Deploying a Centralized Video Platform at a Mid-Size State University
About the Client
About Austin Peay State University
Located in Clarksville, Tenn., Austin Peay State University (APSU) is nestled on an urban campus that for more than 200 years has been used to educate future generations. The four-year, public, doctoral-level university is named after former Tennessee Gov. Austin Peay, a Clarksville native who was serving as governor when the charter for what is known as Austin Peay Institution of Higher Education was signed in 1927.
“By and large, our faculty uses the Video Platform to upload lecture videos they create within the Zoom platform,” explained Dr. Tim Oneal, Senior Instructional Designer. “Others use it for video housing and media management.”
The solution is used primarily as a media management tool and library for instructional videos. The YuJa Media Library provides an essential organizational framework for the entirety of an institution’s media content. The Media Library is organized with folders and sub-folders that provide a comprehensive video content management system for education.
Professors enjoy how easy it is to upload and caption lectures and recordings they’ve created outside of the platform. YuJa allows for auto-captioning and access to human transcription services. From an instructional design standpoint, professors lean on unlimited machine captioning to make videos accessible. And while captions are typically correct, editing is not a chore, Oneal noted.
If there is a need for support, APSU officials said they know they can count on YuJa to provide top-notch customer service. “Our customer support team from YuJa has been phenomenal. Our representative is extremely responsive and makes us feel as though our needs are heard and prioritized,” Moran said. “Communication with the YuJa team sets the standard for what a vendor/customer relationship should look like.”
An added benefit of the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform is that it seamlessly integrates with D2L, the developer of the Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS) used by the institution.
“The integration, as opposed to our previous vendor, is a night and day difference,” Oneal lauded. Dr. Anna Carrie Webb, Instructional Technology Support Manager, agreed, adding, “YuJa works so well with Zoom and Brightspace. Faculty have so much to worry about. If we can introduce a technology that isn’t overwhelming, it’s a win, and that’s what we’ve been able to do with this platform.”
“The integration, as opposed to our previous vendor, is a night and day difference.”
Novel Use Cases During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The university launched YuJa Enterprise Video Platform in early 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting educational institutions in the United States. The number of licenses APSU needed was based on pre-pandemic estimates. “We are seeing more usage than we were initially expecting, which means we are offering technology people need, are coming back to use, and telling others about,” Moran said. There are more than 5,000 users sitewide.
And while the university’s launch campaign was “derailed,” because of the pandemic, the university was able to create a mini project over the summer, successfully collaborating with one another to share a video entitled, “We are here for you, Govs.” “Even though we were scattered around Tennessee, we gave everyone a script to read and they used YuJa to record themselves in their home,” Moran remarked. “The recordings were shared in a YuJa folder and the Communications Department put it together to create a cohesive video telling students ‘We know it’s hard. We’re going to get you through this spring and be ready to receive you in the fall.’ ”
APSU students have access to content in multiple formats. Additionally, videos imported to the media library are easily captioned, shared and cataloged for future use.
Oneal said he appreciates the ability to place a video player into a course shell, drawing the learner’s attention more so than with a textual link. “Having videos play directly in the browser in D2L is huge,” Moran agreed. “It might not seem revolutionary, but it was huge for APSU, and YuJa made it easy to accomplish.”
“I like that you have options for sharing, including sharing within YuJa with other members, with an embed code or direct link,” Webb remarked. “The ability to customize what you share and what you’re allowing access to and by whom is a big benefit.”