[Courses] Automatic Captioning in Canvas recordings

Since accessibility is a major requirement. All video/audio recordings in Canvas should have automatic captioning.

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Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

helpdesk, conferencing in Canvas is developed and provided by Big Blue Button's third-party tool; video/audio recording is a Canvas feature. Which one of these requests would you like to see move forward? Please edit the idea so that it requests one, and if you want to see both move forward, create a new feature idea for the second.




Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

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Community Participant

If the present situation has taught us anything, then it's taught us the necessity of accommodation to those needing captioning in online videos.

New Member

HI!  I am fairly new to Canvas as an educator.  I have been an observer for several years, but due to Covid-19 and eLearning, I have had to give myself a crash course in developing my own page and helping my colleagues with making sure their instruction is accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students that I am teacher of record for.  This has not been easy to say the least.  Captioning should be a default feature that comes with every basic Canvas account.  We not only have DHH students and parents that need it, but we have individuals who English is not their first language, students with auditory memory issues and other learning difficulties.  How can the developers of Canvas help me understand how captioning works on here?  For the past 4-5 weeks I have done everything possible to learn how to do this.  I have consulted people much more "techy" than me and have contacted customer support.  I continuously get the tutorial that says that captioning is possible, but it is through a third party, Amara, and not efficient at all!  Our teachers do not have time to utilize this.  Why isn't captioning an automatic option while recording using the embedded Canvas "record/upload media" tool in the HTML editor?  Can someone please help me understand how we (educators in our district) can make Canvas more accessible to all?  I know you can't see my face or hear my tone of voice, but I am just trying to understand....and need some guidance.  Thank you so much!  Cathy

Community Member

Having the ability to caption and create an inclusive environment is something that should have been done from the beginning from an ADA standpoint. The third party application is not approved by my University, so all of my videos need to be captioned and uploaded somewhere else. This makes my off the cuff quick comments to students, so they feel noticed a challenge to do for students who need extra support. This by the way could be any student since some may be doing their work in a quiet place and being able to read the message via captions would be a good option.

New Member

Just a note that I think it should be an option for teachers to turn off captioning in certain situations. I agree that accessibility is critical, but I use audio and video features to assess and practice listening skills specifically for second language acquisition. If there were automatically captions in this situation then it would change the skill being assessed. 


New Member

Not just for Studio but for RCE Record Media tools as well.

Community Participant

We would like to start inviting our course students to record videos in Discussions, however due to our accessibility policies this is not possible without captions.  We *could* instruct them to use 3rd party resources, most likely YouTube, to provide automated captioning.  Unfortunately, our students have inconsistent tech skills so adding the levels of additional instruction, effort, etc., the trade-offs would not be worth it.  Being able to use the video would be great for developing a sense of presence in our online courses, but we have ADA and other standards that we have to follow.   

Community Champion

My reasons exactly match burrasto's. We would like to have students use Canvas videos in discussions, but captions must be available. We could have them do it in Kaltura/MyMedia and then embed in Canvas, but the learning curve is just high enough that students get cognitive overload, especially if asked to do it in the first week of the course when they're already overloaded. 

Some instructors have resorted to using Flipgrid, but then we, the instructional designers, can't support it, and Flipgrid doesn't transfer between instructors well if we have a course taught by different instructors.

But, really, "in this day and age," any video recording service for students should have auto captioning. Ethically, pedagogically, we know that's crucial.