More Research Concludes Nearly All Students Find Closed Captions Helpful For Learning

December 20, 2016 BY PATRICK LOFTUS
Updated: June 3, 2019

It appears that interest and research on the use of closed captioning in higher education is popping up all around the world these days.

The latest study comes from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), a large state university in Sydney, Australia. The study’s key finding is that 98% of all students agreed that closed captioning is useful for their learning.

The results of this study are based on a survey completed by 135 students in a mathematics course at UNSW where videos were widely used in the coursework.

Our Research Says the Same

Interestingly, the 3Play Media / Oregon State University (OSU) research results virtually matched those of the UNSW study. We found that about 99% of students surveyed in the US found closed captions helpful for learning.

More Research Concludes Nearly All Students Find Closed Captions Helpful For Learning

Benefits for ESL Students

In our webinar with Dr. Chris Tisdell, first author on the study and faculty member at UNSW, we learned that his research also concluded that students who speak English as a second language (ESL) and non-native English speakers benefit heavily from using closed captions as a learning tool.

International English-speaking and international ESL students in the study also found closed captions helpful when watching videos where the speaker spoke with a strong and/or unfamiliar accent, describing closed captions as ‘accent-independent.’ Students surveyed in the OSU study also made similar remarks about how closed captions help one understand accents.

Sound-Sensitive Environments

Students surveyed in the UNSW study also made a lot of comments about the usefulness and helpfulness of closed captions that were similar to those in the OSU study.

In particular, hearing students made similar comments on the usefulness of closed captions in sound-sensitive environments, such as, “I speak and understand English just fine, but I like closed captions because I can sit on the train without headphones and watch [videos],” and, “If I’m in a noisy place, I can watch [videos].

If you want to read more about research on closed captioning in higher education, check out the OSU report on how colleges across the US are handling closed captioning at their institutions:

Download the full report

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