How Oracle Uses Online Video











In the webinar, Improving Engagement and Comprehension of Training Videos the Oracle Way, Ben Labrum, Sr. Principal Product Manager at Oracle University Digital Learning, discusses how adding captions to their training videos lead to greater student engagement and comprehension.

Oracle uses captions and transcripts to enhance their on-demand video training program, Oracle University.

Oracle’s diverse range of database products and enterprise software tools compel many professionals to seek Oracle certifications to further their careers. While Oracle University is available in a classroom setting or at private events, Oracle saw the opportunity to leverage online video and give students additional ways to learn.

Watch the recorded panel session “Strategies for Deploying Accessible Video Captioning”

Oracle leverages instructors’ expertise via video training on-demand. This allows students to pick the training format that best matches their learning style and schedule.

After filming instructors in a university classroom, Oracle posts those training videos online. Students pay the same price for a 90-day subscription to Oracle Training On Demand as they would to go to an in-person, five-day training session. This simple model has allowed Oracle University to diversify their product offerings.

Oracle’s Motivation for Video Captioning and Transcription

Oracle University transcribes and captions 100% of their online video content.

Ben Labrum explained how the interactive transcripts add value by giving users the ability to search a video for keywords and increase engagement with the content. Captions and transcripts improve student comprehension.

BEN LABRUM: [The interactive transcript] is a really useful thing, beyond compliance and accessibility, that all of your users can appreciate.


Oracle has over 20,000 subscribers watching their videos from all over the world. Ben also notes the benefits the captions bring to non-native english speakers.

BEN LABRUM: The thing that you’ll notice about some of these international/multinational/global companies is that they have operations all over the world. They’ll have an India development center and a lot of people working around the globe who may not have English as a first language…[Captions] help a lot with the non-native speakers. So to be able to read along if the American accent is difficult for you, or we have a presenter who has some other wacky accent– it’s much easier to follow along with subtitles.


And of course, captions and transcripts make Oracle’s videos accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing students — an added benefit that Ben calls “a happy accident.”

BEN LABRUM: It’s really cognitive reinforcement…. So when you read it and hear it at the same time, it helps you remember better…Captioning and transcripts add additional value. We do it because the video search function and interactive transcript are cool…. Captions are great, but accessibility is a happy accident for us.


How Oracle Justifies the Cost of Video Transcripts and Captions

Ben explains that the 7% increase in overall production cost is well worth the extra value that transcription provides, especially for a premium video product. In Ben Labrum’s words:

BEN LABRUM: We have to have the

crew there all day. So it’s already an expensive thing, but we really believe that this is the future, so we’re making this investment already. I figured it out, and transcription works out to be roughly 7% of our overall production cost, not counting our internal head count.So for us, it was baked in from the beginning because really… if we’re providing this premium content at a premium price, we need to add value any way we can. That’s how we arrived at doing transcription.

RECAP: The Benefits of Captioning Oracle University Video Training

Oracle has seen incredible benefits beyond compliance.

BEN LABRUM: Transcribing video is fast and easy and it powers useful features beyond compliance. It’s the captions, the search and browse. It gives you a lot of great opportunities outside of compliance.
  1. Searchability
  2. Interactivity
  3. Comprehension
  4. Accessibility
  5. Engagement
  6. Helpful for non-native speakers
  7. Helpful in noisy locations
  8. Helpful when viewing videos on mobile

For more on the benefits of closed captioning online video, check out the free brief: 8 Benefits of Transcribing & Captioning Online Video