What are Captions?

Captions are the text that is synchronized with the audio in a video presentation. Captions are important when people need to see what is happening in the video alongside a text-based alternative to the audio information.

What should you include in captions?

  • ALL speech content
    If there is speech that is not relevant, it is usually best to indicate in brackets that it has been excluded from the captions. Example: [A & B chatted while slides were loading]
  • Descriptions of relevant non-speech audio are also usually provided in brackets in your captions.
    Example 1: [doorbell rings]
    Example 2: [example of music by XXX plays]Background noise that doesn’t have any contextual relevance can be left out of your captions.

Who Needs Captions?

Captions provide comprehensive access to the audio content in videos for students who:

  • Are deaf or hard-of-hearing
  • Are in a noisy environment and can’t hear the audio
    OR
    Are in a very quiet public environment and can’t play the audio
  • Are not a native-English speaker and need written-word format to support understanding

“As a student, I need captions when I watch videos from my instructor because…”

  • “They use a lot of scientific terms and/or proper names that I haven’t heard or seen before”
  • “The audio in the recording is fuzzy/muffled/poor and it makes some of the material really hard to understand”
  • “They have an accent and I don’t always understand what they are saying”
  • “I have to share my space with other people and I can’t always play or hear the audio when I need to watch the content”
  • “They speak too quickly for me and I miss important information”
  • “I have a hearing disability and captions are the only way I can get the content my instructor is talking about”

Types of Videos Faculty are Creating & Uploading to Kaltura (My Media)

Faculty creations include videos of:

  • Introduction to instructor
  • Demonstrations of course concepts (how-to, hands-on, practical examples, etc.)
  • Mini-lessons / mini-lectures
  • Presentations (e.g. narrated PowerPoint)
  • Interviews / Guest Speakers

Commonly asked question: “Should faculty upload recordings of live-class Collaborate sessions to My Media?”

  • It is not necessary for students’ review purposes to upload recordings of your live-class Collaborate recordings to your My Media. Students can access class recordings directly from the Collaborate section on your course site or via a direct link to the recording.
  • Suggestion: only upload the recording of a class Collaborate session if you need to provide an improved version of the recording by adding captions – and can commit the time to editing any major errors created by the auto-captioning.

How Do I Provide Captions with My Videos?

Always Available: Auto-captioning in Kaltura (My Media)

When you upload video files to Kaltura (My Media), Kaltura’s captioning algorithms automatically generate captions for your videos.

However, it’s important to know that components like background noise, proper names, specific terms/jargon, and variations in pronunciation can present challenges for these algorithms. Sometimes those challenges result in errors. The auto-captioning in Kaltura is approximately 70% accurate, which is comparable to the auto-captioning in YouTube.

You will need to edit your auto-captions. Because auto-captions may include errors that will negatively affect students’ comprehension, you should be prepared to review and edit the auto-captions before you publish your video to students. This is especially important when your video is the primary or sole means by which students get this particular content; they will have no other text-based representations of the concepts or terminology to refer to for comparison.

Available in 2021: (Some/Limited) Captioning support through eLearning

If you are creating teaching & learning video resources for your course(s), you may be able to access some professional captioning support through eLearning.

The budget we have to pay for this service is limited, so we will begin by considering teaching & learning projects that meet the following criteria:

  1. Video is a re-usable and/or shareable learning object; video is not limited to one single course offering. For example:
  • Demonstrations of course concepts (how-to, hands-on, practical examples, lab demos, etc.)
  • Mini-lessons / mini-lectures / presentations (e.g. narrated PowerPoint, Kaltura Capture video; max. 30 minutes)
  • Presentations (e.g. narrated PowerPoint)
  • Interviews or Guest Speakers
  1. Video is authored by the instructor.
  2. The audio quality of the video is reasonably high. e. the spoken word can be understood without having to work too hard to hear it.

Additional consideration will be applied to teaching & learning videos created with the assistance of Camosun’s Audio Video Services.

Out of scope: We will not be able to provide professional captioning support for recordings of live-class Collaborate sessions, or student assignments.

Wondering if your videos might be eligible for some professional captioning support?

If you are creating teaching & learning video resources for your 2021W course or are planning to develop video resources as part of your Scheduled Development plans, you may be able to access help with creating accurate captions.

Please contact Sue Doner [doners@camosun.ca] and Bob Preston [prestonb@camosun.ca] with your inquiries.