeling discouraged and frustrated. There are multiple components to the overall quality of an audio recording; these include the space you’re recording in, the microphone you’re using, and the settings for your microphone.

The Recording Space

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

  • Turn off ceiling fans and additional, unused appliances.
  • Position microphones away from the classroom computer; computer fans can be a significant source of additional noise. 

The Microphone

The right microphone is essential to good-quality audio recordings. In a small space, like an office, the microphone in a laptop computer may be adequate. There is little background noise in a small space, and fewer audio challenges. 

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

The Sound Check

In addition to preparing the space and making smart microphone selections, it is helpful to take a moment to check your sound and assess sound quality. While users can adjust volume in the viewer, if, for instance, your microphone volume is too low, many people will struggle to hear your video content. 

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

 

New Applications for Lecture Capture


With more institutions embracing lecture capture technology, it is increasingly a familiar and everyday part of campus life. Automated scheduling facilitates consistent and reliable recording to simplify lecture capture for instructors. Many institutions are integrating new learning modalities using lecture capture; however, lecture capture offers some learning options that instructors and administrators may not have considered.

Saving and Sharing Guest and Expert Lectures

Many departments across university campuses host a variety of guest lectures or presentations, and courses may incorporate guest or expert lecturers from time-to-time. These conferences, presentations, and special lectures are often an investment of time and money. Guest speakers often provide the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field, or to gain an improved understanding of contemporary research. 

Record Presentations

Institutions can easily use their lecture capture systems to record presentations at  conferences and special events. Recordings can be shared with students and staff, or the general public. 

prepare special content

When a speaker is on-campus for a speaking event, it may be possible to have the speaker record additional content, including question-and-answer sessions or even special presentations to use in classes. 

Save and Share

Traditionally, speaker presentations are only available to students and staff able to attend. With lecture capture technology, speakers become available to all students and staff, both today and in the future.


Facilitating Language Learning

While lecture capture is a valuable tool for online learning, for flipped classroom structures, and for review and study, it is also an ideal way for students to practice language learning. Hearing the language spoken is a key part of the language learning process. 

  • Record conversations in the language for students. Even beginning students can benefit from listening to the language. 
  • Enable downloads of audio podcasts; this is a convenient way for students to listen to the language. 
  • Support students in creating their own language recordings. This facilitates interaction, and can increase student confidence in their own skills.

    Encouraging Student Production

    Lecture capture technology can also enable students to record assignments and share with the instructor or the course. This offers a creative alternative to traditional assignments, and can provide students with practice presenting in front of an audience. Video recording allows students to integrate presentation media, like a PowerPoint presentation or even hands-on visual aids directly into a recording. 

While formal assignments are one option, the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform also enables video responses within the Real-time Feed. For many students, offering varied options for learning and interaction can provide better understanding, retention and academic results. 

Using Lecture Capture to Solve Winter Weather Dilemmas


snowday

Every college or university has a different way to manage winter weather emergencies, depending on climate, campus structure and other factors. Whether or not you cancel classes, you’ll likely see attendance drop during winter weather events–for everyone, including staff and faculty. In bad weather, students living on campus may have an easier time making it to class than their instructors.

Handling Weather Emergencies

What qualifies as an emergency likely depends where you are; in Massachusetts, it takes a lot more winter weather than it does in Georgia. There are a number of solutions to manage these weather situations:

  • Cancel classes, perhaps using your own guidelines or those of local public school districts.
  • Continue classes, but avoid applying attendance policies, particularly for off-campus students.
  • Cancel evening or early morning classes, but continue daytime classes.

Every college and university wants to balance the safety of staff, students and faculty with the need to continue classes. Fortunately, technology provides an alternative that can support any of these solutions.

Maximizing Learning during Winter Weather

When weather events happen and students or instructors can’t get to class, online learning can fill in the gaps for everyone. A snow day doesn’t have to mean a Netflix binge and campus snowball fights (although those have their place).

  • When classes are in-session, but the instructor is snowed in or unable to reach the class, another staff member can set up and assist to enable the instructor to broadcast the course lecture from home, livestreaming it to the classroom.
  • Cancelled classes can be captured from a home office or the classroom, if the instructor is on campus, and recorded or livestreamed for students to watch from home.  For discussion oriented classes, students can engage with the instructor using video conferencing technology.
  • Lecture capture technology can enable snowed-in students to maintain their classwork from home without disruption.
  • Regular use of lecture capture throughout the year limits the disruption associated with weather emergencies–instructors and students are already familiar with the technology and can benefit from it year-round.

Understanding the Difference: Lecture Capture vs. Video Podcasting


connected-classroom

YuJa offers both lecture capture, through an easy web-based software package or an appliance integrated into classroom media, and video podcasting. Both of these record audio and video, but they differ somewhat in function.

Lecture Capture

Lecture capture is ideal in the classroom, whether you opt for a traditional or flipped classroom structure. The YuJa appliance integrates into all classroom multimedia equipment, streaming your lecture directly to the cloud. With automated scheduling, you can even capture lectures without any additional work. If you opt for software-based lecture capture, you will need to initiate the software; however, it will work on a podium or laptop computer. Lecture capture is ideal for lecturers with a classroom! If you work in a brick-and-mortar classroom, you’re likely to find lecture capture the most practical choice, since you’ll typically be working from a podium in class. Lecture capture integrates into other classroom multimedia resources, including the SmartBoard. Your students can easily replay, pause and rewind lecture captures for future use.

Video Podcasting

While lecture capture is practical in the classroom, video podcasting offers a more relaxed option outside the classroom. Video podcasting is ideal for review videos or enrichment materials to supplement work in the classroom; however, it can also be an ideal way to engage with online students. Many online instructors have a home office, rather than a classroom. Video podcasting, using your own web cam and microphone is an ideal way to offer information to your students. The videos stream into the cloud and are stored as part of your learning channel. You can integrate files and materials you’re using directly into your video podcast, or even use an interactive sketchpad to illustrate lessons. This makes video podcasting a practical supplement to classroom learning or an ideal way to present short, manageable lessons for online-only students.

Captured in the Cloud: What a Cloud-Powered Platform Can Do


YuJa offers cloud-based solutions for classroom technology integration. With a cloud-powered platform, course replays, live broadcasts and other course materials are universally accessible to your students, whether you opted to produce lecture captures with the YuJa software or using the YuJa appliance as part of your classroom technology. Your YuJa resources, including your captured lectures, course notes, and video podcasts, are accessible to students via their home computers or mobile devices.

Additionally, the resources of YuJa are available to all faculty, even when away from the classroom or office. While the YuJa appliance offers more sophisticated tools for complete lecture capture and room capture, you can also capture a lecture with nothing more than the webcam and microphone on your laptop (or podium computer). Since lectures can be viewed at any time, you can, if you would like, film your lectures ahead of time to work on your schedule or accommodate missed classes.

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