With the growing demand for blended and online content, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with considerations such as what type of content to include, identifying new websites or technical applications to introduce, and ensuring that the course design meets the needs of all learners.
The sheer nature of working at a distance increases the need to create opportunities for learner engagement and decrease ambiguity in communicating information. Thankfully, there are a number of different solutions that incorporate audio and/or video components that assist with humanizing the look and feel of your course. Introducing this type of media into course design means ensuring that all learners are able to access auditory resources.
One of the advantages of taking a blended or online course, especially for learners with specific needs, is the infinite number of times you can playback or review a concept until it’s mastered. For learners with special needs, diverse and/or preferred learning styles, English language learners (ELL), or English as a second language (ESL) students, incorporating transcripts, subtitles, closed captioning, etc. to audio and/or visual content in a course is invaluable. Faculty have also found that learners without special needs find having these resources embedded in the course a bonus.
In the following, I’ve detailed a number of simple solutions and shared resources that you can use when prepping your course to be more accessible.
As you start developing content such as a narrated lecture, audio/video introduction, module recap, etc., it’s common to begin with some form of an outline. Why not take it a step further by adding your script, talking points, etc. in a format that can be easily converted into transcript? On certain websites or technology applications, having a transcript file is all that you’ll need to get started.
In the table below, I’ve created an example of a transcript format that could be used for a narrated lecture or audio/video resource in your course.
|Slide #||Time code (if applicable)||Transcript|
|1||0:00 – 0:10||Welcome to the course.In this module, you will learn the importance of creating transcripts or talking points at the outset of lecture development.|
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the alternative text (alt text) feature available on websites and in learning management systems. The alt text feature is a great way to provide a description of an image if the image doesn’t appear on the website.
Strategically Selecting Websites that are Accessible: What are your options?
Detailed below are some accessible-friendly resources used in online course development. This is not meant to be an inclusive list, but rather a good place to start if you’re developing a course from scratch, or planning to revise an existing course.
You’ll find that once you start vetting resources, many websites and applications have features like subtitles, closed captioning, etc. that can seamlessly be incorporated into your course. (Happy researching!)
TedTalk (subtitles, transcripts, multiple languages)
If you use websites like TedTalk, you’ll find that beneath each video, there’s an “interactive transcript” option that enables learners to turn on subtitles and the transcript. This feature is automated and synchronized with the speaker’s presentation. Check out the use of this feature in the sample: TedTalk.
YouTube has a number of incredibly helpful resources that range from managing and adding captioning, to outsourcing options.
- Adding subtitles and closed captions
- Turn captions on and off
- Creating subtitles and closed captions
Whether you’re creating captions or viewing them, VoiceThread offers suggestion on how to get started in the link below:
If you narrate PowerPoint presentations, the resources in the link below enable you to add captions, annotations, or subtitles to your presentation.
If you plan to incorporate audio components into a lecture, Camtasia is a commonly used resource.
Caption it Yourself
This website is full of valuable information. You’ll find a number of resources that are free or fee-based that support users who want to add captioning options.
Additional resources: Video translation and captioning outsourcing