OCTC Seeks Comprehensive Tool to Enhance Online, Remote and In-Person Instruction
About Owensboro Community and Technical College
Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) offers classes on three campuses in Daviess County, Kentucky, at locations in the surrounding counties of Ohio, McLean, and Hancock, and at select off-campus locations.
Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) is one of 16 institutions in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. When the system selected the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform to serve its institutions, selection committee members were seeking a replacement product for Techsmith Knowmia, which sunset its educational video streaming offering. Ed Morris, a psychology professor and the eLearning Coordinator at the college was part of a statewide distance learning team, which serves as an advisory body to the system director for online learning.
“I look for distance learning technology that’s useful to staff and that allows faculty to engage and work with students,” Morris said. “YuJa allows faculty to achieve those goals, no matter the circumstances. It’s the most impactful tool we’ve found that I’ve ever been personally involved with.”
While OCTC has a number of technology tools, it needed a centralized system that provided:
- ADA compliance
- Tools for engagement
- Blackboard integration
- Ease of use and versatility
- Comprehensive analytics
“We looked at a lot of different products, but YuJa was the most flexible. It can be used for all types of digital assets and as a database for those assets,” Morris said, adding that each course has a data cap, prompting instructors to be mindful of their usage. “Students can log in and find what they need, rather than going to a different place for video, documents, and another for other media.”
YuJa Serves as Content Management System, Video Streaming, and Editing Tool
OCTC faculty, especially those who teach online courses, have embraced YuJa because of its ability to post videos and create interactivity and engagement within their classes. “One of the most important features is its integration with the gradebook. You can embed questions or give credit for the percentage viewed, and it’s auto entered into the gradebook,” Morris said.
As a psychology instructor, Morris uses videos from multiple sources, embedding questions throughout so students interact and think more deeply about the material. He also pauses the video to allow students to do a conceptual review and share their thoughts on the discussion board. Additionally, YuJa serves as a digital repository for all media types and enables recording from a phone using a native application.
While the LMS has a web conferencing tool, it doesn’t provide auto-captioning, background blurring, or offer as much flexibility as YuJa. “It’s easy to use in Blackboard Ultra. You just click, pick, and pop, and it’s there,” Morris said. “People don’t believe how easy it is until they do it.”
“One of the most important features is its integration with the gradebook. You can embed questions or give credit for the percentage viewed, and it’s auto entered into the gradebook.”
YuJa Made Move to Remote Teaching Easier for Instructors
When the pandemic forced OCTC to move into remote instruction, Morris said the institution was well prepared. “We had some instructors who were unfamiliar with the technology and how to run their courses remotely, but faculty could jump into using YuJa. It’s simple, easy to use and versatile,” Morris explained.
Instructors who taught online were able to be “power users,” and those with less experience in the online environment were able to pick up the skills they needed quickly. Morris said he offered training workshops and on-demand training for the faculty in transition. “It still happens almost every week. An instructor is looking for a tool, I recommend YuJa and quickly show them how to use it, and they become an advocate,” he remarked. “The next thing I know, they’ve done 100 videos.”
YuJa’s support team helped us move materials and embed them into courses. One of the best things about working with YuJa is having someone specific to handle almost everything we need. We know who to go to, and if they don’t have the answer, they’ll find out and follow up.
YuJa Support Staff is Responsive Through Entire Process
While YuJa offered all the tools OCTC needed from a video platform perspective, there were a number of videos and other resources faculty had stored in the previous platform that needed to be migrated and relinked.
“Part of the process was helping faculty with the idea that (the former service) was going away,” Morris shared. “YuJa’s support team helped us move materials and embed them into courses. One of the best things about working with YuJa is having someone specific to handle almost everything we need. We know who to go to, and if they don’t have the answer, they’ll find out and follow up.”
OCTC was seeking a comprehensive tool for video and media storage, video streaming, captioning, and engaging students, all while maintaining privacy and meeting accessibility standards.
When the institution had to move to remote instruction, YuJa eased the transition with easy-to-use tools.
Even faculty who were initially hesitant to use a new service have embraced YuJa’s robust features.
OCTC is one of 16 institutions in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which secured a systemwide master service agreement with YuJa.
“I look for distance learning technology that’s useful to staff and that allows faculty to engage and work with students. YuJa allows faculty to achieve those goals, no matter the circumstances. It’s the most impactful tool we’ve found that I’ve ever been personally involved with.”
Ed Morris, OCTC eLearning Coordinator