Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Uses YuJa’s Video Platform to Deliver High-Quality Media Experiences to More Than 13,000 Students
Making the Switch to YuJa Enterprise Video Platform
A premier metropolitan university that overlooks the Mississippi River in the Midwest, SIUE serves more than 13,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Several years ago, SIUE had a locally-hosted, homegrown media streaming solution. Matthew Schmitz, Associate Director of Online and Blended Education, said the solution worked, but had a lot of disadvantages in that the interface wasn’t user-friendly, the public couldn’t upload content, and it was “load heavy” for the institution’s Information Technology Services (ITS) department.
The institution began looking for a full media storage solution, but shortly after purchasing and migrating to a new platform, the company announced it would be discontinuing the video solution as a commercial product.
ITS’ Instructional Design & Learning Technologies (IDLT) team created a committee to represent academic departments, as well as Blackboard administrators, members of the support service team, super users, and others to evaluate new video streaming and content management systems. “We started looking at different solutions, and YuJa was the one that met all of our needs internally, for our faculty, and for our students,” Schmitz said.
“The biggest draw for our faculty was ease of use. It was a number one priority,” added Jennifer Albat, Instructional Designer.
About the Client
About Southern Illinois University Edawardsville
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is a nationally recognized university that provides students with a high-quality education that powerfully transforms the lives of all individuals who seek something greater. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.
SIUE awards degrees in undergraduate and graduate programs encompassing the arts, sciences, nursing, education, health, human behavior, business and engineering. The Schools of Dental Medicine and Pharmacy award first-professional doctoral degrees in dental medicine (DMD) and pharmacy (PharmD). Doctoral programs are available in nursing practice and educational leadership. Cooperative PhD programs in history, environmental resources and policy, engineering science, and computer science are offered with SIU Carbondale.
“The biggest draw for our faculty was ease of use. It was a number one priority.”
YuJa Meets Complex Timeline for Migration
Because of the timing of SIUE’s former video platform’s announcement, SIUE only had one calendar year to both select a new solution and migrate all content before the start of the semester. “It was an intensely tight timeframe. There wasn’t a lot of room for error,” Schmitz stated.
Despite challenges with the export files from the previous vendor, YuJa’s “ease of use helped with the migration,” Schmitz said, “We had done enough prep work and on-demand training that people did not have trouble using YuJa when it launched.”
Instructors Use a Diverse Set of Features
Laura Million, an Instructional Designer responsible for on-demand training for the university’s technology products, said instructors have been pleased with YuJa. Faculty have been using it to record and lightly edit videos, as well as to add captions and integrate quizzes.
“The most important thing to us has been captioning,” Albat noted. “Now, we have auto-captioning and it’s not an extra step to generate captions. This is 100 percent the best feature. Editing has been a bonus. The interactivity with the videos and quizzes that auto-integrate with Blackboard are well-liked, and a lot of faculty use the ‘percentage used’ feature as well.”
Instructors also appreciate the ability to customize their video feeds when they’re using lecture capture. Video feeds can be added or removed, and students can arrange the feeds to watch the lecture and view content in a way that works for them. YuJa also automatically generates searchable indexes and transcripts.
“YuJa has upped the professionalism with respect to the creation and editing instructors can do,” said Pamela Williams, Instructional Designer. “They’re able to dedicate more time to content than accessibility issues and can spend their time being subject matter experts.”
“With the pandemic, we saw the value of expanding beyond the four walls of a classroom and leveraging technology to meet students’ learning needs. There are a lot of advantages, whether the course is delivered in an in person format, hybrid format, or an asynchronous online format.”
YuJa Makes Learning Accessible to All Students
Students who are multimodal learners now have the pairing of video and captions for every video. They can interact with content through the commenting feature, which instructors can use to highlight certain pieces of content, and students can provide observations directly in the video. “Having quizzes and points for reflection, and having those intentionally put in the resources is helpful for students,” Schmitz shared.
“Students have the ability to download transcripts and use the version that works best for them – reading the transcript or watching the video, and If students don’t have access to the video for some reason, they can have the text file and still have the ability to learn,” Albat remarked.
Technology Continues to Evolve, But Remains Easy to Use and Support
The IDLTS team noted that the captioning feature “learns to listen to the speaker” and produces accurate transcriptions. “The AI feature is very impressive. It’s fast, and it’s easy to teach faculty to edit transcriptions,” said Angie Beyer, Instructional Designer. “With the pandemic, we saw the value of expanding beyond the four walls of a classroom and leveraging technology to meet students’ learning needs. There are a lot of advantages, whether the course is delivered in an in person format, hybrid format, or an asynchronous online format.
Even with continuous updates, YuJa remains an easy to use and easy to support product, the team said. Scaffolding levels of access, an advanced mode, and other features make all faculty feel comfortable using the tools, no matter what level they’re at with technology.
Additionally, if the team needs support, YuJa has been responsive, including with a dedicated success team member to reach out to directly. “If we wish something would happen, we just ask and they make it a reality,” Schmitz said. “They’re very responsive to the needs of the customer.”
Over a period of a few years, SIUE migrated from a homegrown streaming media solution to another video learning product, and then to YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform.
Shortly after SIUE upgraded from its in-house platform to the new solution, the company announced it was discontinuing its education product. SIUE had a tight timeframe to select and launch a new video content management system. Ease of use for all users was critical because of the “complex timeframe.”
Faculty have been extremely happy with YuJa’s Video Platform, along with tech support from the YuJa team when there are questions or suggestions.
“YuJa has upped the professionalism with respect to the creation and editing instructors can do. They’re able to dedicate more time to content than accessibility issues and can spend their time being subject matter experts.”
Pamela Williams, Instructional Designer at SIUE
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