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YuJa has become a major platform for UCR’s remote instruction

September 8, 2020
Author: Imran Ghori
September 8, 2020

UCR faculty members and students have turned to a number of online platforms for remote instruction and learning in the last several months. 

This summer, integrated video platform YuJa has gained popularity.

The campus began using YuJa in June after searching for a single platform that could cover all instructional needs, said Israel Fletes, director of academic technology. About 5,000 students are making use of the program for their summer courses, Fletes said. He expects that to jump to as many as 25,000 students in the fall quarter.

“I get the impression it’s the platform of choice because at all my faculty meetings — department meetings, individual meetings — there’s a mention and discussion of YuJa more than any of the other tools,” Fletes said.

Zoom, Google Drive, Vimeo, and YouTube are some of the video repositories that have been used by instructors during the pandemic. But none of them offer the full range of options that YuJa does, he said.

“YuJa is a very robust video ecosystem,” he said. “Aside from video streaming, it contains many different features and tools.”

It offers video storage, recording, conferencing, and livestreaming, all of which are integrated within the campus Learning Management System. That means the content is protected behind the UCR Central Authentication Server, or CAS. 

Fletes said that integration allows instructors to link video content with course materials in a number of ways. Lectures are recorded and stored, so they can be easily accessed by students searching for a particular lesson. Instructors can break up a lecture into segments that are paused while students are quizzed on the lesson. It keeps students engaged and allows instructors to gauge how much their students are learning, Fletes said.

The platform also includes a video proctoring feature where students can self-record while taking an exam, and instructors can review all student activity as they take the exam, Fletes said.

YuJa provides unlimited video storage and auto-captioning for its videos, as well as 24/7 technical support for students and faculty members who need help.

UCR, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Cruz are part of a group within the system working together to share notes and best practices regarding YuJa.

The campus has long needed the video and multimedia tools offered by a platform like YuJa, but the pandemic only increased the urgency, Fletes said. Even after the campus returns to normal, he expects its use will grow as more resources are made available to students digitally.