Captions: Improving Access to Postsecondary Education

(Matt McGarrity) As teachers… we’re really now entering a time
where our content is available in so many different ways on
so many different platforms. And we are not servicing
so many of our students if we’re not increasing
accessibility and captioning is one of
the most important ways that we can be doing that. And the fact that we now
have the technological tools to do it, is … if … if we don’t we’re missing
out on a huge opportunity. And we’re actually missing out
on what I would see is one of the missions of the
University, to increase access. (Christine Liao) Captions
are a benefit for people who miss information … It’s an ability to
go back and catch up with the information
that’s being presented. If there’s a new word that a
person’s never seen before, they can see it on
the captioning. (Sirfame Lin) I do use
captions on my own sometimes in like louder environments
where it’s hard to hear, or when I’m not used to like
some sort of like dialect or lingo people are using. (Jessie Zhang) I think
things have to be captioned so that it is more
accessible to anyone, so not just geared towards the
deaf or hard of hearing people but it can be helpful for
international students. (Patrick Conway) For professors who are considering
captioning their courses, I highly encourage it because
it provides accessibility to more students
than you may imagine. (Terrill Thompson) Well
captioning makes video accessible for people who can’t hear the audio, so somebody who’s deaf
or hard of hearing, or somebody who’s
situationally hearing impaired and for whatever reason,
they’re in a loud environment, or they’re in an environment
where they can’t turn up the audio and don’t
have access to speakers, then they benefit from captions. (Phil Reid) If they’re at
a coffee shop or it’s late at night in their dorm and they
need to keep basically the sound down because their
roommate’s sleeping, if you have captioning makes
still the lecture materials very available and easy for
students to access them in those types of environments. (Jason Smith) As a certified
sign language interpreter, I’ve had a unique experience
in that I’ve seen some of the frustrations
that deaf people may have when unable to access,
you know, basic communication. (Christine Liao) Captions are
important because when you get into a classroom and the teacher
is presenting, say a video tape, I’ll have an interpreter in
the classroom, I have to look at the interpreter and look
at the screen at the same time to get the information. It’s important for my
education to be able to access information. (Phil Reid) There’s a wide
variety of students that benefit from captioning, issues of
accessibility obviously but also for students for whom English
isn’t their primary language, It really makes the material
more accessible to them. And frankly for students who,
because I teach chemistry and science instruction, who
use a lot of technical language, so it gives students the
ability to kind of look at words where they’ve heard them they
can actually see them as well, and start to make connections
between what they’re hearing and what the word actually
is, and so it’s beneficial in that regard as well. (Christine Liao)
Seeing technical words in captioning is very beneficial because if I have an ASL
interpreter signing a really big chemistry word, they’re going
to finger spell it really fast and I’m not going to
know how to spell it. (Jason Smith) Lecture
capture allows instructors and even students and full
time staff the ability to download software
onto their computer and record their screen while
also recording with a camera and their audio, to
deliver educational content that shows the screen and
also shows you in a picture in picture to deliver
content in … in a more interactive way. (Patrick Conway)
Where the caption is, I get the material back
and I am able to search through the material for
key words (Jason Smith) Within the
lecture capture system that the University of Washington offers there is the ability to … to do a keyword search of the
video that you’re watching. In fact you can do a keyword
search of all the videos within your account, which
we think is a pretty powerful feature because the
search will actually search against the transcript that is
created by the caption vendor, so essentially what
that means is every word that is recorded is now
able to be searched upon. (Matt McGarrity)
The search function with captioning is
just something we … we haven’t even really started
to incorporate as lecturers, but it’s what we’ve
always wanted, right? So let’s say you’ve got a
student preparing for the test, they’re looking at their
notes, they see this concept and they remember faintly
something from the lecture when they were sitting
in the lecture hall. With the search function, what
you’ve done is created the class as a searchable database and so,
in that case, what they’re using that lecture for is, you know,
as a searchable way of engaging and making connections
between concepts, connections that as a lecturer
you would want them to make or maybe even as a teacher
you wouldn’t even guess that they would make. (Terrill Thompson) Every video
that’s uploaded to YouTube gets captioned automatically, and that’s machine generated
captions, so they’re not… the science isn’t great at this
point, it’s getting better. Sometimes it produces an
accurate enough transcript, or accurate enough
captions, that you can go in and edit those captions and it
doesn’t take very long to do that if it just has a few
mistakes here and there. To caption video on YouTube, you have to be the
owner of the video and then you can edit
the automatic captions that YouTube creates or
you can upload captions that you create but you … you do have to be the owner of
the video in order to do that. If people want to create
their own captions, do their own captioning, then there are a variety of
tools that support that. They can do that for
free using various tools that are available, either
software that they can download or free tools that are
available on the web. Captions open up
so many possibilities because if you think about how much
video is being cranked out now, a lot of the world’s information
is now in video form and with captions we have
access to all that’s being said within those videos,
so there’s data galore and it’s time synced data
so that opens all sorts of possibilities for new
research or just different ways of interacting with information. (Phil Reid) The feedback
I’ve gotten about captioning has just been remarkable in particular for students for whom
English is not their primary language. They just absolutely love it. And my student evaluation forms
that I get, that comes out loud and clear that they really
appreciate captioning because it just makes the
material more accessible.

3 thoughts on “Captions: Improving Access to Postsecondary Education”

  1. A tool for turning Google's automatic captions of YouTube videos into accurate and usable captions for YouTube:

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