Captioning at ARC

Captioning banner ARC captioning solutions

Perhaps the most discussed aspect of accessible video is closed captioning, but information about captioning can be confusing. To ensure you’re using and creating accessible videos, it’s important to understand closed captioning guidelines so you’ll know exactly what you’re being asked to do.

What are closed captions?

First, it’s important to clarify the language! Closed captions are added to a video to ensure all auditory material, including music and sounds, are perceivable to someone who is hearing impaired. Closed captions can be turned off and on using the “cc” button on the video player. Open captions, on the other hand, are part of the video, and cannot be turned off and on (these are called “burned in”). Either will satisfy the Section 508 requirement, though closed captions are preferred according to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning modality principle. Though there are also studies that show many learners benefit from captions, with closed captions, students can turn off the captions if that is their preference. Thus, closed captioning addresses all learning modalities.

Who benefits?

While some argue that closed captions are a lot of work to meet the needs of a small group of students, like curb cuts, it turns out that universal design benefits many. In fact, in a recent survey of student use of captions, researchers with 3PlayMedia discovered 75% of students use captions, and over a third of students use captions frequently. If you’re wondering why, here’s a short list of the most common reasons students use closed captions:

  • they have a hearing impairment;
  • they are listening/viewing in a public place;
  • they are listening/viewing at work;
  • captions help with studying.

What are the guidelines?

  1. The captioning must be complete, which means the video must be captioned from start to finish, including noting opening music and background noises, when intentional.
  2. The captions must be 99% accurate. This means, literally, word-for-word, including grammar and punctuation.
  3. The captions should display synchronously with the audio, running neither too fast or too slow, and they should be on-screen an adequate amount of time to allow careful reading.
  4. The caption placement should not obscure other important information. Usually, captions are placed at the bottom of the screen.

For more information, visit the US Laws for Captioning Online Video article by 3PlayMedia.

Los Rios is Providing Free Captioning

At least through the Fall 2021 semester, you can request free captions for your videos. To begin, fill out the Captioning Request form and then someone will work with you to make it happen.

Let’s look at some other great self-captioning options!

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Every instructor needs a YouTube account! It is not just a social media platform, it is an education platform as well, and using YouTube to upload your own video creations makes captioning much easier. This process can be really painless, only takes a few minutes, and allows you instant results. This is the preferred method for all of your new videos.

There are two ways to caption your own videos:

  1. Edit the auto-generated captions
  2. Upload your transcript which becomes your captions

Here are instructions for both processes.

If you are new to YouTube:

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3CMedia Solutions

3C Media Solutions is an educational media distribution network and another incredible technology tool brought to you by California Community Colleges. CCC Online/Hybrid Instructors can upload their own instructional video content to 3C Media and request captioning. The captions now are auto-generated and are usually available within a few days. The captions then can be remediated and then can be embedded right into Canvas.

Here are instructions for registering, uploading, and captioning at 3CMedia Solutions.

Recording and Captioning Your PowerPoints

Part 1: Narrate and Record Your PowerPoints

Recording your PowerPoints, turning them into videos and providing captions for them is the ultimate in creating the most engaging PowerPoints. Watch the following videos to learn how to do just that:

Part 2 Upload Video and Captions to YouTube – Embed in Canvas