Seeking a Media Management Partner
Johnson County Community College is no stranger to online learning, but as instructors started incorporating more video, administrators realized they needed a central place to store and manage media. While the tools they were using worked, it could be difficult to access content and edit video, including adding captions. Because the college uses Canvas as its Learning Management System (LMS), finding a video partner that easily integrated with Canvas also was a priority.
About Johnson County Community College
Located in Overland Park, Kansas, Johnson County Community College (JCCC) has enjoyed a national reputation for educational excellence and student success for more than 50 years. The college offers a variety of programs for students to earn an associate degree, certificate, or credits to transfer to a four-year university, as well as continuing education programs.
When the college sent out an RFP, “YuJa caught our attention,” said Ed Lovitt, Ph.D., Director of Educational Technology and Distance Learning at Johnson County Community College. Dr. Lovitt was part of a committee comprised of numerous faculty groups that helped evaluate RFP submissions. “As we started the evaluation process we kept coming back to YuJa because it offered the functionality and features we were looking for at an extremely competitive price.”
YuJa provided a sandbox for testing, and Lovitt, along with each of the five analysts who work in his department set to work testing YuJa. “We tried knocking holes in it and we couldn’t find anything that wasn’t working the way we wanted it to,” Dr. Lovitt said. YuJa was awarded the contract in 2019 and largely replaced YouTube and TechSmith Relay for video recording and hosting. Because many at the college used Zoom, the college added Zoom integration to the Video Platform.
“As we started the evaluation process we kept coming back to YuJa because it offered the functionality and features we were looking for at an extremely competitive price.”
Scaling YuJa During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Johnson County Community College completed its implementation of the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform in late 2019. In January of 2020, Dr. Lovitt scheduled a number of professional development and training opportunities to show faculty how the platform could be used. Not much later, it became clear that the college needed to prepare for transitioning their courses fully online.
In any given year, JCCC typically has 6,000 students taking online courses. Suddenly, that number tripled to 18,000. “Our earlier training prepared us very well for what we would face ahead,” Dr. Lovitt said, noting that every course already had a course shell in Canvas and was integrated with YuJa and Zoom. “From a technology perspective, having an infrastructure like we did with YuJa, Canvas and Zoom made a huge difference.” As the pandemic stretched on, the college added video proctoring to its arsenal of tools.
YuJa Video Platform Improved the Video Experience for All
“As part of their licensing, we need to prove that students watched the videos and remained engaged.”
Because YuJa works well with LMS providers, there wasn’t a lot of setup required. The ease of use proved beneficial as instructors were being stretched more than ever to provide quality, accessible courses remotely. YuJa’s Video Platform allows teachers to easily upload from YouTube and Zoom and to add and edit captioning.
Analytics also has been a positive addition to instructor’s tool belts, especially those who teach programs that require licensing, like the EMS program. “As part of their licensing, we need to prove that students watched the videos and remained engaged,” Dr. Lovitt explained. “We were able to use the video analytics to show the licensing boards that students were watching and learning the materials.”
For students, the Video Platform provided a recording of their lectures that they could watch at a later date. “Students have said they appreciate having lectures available to watch when it’s convenient for them. Use of the Canvas mobile app exploded,” Dr. Lovitt noted, adding that videos were embedded into the Canvas course shells and available for students to access at any time. “We didn’t realize the number of students who don’t have access to computers or who don’t have internet access without being on campus. Many depended on their mobile devices to keep track of their courses.”
Users Find New Ways to Use YuJa Video Platform
“As we return to campus we plan to spend more time engaging with the additional tools the Video Platform offers.”
As instructors and students have adapted to remote teaching and learning, instructors have started getting creative with how they record and present materials. “The pandemic forced many to look at technology more than ever before,” Dr. Lovitt remarked. The college purchased document cameras and webcams for teachers, who have enjoyed using the multi-camera functionality. Dr. Lovitt expects that as the campus reopens, instructors will continue to use the technology to aid in their teaching.
As there is a return to normalcy, Dr. Lovitt said the college will start digging more deeply into analytics and working to create hyflex courses, with parts being remote and face-to-face. Additionally, data gleaned from the analytics will help instructors see where students are most engaged and where they might need to spend more time on instruction. Instructors also are seeing the value in creating mini lectures to embed in their courses and plan to start using the quizzing feature more frequently. “There are a number of features we didn’t have time to work with initially,” Dr. Lovitt remarked. “As we return to campus we plan to spend more time engaging with the additional tools the Video Platform offers.”
Support Team has Been Engaged From the Start
Johnson County Community College originally sought a media management partner that integrated with Canvas and Zoom, but it has since scaled significantly and added course proctoring capabilities.
The college went from having 6,000 students in online courses each semester to approximately 18,000 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced campus closures and the college had to move to an all-online format.
JCCC has used YuJa’s Video Analytics to present data to licensing boards, such as those working toward their EMS licensure.
“We tried knocking holes in it and couldn’t find anything that didn’t work the way we wanted it to.”
Ed Lovitt, Ph.D., Director of Educational Technology and Distance Learning at Johnson County Community College