If you plan on showing any videos during your class (in person, hybrid or online) make sure they are captioned!
Why Do I need to caption/transcribe?
Use of video and/or audio in-person, online and/or hybrid classes can be a powerful way to engage students with course content. However, some students may not be able to benefit from the use of rich multimedia due to physical disability, language barriers, and/or technical issues.
- Improves retention for all learners given the multimodal learning mediums of sight and sound
- Provides content appropriate for different learning styles
- Supports students with varied comprehension levels (ESL, DSS)
- Compliance with the law - section 508, 504 and some state and local laws that state material must be accessible to all
- Online and hybrid courses may be audited for accessibility compliance under at least
- Office of Civil Rights receives a complaint
- Accreditation visits
- Accessibility reviews contracted by the State Chancellor's Office
When is captioning required and when is it optional?
Most required instructional video used more than once for in-person, online and hybrid courses MUST be captioned and audio must be transcribed.
- If the material has video and audio and will be archived for repeated use, then you need to have the material captioned. Please note: If the material has both audio and video, you need to caption. A transcript is not sufficient.
- If the video will also be shown in the classroom, regardless of whether it is instructor-owned or campus-owned, it must be captioned if any enrolled student requires a captioning accommodation.
- If you take clips from longer works and string them together and archive the finished video, then it must be captioned.
- Any video created by the campus and placed on a public website.
- Transcript: If the material is audio only, no video, and is archived, then a transcript is all you need.
- If the material is only for one term AND the class has restricted access (i.e., it's password protected and only students who are enrolled in the class have access), then you only need to caption (or provide a transcript) if a student requests captioning as an accommodation.
- If the material is on YouTube or other online video site and you are just providing a link to content that is not required, then you only need to caption if a student requests an accommodation. (Please note: YouTube videos are not public domain. Permission may be required to caption.)
- If the material is student work or other raw footage that will not be archived for repeated use.
- There is no need to caption longer works if you are just pulling clips from it. Wait and caption the montage that you create.
- If the video already has foreign language subtitles, do not caption unless requested to do so as an accommodation.
Simple rule of thumb
If you're keeping it and more than a limited audience might access it, then caption or transcribe it.
Be prepared to...
Respond to student requests for captioning/transcribing within 24 hours and complete the captioning/transcribing process in a timely manner. The captioning/transcribing has to be done in time for the student to have the material whenever the rest of the students are expected to know it.
Captioning my own videos
If you create your own videos and use them in your courses make sure to caption them.
- Upload your videos to your YouTube channel
- YouTube will add auto-captioning so make sure to edit the captions to make sure they are accurate.
3C Media Solutions
If you are not comfortable with using YouTube to host your videos you can use 3C Media Solutions.
- Host your videos at 3C Media Solutions
- Request captioning for videos that will be used in your courses
To learn how to get help with captioning your VoiceThreads visit the Captioning VoiceThreads page in the Online Faculty Handbook.
Captioning videos I don't own
Get help at the DRC. The Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) grant, administered by College of the Canyons, supports professional captioning and transcription services for multimedia materials used in California community colleges. Contact the Accommodations Coordinator, Michelle Lapitan at firstname.lastname@example.org to get assistance with this. If you are looking into captioning videos that you do not own please make sure that you get copyrights to the video before modifying the content.