KSUtube helps make education easier

Sidney Keith

Kent State has created its own alternative to YouTube for the classroom: KSUtube.

It is an educational video-sharing platform designed and created by James Raber, lead IT user support analyst for educational technology.

“It used to be a pain to upload videos,” Raber said. “I wanted to make it easier.”

It was developed as part of his graduate project in 2008 and adopted into use in 2009.

David Cunningham, manager of information technology, said it plays a major role in online classes.

“We have a lot of professors that host lectures for their online classes,” Cunningham said. “Most of the videos are educational, but there are others.”

He said it gives educators more flexible options for class plans and can make things more interesting.

Students also use it for class.

“Some students upload their video projects, but most users only have one or two videos,” Cunningham said.

Paul Albanese, associate professor of marketing, is using KSUtube to share lectures with his students in his online course this semester.

“It’s fairly easy to use,” he said. “Only a relatively small number of students had trouble viewing the videos.”

There are 256 students in his class, and only about three have had issues.

“I have 26 lectures online, and each one took me about 45 minutes to upload,” Albanese said. “It’s not hard or confusing once you understand it.”

He said he prefers teaching with KSUtube to teaching a distance learning class where students have to log in and watch a live feed.

“I’m not into the technology,” he said. “I just want it to do what it’s supposed to do, and once someone showed me how to do it, and I followed the directions, it worked.”

Although Albanese found it easy to use, Raber aimed to make KSUtube even easier to use and more accessible to those who don’t understand all of the settings.

“We did a lot of usability testing to figure out what people knew how to do,” he said. “The changes we’re making reflect that.”

Raber said a lot of extensive eye tracking was used, and user feedback played a large part in the new features and design.

Some changes include better organization of videos, an easier uploading process and a more usable interface, he said.

According to the KSUtube website, the changes will be made May 9 between 7-9 a.m.

During this time, KSUtube won’t be available. All videos that were previously uploaded will remain.

Contact Sidney Keith at [email protected].