How YuJa Helps North Carolina Virtual Public School Provide Supplemental Instruction to Tens of Thousands of Middle and High School Students Statewide
NC Virtual is a Supplemental Service to North Carolina Schools
With six different programs: Traditional, Occupational Course of Study, Flex Learning, Math Intervention, Middle School, and English Language Learners, North Carolina Virtual Public School (NC Virtual) is a supplemental service to the public schools of North Carolina. Students in sixth through twelfth grades enroll through their local public school, and grades are reported to their school for credit. The courses use learning management and collaborative software to maximize student interaction in each class. The purpose of the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NC Virtual) is to provide e-learning opportunities to students.
NC Virtual teachers use the latest technologies to engage students as well as prepare them to be career and college ready. Five years ago, the institution deployed the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform for video content management, flipped classroom creation, lecture capture, and live streaming Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.
About the Client
About North Carolina Virtual Public School
NC Virtual is the state’s official online school averaging over 58,000 enrollments per school year. It delivers high-quality online courses to students across the state regardless of their zip codes. NC Virtual has served over 710,000 middle and high school students since its initial launch in the summer of 2007.
“We needed a way to create resources to stream and store media without it taking up the capacity of storage in the Learning Management System and that met all of our needs. YuJa had all of that in spades and was the most affordable option.”
Selecting YuJa’s Video Platform
A state agency, NC Virtual was seeking a replacement media creation and storage solution that provided accessibility, storage, and other user-friendly features at an affordable price point.
“We provide supplemental coursework to teachers and schools throughout North Carolina, including public, private, charter and home schools, some of which don’t allow students to access websites like YouTube,” explained Darlene Schaefer, Instructional Designer for NC Virtual.
“We needed a way to create resources to stream and store media without it taking up the capacity of storage in the Learning Management System and that met all of our needs,” added Chris Smith, Ed.D., Instructional Designer. “YuJa had all of that in spades and was the most affordable option.”
YuJa’s Video Platform and Integrations Simplifies Creating Accessible Content
As instructional designers, Schaefer and Smith use YuJa extensively, including to edit captions and have transcripts generated, and both take advantage of integrations with Canvas, the institution’s Learning Management System, a third-party human captioning tool, and HP5, an open source technology that enables the creation of richer content. The new burned in captions feature is widely used and even helped when the institution applied for a grant, as videos could be downloaded with burned in captions and provided with the grant application.
NC Virtual supports schools for the blind and visually impaired and deaf or hearing impaired students, so accessibility is an important consideration for educational technology tools. “Accessibility features are excellent,” Smith said. “There are so many valuable tools, from burned in captions to the ability to download and update transcripts, and easy-to-use features in the video player.” Designers also add audio descriptions and said they appreciate that captions are searchable.
Smith said he also likes the functionality within the Admin Panel, which allows him to create managed playlists and move content and perform other actions – such as mass selecting to request human captioning – in bulk. “We manage hundreds of thousands of elements in course masters, with upwards of 10,000 videos. Being able to do things en masse has been great,” Schaefer added.
“There are so many valuable tools, from burned in captions to the ability to download and update transcripts, and easy-to-use features in the video player.”
“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.”
Tools in the Video Platform Support Content Creators
Teachers who write supplemental course content are instructed on using YuJa over other tools, Smith said, some of which have limited capabilities and features compared to YuJa’s Video Platform.
“YuJa is considered teacher friendly. Instructors can drag and drop content, move elements from one folder to another, or grab an iFrame and embed videos,” Schaefer noted. “Instructors can even create videos in YuJa without having to get out of Canvas, and not only is the tool integrated with Canvas, but the sign on is integrated with Canvas, which is helpful.”
Analytics provided can inform decisions when teams are creating content. For example, if viewership drops off after the five-minute mark, instructors have loose guidelines as they think about how to create effective videos for students.
Overall, Scheafer said YuJa is her favorite ed-tech tool. “The support is excellent. It’s user-friendly. Technology and operability get better and better,” she 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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