Captioning and why we caption
More than 35,000,000 people in the U.S. alone report some degree of hearing loss which could make it impossible for them to follow the soundtrack of a video without captions. Many people who do hear have cognitive challenges that make it hard for them to assimilate information presented audibly. Also, some of your students will be non-native speakers of English and captions will make it much easier for them to comprehend your presentations. Finally, captioning allows viewers to search your videos for keywords, allowing them to pinpoint sequences of interest within the complete video.
All faculty, whether they teach online or on campus, are required to meet the State and Federal requirements for ensuring accessibility of all course materials. All courses must be accessible regardless of whether or not a disabled student is currently enrolled. This means that all videos must be captioned and all audio materials must be accompanied by a transcript.
How to caption your videos
Doing Your Own Captioning
Canvas Studio, YouTube, ConferZoom, and 3C Media all have captioning functionality that can be used to make your instructional media accessible to students. We'll cover these in more detail on the individual pages for those tools.
Captioning in Canvas Studio
Canvas Studio has an automated captioning process which transcribes and syncs the captions automatically for you, and can be used as an excellent starting point. You can edit the machine-generated captions inside Canvas Studio (for your own videos) to make them more accurate. If you have a text transcript of the audio, you can upload the transcript file, and the syncing process of a manually generated transcript (text file) is done automatically by Canvas Studio.
Canvas Studio allows instructors to easily incorporate closed captioning to their recorded content to make all recorded content accessible to students, and to satisfy the DE video captioning guidelines. With tools like Canvas Studio's ability to generate closed captions automatically with 85% accuracy will greatly aid in making recorded lectures and other content easier to transcribe and share among your students.
To find out more about the Canvas Studio captioning features, you can follow this guide from Canvas: How to use Canvas Studio Captioning
More Captioning Support:
YouTube captions do not automatically transfer into Canvas Studio. If you own the YouTube video, you can, however, easily and quickly download your YouTube captions and upload them into Canvas Studio.
Here’s a video showing how to do that: How to add YouTube Captions to Canvas Studio
Things get a little difficult if you need to transfer captions for a YouTube video that you do not own.
It can be done and here’s a video showing one way to do it: How to add captions to a video you do not own, using Canvas Studio
Captioning in YouTube
YouTube has an automated captioning process which transcribes and syncs the captions automatically for you, and can be used as an excellent starting point. You can edit the machine-generated captions inside YouTube (for your own videos) to make them more accurate. If you have a text transcript of the audio, you can upload the transcript file, and the syncing process of a manually generated transcript (text file) is done automatically by YouTube. Check out the YouTube page for more specific captioning tutorials.
Captioning with Zoom
Automatically transcribe the audio of a meeting or class when you record to the Cloud. After the recording is processed and the transcript file is created, you have three options:
- Display the transcript text within the video, similar to a closed caption display.
- Open the text file in the chat window to read while viewing the recording.
- Download the text file (.VTT format) to your desktop and share as a document.
Easily edit the text to change words, or add capitalization and punctuation not captured in the transcript. Editing will reflect in the video display, the chat window, and the document (.VTT) file. A search function is available to seek out specific text as well as time stamps to indicate when a portion of the text was recorded.
To learn more about captioning with ConferZoom you can follow their Audio Transcript Page.
To learn more about live captioning a Zoom Meeting you can watch this video tutorial.
Here is a video guide from Zoom that goes over how to create captioned videos.
Captioning with 3C Media
The DECT Captioning Grant offers funding to faculty, staff, and administrators of the CCC's for captioning of educational media. 3C Media Solutions (TechConnect Cloud) is in partnership with DECT and provides the service thru the 3C Media Solutions’ (TechConnect Cloud) website. To request captions for your video or audio file thru 3C Media Solutions (TechConnect Cloud), simply follow these steps once you have an 3C Media account:
- From your "My Media" tab, click the "Details & Options" link to the right of the media you want captions for
- click on "Submit the Media for Captioning"
- Fill out and submit the form
How to Upload into 3CMedia (12:35): https://www.3cmediasolutions.org/node/19487
The DECT Grant
Obviously, the easiest way to solve this issue is to have a professional provider do the captioning for you!
Indeed, California Community College faculty have access to the Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) grant funds for this purpose. If you would like to take advantage of the DECT Grant funds for captioning your videos, please submit the Request for Captioning Form to the SDCCD Online Learning Pathways. In the event, however, that you do not qualify for these funds (not a California Community College faculty member), funds run short, or you simply desire the quick response, convenience and flexibility of captioning your own videos, you can do this yourself.
In a memo released from the CCC Chancellor's Office there has been a 450% increase of captioning requests from across the state. Given the scale of need and assistance the DECT grant fund has been amended to prioritize and support students with documented Academic Accommodation Plans ("AAP") who require captioning services. Academic Accommodation Plans can be requested from contacting your campus DSP&S Office.
Effective November 1, 2020, each request for captions shall be accompanied by the requester’s certification that the request is for a student with an approved accommodation, as documented in his/her AAP. Colleges shall ensure all students needing accommodations are documented in their AAPs in order to comply with regulatory requirements and maximize state level financial resources. The priorities of incoming captioning requests are listed below:
- All real-time captioning requests for classes and all closed caption requests for videos greater than thirty minutes in duration, if meeting the requirements described above, will be processed as requested.
- All videos requesting Captions from the DECT Grant must be 30-minutes or longer in length.
- All closed caption requests for videos less than thirty minutes in duration, if meeting the requirements described above, will be processed as auto-caption videos. Relevant faculty/staff should edit them for accuracy as needed.
- All closed caption requests for videos that do not have a certification of current need for accommodation but would like to be accessible for potential future students with disabilities will be processed as lowest priority auto-caption videos. Relevant faculty/staff should edit them for accuracy as needed.
- All other captioning requests will be the sole responsibility of colleges to fund directly through college-level resources.