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How a Japanese University Used Video to Support its International Curriculum
When Tokyo-based International Christian University received a government grant for multi-lingual teaching and learning, the library had to rethink its content strategy
Build collections to support curriculum in multiple languages. That was the challenge faced by the library at International Christian University (ICU) after its designation as a Type B institution in the Top Global University Project.
As part of this designation, the school received a grant to adopt a global standard curriculum along with language-teaching programs to promote the “globalization of Japanese society.”
The library took a hard look at its users and their international needs. As a liberal arts college, ICU required its library to have a multidisciplinary collection of both print and digital materials. They’d already been receiving an increasing number of requests from students and faculty for not only non-Japanese content, but also non-English content. They had received another government grant for renovations to make room for self-learning and collaboration spaces. And finally, they had to face potential copyright concerns from students and faculty using free resources like YouTube.
Essentially, they needed an affordable content solution that supported multi-lingual curriculum, took up limited physical space and didn’t violate any international copyright laws.
Why ICU Turned to Video
The ICU library is highly-used – it serves nearly 650 visitors a day and boasts an average of nearly 43 books borrowed per student, which is volumes above the Japanese national average. Their collection of content currently stands at about 55% Japanese, 45% non-Japanese.
In 2016, responding to the increasing requests for video by students and faculty – especially in the areas of social sciences, social anthropology and videos from the U.S. and U.K. – the ICU library set out to introduce more audio-visual resources. However, they had just completed a collaborative learning space, and in doing so, spent most of their grant money. And purchasing high-quality, copyright-cleared videos were simply too expensive for them at the time.
The library turned to ProQuest for help. Already a customer of more than 70 ProQuest databases and ebook collections, and the largest user of ProQuest Central out of all Japan’s private universities, ICU adopted Academic Video Online to address its video needs.
Academic Video Online – Ideal for Global Curriculum
With more than 60,000 titles spanning a wide range of subject areas (the title count varies by region), Academic Video Online is the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries. All videos come from reliable and authoritative sources and are streamed online through the interface, so no shelf space is required for DVDs or other physical media. And because it’s a subscription, the annual cost is affordable and predictable.
Academic Video Online is ideal for multilingual learners because the entire platform can be translated into over 100 languages using the built-in Google Translate service. This includes the transcripts that accompany all videos. So, for instance, a student could watch a film in English and read the scrollable transcripts in Japanese – or watch the video in English and read transcripts in English, which helps significantly with English comprehension. This is extremely helpful for universities like ICU where manycourses are taught in English to non-native English speakers.
ICU also said it improved their workflow because Academic Video Online easily integrated with its onlinelibrary catalog and its other key resources. For example, videos can be discovered and accessed through Summon, cited through RefWorks and are discoverable with other databases on the ProQuest platform.
They’ve also taken advantage of collection’s Build by Choice feature, which allows libraries to own the rights to titles of their choice at the end of each subscription year. This means that even if they choose to end their subscription at some point in the future, they’ll still have access to those titles. In ICU’s case, they now own their library’s 18 most-accessed videos in Academic Video Online.
What’s Next for Video at ICU?
ICU is now exploring the use of Academic Video Online’s media hosting service for its own videos, which allows institutions to upload an unlimited amount of locally produced streaming content, or content they’ve licensed from other vendors, and make it visible to their institution.