Langara College and Kaltura: Creating, Connecting, and Collaborating

Monday, March 19, 2018

Langara College came on board a pilot program for Kaltura video solutions in 2013. Twelve thousand video uploads later, the project has demonstrated success – due in no small part to the opportunities for the Langara educational technology team to collaborate with other institutions.

As an expert in education technology, Julian Prior is well-versed in the benefits of using videos in the classroom. The Langara College advisor and multimedia specialist is one of the driving forces behind the adoption of Kaltura video enterprise solution at the Vancouver campus.

Video technology certainly isn’t new to Langara. The college has been using various video platforms since 2005, including Helix and Flash Media Server.

While students have come to expect multimedia experiences in the classroom, the last few years have seen learning move out of the classroom, and on to laptops, tablets and mobile devices. But there has also been a shift in how students learn.

 

 

“We’ve seen a movement toward students becoming creators, not just consumers of learning.”

Julian Prior
Educational Technology Advisor (Multimedia Specialist) | Langara College 

 

Seeing the benefits of Kaltura

These shifts prompted Langara to look at video technology in a different light. In 2013, Langara came on board a Kaltura pilot project jointly administered by UBC and BCcampus. The video solution promised a user-friendly experience and integration with popular learning management systems like D2L.

Early on in the project, Langara’s team could see the benefits in adopting Kaltura. With older technologies, Julian’s colleagues had to upload and manage videos manually. With Kaltura, both students and instructors could upload videos, and embed videos into the college’s learning management system, Brightspace.

But Julian and Langara’s IT department still faced the challenges shared by so many other BC institutions in adopting technology: expensive licensing, server maintenance and FIPPA compliance.

Enter BCNET.

 

Nothing beats collaborating

Kaltura is being offered as a shared service solution through a three-way partnership between BCNET, BCcampus and UBC.  BCNET holds the licence agreement and manages the service, while UBC operates Kaltura in BCNET's EduCloud, and BCcampus supports institutions in adopting the service and providing the first level of support.

It’s been a triple win for institutions like Langara. Not only can universities and colleges access Kaltura licences at an attractive price, the service can be used to securely upload an almost unlimited number of videos onto a hosted server, away from the flood and earthquake zones, and all the while keeping data in Canada.

For Julian, the most positive thing that has come from this this project, however, has been the support from other institutions, and the support from BCNET. He speaks highly of regular Kaltura User Group meetings, facilitated and hosted by BCNET.

 

“Often when you implement a technology on your own, you can feel a little isolated,” admits Julian. “Although you can draw on the wider tech community for support, there’s nothing that beats collaborating with real people you know with whom you can build a relationship. The ability to talk with people from other institutions is huge. I don’t know what we would have done without that.”

Julian Prior
Educational Technology Advisor (Multimedia Specialist) | Langara College 

 

12,000

LANGARA
VIDEO UPLOADS

1,400 

LANGARA
CONTRIBUTORS

102,000

BCNET KALTURA USERS
AT 12 INSTITUTIONS

 

 

Embracing video across campus

Today, Langara instructors and students count among the 102,000 users who access Kaltura on the EduCloud Server. Since January 2015, 1,400 contributors have uploaded more than 12,000 videos and audio files.

Instructors are using Kaltura in creative and meaningful ways. Hannah Flostrand, an instructor with Co-op and Careers, uses video to provide feedback to her students on written assignments.

 

Explains Hannah, “I’m using Screen-cast-o-matic to capture images of their work and I provide a running commentary, which I upload to Kaltura.” She adds, “Using a different format is not only useful for students to understand the lesson, using video gives me another way to connect with my students. They can hear the intonation and enthusiasm in my voice. It also gives them a safe space for them to explore.”

Hannah Flostrand
Co-op & Career Development Centre Instructor | Langara College 

 

As more and more instructors embrace using video in their courses, Julian continues to advocate for Kaltura across campus. He hosts workshops, and hands-on training sessions. By the end of 2018, he expects to have Kaltura fully rolled out with a suite of features, including closed captioning.

Julian credits the support of the Kaltura institutional community for moving the project forward.

“The Kaltura User Group at BCNET has been great. It has really helped drive the success of Kaltura at Langara.”