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Automatic captioning of Kaltura videos enhances accessibility, saves faculty time

Automatic captioning of new videos uploaded to Kaltura will enhance accessibility to course materials for everyone and save time for faculty, who don’t need to go through the process of requesting captions that are generated by the auto-captioning system.

The system, available starting with the summer 2024 term, uses speech recognition to create the captions and can caption videos with more than 90% accuracy under many circumstances. Automatic captioning is available to instructors throughout the Purdue system, including Purdue West Lafayette, Purdue University in Indianapolis, Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest and Purdue Global. There is no fee for the service.

While captioning enables accessibility for viewers with hearing impairments, as required by law, it is helpful for other viewers as well – and helpful for content creators who want to get their message across with maximum effectiveness.  Among those who benefit:

  • Users with learning disabilities, who may find it easier to focus if written words accompany a video and they can read along.
  • Users for whom English is a second language (and speakers with an accent that may affect viewers’ understanding).
  • Users who need to view a video without disturbing people around them, or in a noisy environment, and who don’t have headphones or earbuds.
  • For anyone, captions offer an additional entry point for absorbing information in addition to just listening.
  • Captioning also makes videos more readily searchable, providing a battery of topical key words users can use to search for a video or information within it.

While auto-captioning in Kaltura is highly accurate, instructors should always give the captioning of their videos a quick review and edit content where necessary. The good news: once done the edited captions can be reused in subsequent semesters.

Instructions for how to access and edit automatically generated captions in Kaltura are available on the Innovative Learning website.

Professional captioning also remains available – by request and for a fee – through a vendor employing people to manually watch and transcribe videos.

For more information about either captioning option, contact tlt@purdue.edu.