Captioning and Transcription for Community Colleges

April 17, 2018 BY 3MEDIAWEB
Updated: September 6, 2023

graduation caps thrown in the air

87% of educational institutions add closed captions to at least some video. Video in higher education has unlocked new opportunities for universities to reach knowledge-hungry individuals around the world.

As a result, education has become more accessible.

While community colleges are required to caption their videos by law, closed captioning has also been shown to provide invaluable benefits to students.

graduation caps being thrown up in the air

98.6% of all students say they find captions helpful; captions help students focus and retain information better. Often, faculty who provide captions are ranked higher.

Community colleges caption for many reasons, including to meet a student accommodation request, to meet legal requirements, and for universal design.

What is important to community colleges?

  • Legal compliance: Federal laws in the United States, like the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), require community colleges to caption their content. Several institutions of higher education have been sued for failing to caption their content and for having inaccurate captions.
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  • Accuracy & complex content: Correct terminology is critical in education. Lack of proper spelling or punctuation can easily misinform students. Community colleges want their videos to be accurate; that’s why they need a solution that is better than automatic captions. Automatic captions often misspell words, have incorrect punctuations, and omit important nonspeech elements. Harvard and MIT were both sued for having inaccurate captions. The Department of Justice submitted a statement of interest, stating that inaccurate captions discriminate against deaf and hard of hearing individuals and are not considered equal access in form of captions.
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  • Student diversity: Community colleges care about diversity. In fact, according to the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, “Community colleges enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates or 6.5 million students, and one-quarter (24%) of these students come from an immigrant background.” Captions and transcripts are invaluable for ESL students (66% of ESL students find captions “very” or “extremely” helpful). Community colleges also care about offering equal access to education for students with disabilities. The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes found that 1.3% of currently enrolled college students are deaf. Additionally, students with disabilities were more likely to enroll in a community or two-year college than a four-year institution.
  • Ease of use: College educators should be focused on lesson planning and meeting with students, not on captioning their own content. Having a solution that is easy for faculty and staff to use is critical for community colleges.

What are the common challenges for community colleges?

Read 5 community colleges doing captioning
  • Budget: Many community colleges struggle to find a captioning budget. Opting for a solution that is cost-effective without sacrificing accuracy is important.
  • Account structure & billing flexibility: Often, a single college will have separate captioning accounts for each department. This helps keep the various projects organized. But when it comes to billing, this can be a headache. Colleges often seek a more centralized solution where they can have all accounts under one umbrella account.
  • Workflow: While the captioning process varies from college to college, often times, there are several steps a professor must go through in order to get a video captioned on time. Sending a captioning request may take a lot of back and forth. Having a solution that helps a community college streamline the captioning process will ensure more videos are captioned in a timely manner.

What captioning and transcription vendor features are important to community colleges?

  • Account management: With 3Play, you can easily centralize your college’s captioning needs. Within a community college, there are many departments with ongoing projects; therefore, having the ability to organize projects by departments under one college-wide account is an attractive feature for community colleges. Not only does this make it easier for billing, it also makes it easier to track how much content is being captioned and which department is captioning the most.
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  • Quality and accuracy: 3Play guarantees a 99% accuracy rate, regardless of difficult content. Many of our transcriptionists have backgrounds in engineering, math, and other STEM fields. 3Play also allows users to upload a cheat sheet with important terminology along with their video.
  • Competitive pricing: Making sure captioning costs stay within the allotted budget is imperative for community colleges. At 3Play, we use a mix of speech recognition technology and human editing to provide high-quality captions at a lower price point.
  • Integrations with lecture capture systems and online video platforms: Integrations with lecture capture systems and online video management platforms allow for a more streamlined captioning process. 3Play offers integrations with all major video players, including Kaltura, Panopto, Mediasite, Echo360, and YouTube. Our integrations will automatically post your captions back to your video, giving you more time to focus on other projects.
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  • LMS Plugin: 3Play offers an LMS plugin that allows you to add captions, interactive transcripts, and audio descriptions to Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, and Desire2Learn Brightspace.
  • Transcripts: Transcripts are incredibly useful for both educators and students. Often, teachers use transcripts to make corresponding materials for lessons. On the other hand, students repurpose transcripts as study guides. When you caption with 3Play, you can download both a caption file and a transcript file. 3Play also offers an interactive transcript. The interactive transcript allows users to search a video for keywords, then jump to the spots within the video were the keyword appears. Interactive transcripts are easy to embed and can help students immensely.

Community Colleges That Use 3Play Media

Portland community college and tacoma community college

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