Why Caption?

According to the CSU Chancellor’s Office, captioning video content is usually done to meet accessibility requirements, but captioning can offer so much more than accessibility – it can be used to open up new ways for all viewers to interact with your content and improve learning outcomes. Important note: If you have a student who disabled and needs captioning, you and/or the student should contact SDSU Student Disability Services, who helps provide this service at no charge. 

In an article in Social Inclusion (3.6,2015), Sheryl Burgstahler, Founder and Director of the DO-IT Center and the University of Washington’s Access Technology Center, points out that: “Second language learners report that captions increase their attention, improve processing of vocabulary, and reinforce previous knowledge" (Winke, Gass, & Syd-orenko, 2010). Several studies suggest the positive effects of captioning on recall and retention (Danan, 2004). Some evidence suggests that simultaneous text presentation, along with audio, can aid native and advanced nonnative speakers of English with word learning under certain conditions, as assessed by both explicit and implicit memory tests (Bird & Williams, 2002).”

ART 104 Spring 2015 Mediasite Lecture Capture Captioning – A Case Example

During the duration of this class, 10 lecture sessions (568 minutes) were captioned via Automatic Sync Technologies. Average turnaround time was three days. Students were surveyed during the class and asked, “Was viewing the captions [on recorded lectures] helpful?” A number of student responded with positive comments:

“Subtitles are often helpful for me because sometimes I might miss a piece of information and reading it reduces the probability of me missing those details. Other times I might not understand what the professor/person has said so reading it helps me understand better.”

“In general, I'm a visual learner and I tend to learn better when I read/see things rather than just listening to them, it keeps me more engaged.”

"Sometimes if I read along with the audio I understand more clearly.”

“Well it's helpful because I can be certain what the speaker is saying. Sometimes even if I raise the volume it is difficult for me to hear what they are saying, or if I cannot raise the volume because I forget my headphones I can at least read what is being said.”

“They're helpful to me because sometimes I can not understand what the speaker is saying so I use subtitles [captions] to help me”

How to Live-Caption Zoom Meetings

This tutorial demonstrates how to live-caption a Zoom meeting

Do-It-Yourself Captioning Tutorials

The following tutorials walk through the steps for automatically captioning a video, uploading the video and to Canvas Studio or YouTube to create automatic captions. The videos also include how to check and edit these automatic captions for accuracy, which is typically required.

Option One on how to edit (auto) captions on a video placed in Canvas Studio:
Auto Captioning and Caption Editing in Canvas Studio – 1:24min


Option Two on how to edit (auto) captions on a video placed in YouTube:
Auto Captioning and Caption Editing in YouTube – 3:14min

CSU Chancellor’s Office – Captioning Resources

CSU Chancellor’s Office – Captioning Resources site gives excellent information on how to prioritize captioning, who is responsible for captioning, captioning methods, and other resources, including Do It Yourself (DYI) methods and more.

Captioning Guidelines

When doing captions manually or when checking media captions, users must take into account captioning guidelines. The Caption Key document (link below) was created by the Captioned Media Program (CMP) of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) with funds for publication provided by the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education and provides nationally accepted captioning guidelines.

How to Facilitate Captioning with Verbit formerly Automatic Sync Technologies

Verbit is a paid service and offers discounted captioning to CSU Campuses.

How to Caption with Verbit

The following Verbit site gives information on how captions are created by Verbit and workflow details.

How to Obtain an Verbit Account

Fill out the following form on AST’s website to request a Verbit Account.

Following this, the SDSU Captioning Administrator is contacted by Verbit to validate the account request. The SDSU Captioning Administrator then contacts the department and requests an Oracle account number. This will be associated with the department’s Verbit account.

Once the account is established, the department can now submit caption and transcript jobs to Verbit via the Verbit website using their new Verbit account. With specific settings, some systems such as Mediasite allow for the automatic submission of captioning jobs. Verbit integrated systems may have greater speed in caption turnaround time and can save time and labor. Course capture systems such as Mediasite require options for captioning to set by the system administrators. Contact ITS staff for this system to enable this function. You will need your Verbit account information when calling.

How AST Charges Work

The CSU Chancellor's Office pre-purchases hours of time from CSU Campuses in bulk, in order to get the most favorable pricing. The CSU Chancellor’s Office pays Verbit directly and then the individual campuses set up Verbit accounts associated with the CSU agreement.

Quality Assurance

It is recommended that received transcripts, time-coded caption files, and captioned media be examined for accuracy. Media content in which the speaker has a heavy accent, uses domain specific terminology, or content where there may be some existing subtitles warrant examination. In cases where captions are inaccurate, the job can be revised by Verbit at no extra charge.

SDSU Contacts:

Instructional Video Captioning Support:

Jon Rizzo – [email protected]

Student Accommodation Captioning

Elizabeth Crosthwaite – [email protected]

Mark Cervantes – [email protected]

Web Video Content Captioning:

Rahim Baker – [email protected]