Fulltime and adjunct faculty
Credit and continuing education students
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Need for a More Scalable Video Partner
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.
“Our faculty has been incredibly impressed with YuJa’s ability to react to their needs for everything from interface to accessibility and its integration with Blackboard,” Coleman shared.
The college sought video streaming and captioning, which would become a main tool in its journey to becoming ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible, along with video quizzing, recording and conferencing.
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.
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.
Deploying a Scalable Multi-Campus Video Solution
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.”
Key Outcomes from Video Platform Deployment
“Our goal is to make everyone feel like an individual,” Coleman remarked. “We encourage faculty to reach out directly to YuJa for support, and they feel comfortable doing that. YuJa knows us on a personal level and that aspect of our partnership is incredibly important to us.”
There are more than 100,000 individual users within the Video Platform environment, along with more than 25,000 media files.
Like with all higher education institutions, the coronavirus pandemic caused panic among faculty, but with YuJa already in place, the transition to 100,000 plus students learning completely online was seamless. Usage of the Enterprise Video Platform has spiked.
“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.
Key Successes During COVID-19 Pandemic
“Pivot” is a term all educators are embracing. When the pandemic hit, one of Dallas Colleges’ 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.
Enhancing Learning and Improvements
With previous vendors, Dallas College had noted not only a degradation in videos, but technical issues occurred frequently with everything from browser issues, 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.”
Future Plans With YuJa
“There’s always something new. They’re always improving and making updates. YuJa truly creates a community,” Coleman said.
Dallas College officials said they’re looking forward to a long partnership with YuJa Enterprise Video Platform.
Ramos said there’s a large constituency of people who speak languages other than English. He sees future technology enabling real-time translation, which will facilitate conversation and learning. “Faculty and students are becoming more global. Some have not set foot in Texas because of various restrictions, and we have to find ways to reach them where they’re at.”