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DIY Closed Captions in YouTube

Video captioning is quickly becoming a standard in higher education as many students reap the benefits. Captions improve usability for learners and improve your search engine results.

man fixing bowtie with funny subtitleCaptions benefit the viewing experience for:

  • People with disabilities
  • People who learn with text reinforcement
  • People learning English
  • People with age-related sensory declines
  • People in noisy environments
  • People in quiet environments

Captions are a requirement for higher education institution’s Disability Services student requests. Many universities set standards and policies specific to public-facing video content and course videos. For institutions that subscribe to the national Quality Matters standards for online courses, accessible course content plays a major role in quality certification.

If your college does not have an enterprise solution for captioning, there are many strategies for captioning your own content. Proactive workflows implemented early in the production process can save you the time and effort of retroactive accommodations later.

DIY Captions in YouTube

This video explores YouTube’s options for DIY captions, including editing the “automatic captions” and uploading your own transcripts for auto-syncing.

*Tip: Choose the CC option to see the closed captions for this video.

Text caption file example (txt)

Caption file view-only (pdf)

Tips and Resources

  • In YouTube (and other) searches, search for only closed captioned videos with search term, cc.
  • Check out these Transcript Guidelines for Automatic Captions if you have a script ready to upload for captions
  • Amara is an easy-to-use, web-based tool for adding captions and subtitles to other’s videos.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking is a software program for your computer that transcribes your speech to text and creates a profile for your voice that trains for accuracy over time.

How are you handling captioning course videos?

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