TL;DR: If you have 5 minutes, please take a moment to tell us how we should improve the captioning experience in Studio. It is much appreciated! Start the survey!
It is no surprise that captioning is not only for those with hearing disabilities. Even though it’s in the law to ensure effective communication for people who are hard of hearing, it’s a great tool to improve the learning experience for everyone.
In general, captioned educational videos improve student retention and there are various reasons why.
If we step back to the video consumption habits on social media today, people want to silently scroll through their feeds. Not only do we see shorter videos over time but those are also captioned so that the viewer fully understands the content without sound. This grabs and sustains attention. The same trick applies for educational content: visual and auditory learning aids together significantly helps keep the focus. This becomes a crucial aspect of learning in today’s distractive study environment where the attention span is constantly decreasing.
When focus is sustained, we are better at taking lecture notes. Captions are additional resources that help write down notes verbatim. In a noisy classroom environment for remote students this becomes even more important. Now, add some technical terms to the lecture. Then there are students where the course language is different from their mother tongue. Or when the instructor has a strong English accent. Captions equip classes so that students don’t need to stress over information that they might miss. This eventually results in reduced anxiety.
What about the accuracy?
We must make sure that captions are accurate enough so that those won't confuse the understanding. There is no automated speech recognition solution that is 100% accurate - and probably we don't even need that - but that’s where Studio seems to perform really well. Throughout the one year I have been working with Studio, there was no feedback around cases where accuracy negatively impacted the learning experience for students! Integration with professional services (human captioning) is a different need but we'll take that into account too in a different questionnaire. It can surely make a difference...
Can we improve the way we display captions so that it provides a better learning experience?
In Studio today there is not much you can customize around it. If you ever changed settings of captions on YouTube, you probably noticed that there are a number of different customization options from font size to character edge styles and so on. We want to focus on the important ones only (erm.. positioning, I’m looking at you), but rather than giving out ideas here, we’d love to explore your needs in the survey!
When it comes to captioning, there is another side of the story: what can you do as a creator to ensure that captions actually increase engagement and to make sure that all essential content is captioned? One key question where we are searching for answers is what are these essential content? Are there videos that have no issue with keeping them “uncaptioned” or that should be the standard no matter what kind of video we talk about? Is there a good balance between the two?
Who should fill out the survey?
Probably everyone is working with videos! However, this time we’d like to ask a favour from our amazing teachers besides filling out the survey (which is totally anonymous). We need feedback from students too.
After all, students are constantly shared with course videos and they have a tremendous amount of experience on watching them. Getting feedback from both content creators and viewers would be absolutely fantastic!
Thank you so much!
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