UCR Seeks a Comprehensive Video Platform
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, officials at UC Riverside (UCR) quickly realized they needed a comprehensive video platform to usher in a new era in online learning. “Out of the pandemic, we realized we didn’t have a proper video platform,” explained Israel Fletes, Director of Academic Technology at UC Riverside’s Exploration Center for Innovative Teaching and Engagement (XCITE). “We had various limited tools to support online learning, but no unified campus wide platform.” YuJa was recommended to UCR by a sister University of California campus, UC Santa Cruz, as Fletes and the Continuity of Instruction workgroup explored various platforms.
While the pandemic was the driver in finding a robust video solution, Fletes said they looked beyond the crisis as they evaluated each solution. Ultimately, the team determined that YuJa’s Video Platform would best meet the institution’s needs. “We were able to consolidate several tools and replace others entirely with YuJa,” Fletes noted.
About UC Riverside
UCR is one of the 10 campuses of the University of California system. UCR’s strong core programs and new and emerging disciplines are housed within three colleges, four professional schools, and more than 20 interdisciplinary research centers. With more than 25,000 students and 3,800 faculty, UCR is pioneering research with economic, scientific, and social impact on the real-world challenges faced in California and beyond.
YuJa Facilitated the Transition to Fully Remote Learning
Traditionally, the University of California system offers mostly in-person courses. Prior to the pandemic, UCR hosted about 30 courses fully online. “We didn’t have a big online program, and while we were hoping to grow our online presence and course programs, we didn’t have many when we first deployed YuJa,” Fletes acknowledged, adding that more than 3,000 courses had to be transitioned online “essentially overnight.”
Instructors had to quickly move to fully remote teaching, but YuJa’s user-friendly platform helped ease the transition. YuJa is integrated with the university’s LMS and as the university transitions to a new LMS, Canvas, the same content faculty uploaded can now be served through Canvas, Fletes shared. “YuJa facilitates the migration. In addition to providing the added storage we need, materials can be accessed in YuJa for those who have already uploaded their course content. Yuja became the storage partner for Canvas during the integration, and has proven to be very popular and well received.”
YuJa Video Platform Brings Benefits to Instructors and Students
“YuJa has improved the learning experience for instructors and students with ready access tools and by providing a user-friendly platform that facilitates the development of video content.”
The benefits of YuJa’s Video Platform at UCR are innumerable. Faculty can not only serve video from YuJa, but they can use lecture capture tools within the platform to record multiple screens, as well as incorporate transcription and captioning, and create supplemental video for their courses. “YuJa has improved the learning experience for instructors and students with ready access tools and by providing a user-friendly platform that facilitates the development of video content,” Fletes remarked. “The accessibility we’ve provided through auto captioning all video content has been a big plus on campus, and self proctoring through the YuJa proctoring tool has helped faculty during course exams.”
The university also uses YuJa Video Test Proctoring, which Fletes said has been instrumental during the pandemic. “YuJa Proctoring was a lifesaver for us. With our rapid move to remote instruction, we didn’t have the resources to proctor every exam,” Fletes explained. “Instructors have been making use of it to protect the integrity of their course exams.”
Because the university has a significant number of first generation college students and students from lower income families and communities, it opened a laptop and network hotspot loaner program for students to access courses remotely. YuJa’s Platform enables access to course content from any device, supporting inclusivity and equity for students. “YuJa helps meet our needs for inclusivity and equity by providing ready access to students who may not be able to come on campus. They can learn anywhere at any time,” Fletes said.
YuJa Will Help UCR Bring Online Learning to the Next Level
“Because we are in two different teaching modalities, having a single platform that both groups can access is essential.”
The fall 2021 semester will start with in-person instruction, with about 20% of students online. The Video Platform can easily scale to accommodate larger numbers of online students. All classrooms are being upgraded to allow remote access, with video and content being stored in YuJa so both cohorts can access materials in the same manner. Through an initiative called RISE (Rooms for Increasing Student Engagement), classrooms are being made video conference ready, which will allow for two-way video and audio.
A total of 110 rooms will be upgraded to support the return to in-person instruction and to continue remote instruction throughout the pandemic. “Because we are in two different teaching modalities, having a single platform that both groups can access is essential,” Fletes commented. “Even remote students should be able to feel present in their classrooms.”
Academic support programs, career services and other units on campus also are using YuJa to support students, which Fletes said will continue and expand in the coming months. “One of the biggest aspects we see changing is a higher level of adoption and increased use of video content on a per-course basis,” Flete concluded, adding that deploying and using the Video Platform has been a great experience for the university.
UC Santa Cruz, another school in the University of California system, introduced UC Riverside officials to YuJa and its suite of innovative video recording, management and storage products.
Before the pandemic, about 30 courses were fully online. UCR transitioned to hosting 3,000 courses online “essentially overnight” when the pandemic forced the closing of institutions nationwide.
YuJa will play a big part in teaching efforts through the hosting of all content so both in person and online students can access learning materials in the same manner. All classrooms on campus are being upgraded to allow remote access.
“YuJa helps meet our needs for inclusivity and equity by providing ready access to students who may not be able to come on campus. They can learn anywhere at any time.”
Israel Fletes, Director of Academic Technology for XCITE, the Exploration Center for Innovative Teaching and Engagement at UC Riverside