CLAS – Interactive Media for Education

For me, the joke “0.6 programmer, 0.4 everything else” stems from this project. I am the primary developer and architect since 2013, product strategist, and usability designer. I also work closely with our learning support team to define and iteratively improve the QA testing, documentation, and support processes of the service operation side. Finally, the most enjoyable part of my role is to help chart the strategic course of the project: which feature to prioritize and which to cut, which stakeholder to evangelize, which funding sources to tap into, which trends in Education this Educational technology should support…

CLAS is a video platform custom-built for the needs of educational institutions and does much more for teachers and students than YouTube or enterprise video products like Kaltura. An early form of CLAS began in 2010, and CLAS as a learning platform has been incubated at UBC since 2012. CLAS has served more than 110 course sections, thousands of students every year, at UBC and partners around the world. CLAS let instructors and university administrators create online spaces to collect and share videos from multiple sources and have viewers post threaded comments attached to specific points on those videos, or even replying with videos of their own. These online spaces can be access-managed precisely to a department, a course, an arbitrary group, or one-on-one, and the interface focuses each user to only the videos and discussions that are relevant to them. Each “online space” in CLAS is highly configurable independently of one another.

Due to this flexibility, CLAS has been used in flipped classrooms, for one-on-one and group feedback over music performances or student presentations or patient consultation or teaching skill, as an embedded component of online courses and exams, as a portfolio submission portal for prospective students, and more…

Analytics is also available out of the box. Unlike in generic enterprise video products, the data in CLAS can be aggregated not only per video, but also per student or per course, and includes more than just video viewing behaviours but also discussion behaviours. CLAS can be integrated with student information systems at universities and authentication systems such as Shibboleth and CAS.

Learn more about CLAS at clas.ubc.ca

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