About Dallas College
Dallas College, formerly the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), is comprised of seven campuses in Dallas County, Texas. Campuses are located in Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland. Dallas College originally operated as a district of seven independently accredited colleges. In 2020, those colleges united under a single name and accreditation in order to offer students a more streamlined educational experience. Established in 1965, the college remains committed to its founding mission of providing citizens access to quality education that is convenient and affordable.
Dallas College has nearly two decades of experience using video products in its educational environment. Prior to implementing the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform, the college was using two separate resources for video, including an in-house solution combined with a popular video cloud product for live and on-demand video. “Our desire was to find an all-in-one video partner who could grow margin-bottom-big with us,” said Michael Coleman, Senior Manager of Instructional Development for Dallas College. “From the beginning, YuJa was interested in what we wanted their enterprise video platform to do for us, and they quickly adapted to our needs.”
It was paramount for faculty to embrace and quickly adapt to a new platform, which is why instructors and staff were included in the RFP and selection process.
Additionally, many students don’t have access to high speed internet. YuJa’s platform accounted for this with adaptive bitrate streaming and the ability to download videos for later viewing.
Another challenge was that Dallas College had 16,000 pieces of content to migrate to the Video Platform and only months to complete the work. “Technology transition can be disruptive, and our goal was to make sure it didn’t interrupt any part of the educational experience, as well as to give faculty confidence that this would help them succeed at a higher level than they had before,” Coleman shared.
Dallas College engaged in a multiyear agreement with YuJa to provide system-wide capabilities, including video management, lecture capture, live streaming, flipped classroom tools, video assignments, mobile video, and student and faculty recording.
As part of the agreement, YuJa and Blackboard are now entirely integrated and faculty have embraced the new toolsets.
“The demand for video quizzing and software stations, which allow faculty to record their screen, camera and voice for upload to the platform, have greatly increased,” Coleman noted. “Because we prepared our staff internally and created a support network, the environment was perfect for the implementation and expansion of YuJa throughout our entire educational environment.”
“Before, just those who were interested in using video to complement their teaching did so, but the pandemic exacerbated the use of video and forced a lot of faculty to discover that video is an integral part of teaching and learning,” stated Emilio Ramos, District Director for Instructional Technology, adding that YuJa is being used to record clinicals and all videos are now closed captioned.
The enthusiasm for video has even expanded outside of education at the college, to areas such as student services. Videos have been created and shared on how to write a resume, the importance of a syllabus, applying for jobs and more. “We have a tremendous amount of video, along with animators and others who all rely on YuJa for everything we create,” Coleman stressed. The college also has a cable channel and studio with a talented production team that creates hundreds of videos for faculty, the chancellor, professional development, student services, marketing and more.
Other Major Successes
“Pivot” is a term all educators are embracing. When the pandemic hit, one of Dallas Colleges’s largest and most recognized programs, Culinary Arts, had to be transferred online. Culinary Arts is typically in a synchronous learning setting. Navigating logistics was difficult, with all supplies being boxed and shipped to students. On the back end, videos were created so students could still have a 1:1 classroom experience. The transition has been successful, with students being able to continue learning despite the experience being digital.
Now, the college is working to move its nationally recognized Fashion Design program online. Instructors have created 142 videos ranging from 5 to 90 minutes in length, all closed captioned and ADA compliant. “When you have a product like Yuja, you know it will deliver and be consistent,” Coleman lauded. When one faculty member was lecturing live online, she noticed students were looking at their phones. She realized that they were watching her videos on their phones, which led to a funny but profound moment. “Everyone who works in an educational environment knows cellphones are the way you have to deliver materials, and with YuJa, you know they’ll play beautifully no matter where students are in the world,” Coleman commented. “We never have to worry about the delivery.”
During the pandemic, approximately 700,000 restaurant workers around Northern Texas lost their jobs. Dallas College was called on by the Texas Restaurant Association to create a certification program in which restaurant employees could take that showed customers that the restaurant was following best practices for being safe amid the pandemic. The program consisted of five courses, with most instruction delivered via video in two languages through the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform. Students are able to enroll for free and the restaurant association covers their tuition. The program has been a huge success not only for restaurant owners and employees, but for communities as well.
With previous vendors, Dallas College had noted not only a degradation in videos, but technical issues occurred frequently with everything from brow margin-bottom-bigser upgrades crashing the system to videos being inaccessible.
“All those issues that had become a distraction for students went away with YuJa,” Coleman said. Many students don’t have access to high-speed Internet, so the college distributed tablets to those in need. “It was critical that students be able to access videos on their tablets, and while the tablets are not high-end technology, video with full captions is delivered crisply and clearly.”
Additionally, students are exhibiting confidence in their learning solutions. YuJa has continued its work with the college to make faculty, staff and students successful. “YuJa is unique and stands above many because we truly feel like they’re our partners,” Coleman stated. “Staff will be working remotely the rest of the year, through spring of 2021, and we know we’re ready for it.”
The Future With YuJa
Dallas College officials said they’re looking forward to a long partnership with YuJa Enterprise Video Platform.