[Athen] Guidelines for captioning video: don't forget recording quality

Sheryl E Burgstahler sherylb at uw.edu
Fri Aug 25 09:59:37 PDT 2017

As far as budget, the cost of captioning at the University of Washington is covered in multiple ways. We were part of an effort to go out to bid that resulted in a state-wide contract for captioning with 3 Play Media. We provide guidelines (e.g., how to edit automatic captions available on YouTube, how to arrange for captioning through a vendor) and training (follow the “Creating Videos” link at www.uw.edu/accessibility<http://www.uw.edu/accessibility>). My unit also has a pool of money that campus units can apply for in order to pay for the captioning of our highest-impact videos (with priority to publicly posted videos where there is expected to be a high number of views). Money for the subsidized captioning comes from our central IT organization, UW-IT, to which I report. Our Disability Resources for Students office and the Disability Services Office (for faculty, staff, visitors) arrange and pay for the captioning of videos done as an accommodation for individuals with disabilities. For other captions individuals and units can pay for captioning or create them themselves.

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Director, UW Accessible Technology & DO-IT, UW-IT
Affiliate Professor, Education
University of Washington, Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-0622 FAX 206-221-4171
sherylb at uw.edu

On Aug 25, 2017, at 8:39 AM, Christine Robinson <crobinson at ggc.edu<mailto:crobinson at ggc.edu>> wrote:

We don’t have a line item in our budget for captioning at this point, either. We’re still in fairly early stages of helping our faculty members create accessible instructional materials, and these days, we’re simply encouraging them to do as much of their own captioning as they can.

We use Kaltura for most video; some of our faculty upload their videos to YouTube. With either platform, there is automatic machine captioning. Of course, there are lots of speech-to-text “caption fails,” but at least our profs can use that captioning as a basis, and then make corrections where needed.

Correcting machine captioning can be very time-consuming, so we’re trying to help our faculty members learn how to create videos with higher audio quality. Better audio results in fewer errors in the machine captioning, which means it takes less time to correct.

Our recommendations:
1. Script: Whenever possible, work from a script instead of speaking off the cuff.
2. Microphone: Use the best mic possible (not the laptop’s mic), keep it close to the mouth, learn to adjust levels so the sound isn’t distorted.
3. Enunciation: Take care to speak as clearly as possible.

Hope this helps a bit!


Christine Robinson | Technical Trainer/Writer | Center for Teaching Excellence
Georgia Gwinnett College | 1000 University Center Lane | Lawrenceville, GA 30043

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Molly Griffith
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:31 PM
To: athen-list at mailman13.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at mailman13.u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Guidelines for captioning video

We are trying to get a feel for what guidelines are out there in terms of captioning videos for courses.

1. Does your institution have a budget for captioning?
2. If so, are there limits on how much video can be captioned per course?

Any information is appreciated!
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