How a Top UK University, Anglia Ruskin University, Made the Switch to YuJa to Serve Students Across Five Campuses With a Comprehensive Video Platform
Anglia Ruskin University is a Long-Time Video Platform User
Jason Williams, a media specialist at Anglia Learning and Teaching, Abbeygate House, Anglia Ruskin University, has been with the institution for more than 25 years. He’s not a stranger when it comes to video and media creation and editing tools, including software and hardware. In fact, it was over two decades ago that the institution procured a flash server for Williams’ use in helping someone create video tutorials on how to create a PowerPoint presentation.
“Then other members of staff asked me where I was serving the video because they had video to serve, and that’s where it all started,” he explained. “We were mucking about with flash for a while, and when that broke we had to find another platform, which was our previous vendor that we stayed with for ages.”
About the Client
About Anglia Ruskin University
Anglia Ruskin University is an innovative global university with students from 185 countries studying at one of its five campuses, which are located in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough, London, and Writtle. The institution has been named as one of the top 350 institutions in the world in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 – and one of the top 40 universities in the UK.
ARU’s research institutes and four faculties bridge scientific, technical and creative fields to deliver impactful research that tackles pressing issues and makes a real difference to its communities. ARU’s academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 16 of its research areas assessed as world-leading.
“I’d seen YuJa before and was very impressed with it.”
Team Assesses Video Platforms at Part of Tender Process
Anglia Ruskin has thousands of instructors at its campuses. The institution wanted an easy-to-use platform that integrates with both the Canvas Learning Management System and Microsoft Teams, and that enables both students and instructors to create, distribute, submit, and assess media content.
When it was time to reevaluate Anglia Ruskin’s media offering, Williams was part of the group that went to tender and tested video platforms. “I’d seen YuJa before and was very impressed with it,” Williams said. “We thoroughly tested everything and YuJa came out on top with the most tools that fit the things we wanted.”
As he participated in demonstrations of the Video Platform, Williams said he was further impressed with the number of ways in which media can be shared, which was confusing with the previous vendor, and the interactivity in terms of the playback window, the ability to add notes to the chat, and other features that can instructors and students can choose to use.
Aside from using the Video Platform for instructional purposes, Williams said professional services is making use of the platform to share information with potential students and to share information with groups outside of the institution. “There’s a need to keep things in house and secure, and with YuJa, we’ve got control over it,” Williams noted.
He also sees a lot of room for expanded use cases for instructors, students and staff and would like to see video feedback for students, student quiz creation, using YuJa to deliver video to external assessors, and using it for those who have different needs and those who need content in other languages.” We have students who benefit from seeing things and being able to play them over and over,” Williams shared, “and I’d like to see students using the interactive tools instead of just watching video, getting a little more involved with it.”
“Now, we’re in a position where we’re able to do formative and summative assessments through Canvas.”
YuJa is ‘Sturdy’ Tool With Strong Support
Because every institution has its own systems and processes, Williams said there were some changes that needed to be made at the outset to help ARU best use the Video Platform. “When you’ve got thousands of computers hooked up to something, there’s always going to be some changes. YuJa made those changes for us very quickly, and we’ve been really pleased,” Williams said.
Williams added that he would recommend YuJa to other institutions that need a strong, centralized Video Platform. “First and foremost, (YuJa team members) are really friendly and approachable. I think that’s a really important thing. We feel like we’ve got a relationship with you and it has not slacked off after we said yes,” Williams said. “You’ve done a lot of things quite quickly in terms of changing the system and making little alterations and things to fit us.”
“Long may we continue to have that positive relationship with YuJa,” he concluded.
“The organization thinks about things ahead of the curve and without putting customers in a position of raising costs. Improvements are made to make the experience better and to help us provide better content for learners.”
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