Anyone headed back to the "classroom" this autumn is already about a week in, but we're still at the very beginning of a completely different educational era with remote learning.
If you're a student entering your first remote semester and you're looking for ways to ease this particular switcharoo, captioned lectures (or any other online classes, for that matter) are likely a huge help when it comes to online education. This is also a learning aid that you don't actually need to do anything about, other than maybe sending this article to your professors to convince them to use it.
If you're a teacher, keep reading so we can convince you to make your life easier (as if you needed the push, let's be honest) with some compelling reasons to use captions on your zoom lectures.
Captioning your lectures can help in a variety of ways, but comprehension is a key one. Captions will keep students from interrupting the lesson to ask for clarification and also help those who are differently abled, or whose first languages are different than yours. Overall, captions are a great way to keep everyone in your classes on the same page (or, during this remote semester, screen) despite different backgrounds, learning styles, or stage of education.
A huge benefit to captioning your video classes is that it immediately makes them far more accessible. Students who need captions in order to learn are completely left behind without access to them, and with automated transcription available at your fingertips, you're able to provide this crucial piece of aid to the students in your classes that need it. Making your lessons accessible to all is not just important, it's necessary, and captions are an easy and efficient way to do this.
If you've ever watched a movie with closed captioning on, you may have expressed frustration at the distraction they cause. It's hard to focus on the visual aspect of media when you're reading text at the bottom of the screen. However, this can have the opposite effect during educational video calls. The visuals on screen during lectures can often be distracting, pulling focus away from the lesson at hand. Using closed captioning allows students to read along with you as you speak and keeps their focus on the lesson when they may otherwise be trying to figure out what's on the bookshelf behind your head. This is also a great feature for when your pet or child make an unexpected appearance, as we've all seen happen over the summer months. Keeping your students focussed on your captions will keep them focussed on your course and will help distract them from putting any potential embarrassing moments on YouTube.
Everyone learns differently, and adding captions to your lectures will provide even more options for your students to learn in the way that works for them. If certain pupils retain information better when they read it, closed captioning opens up a whole new world for them! With this feature, learning remotely just went from a bust to an A+.
Comply with School Standards
Okay, let's face it - if the reasons above this one didn't convince you, this one will. Whether it's because of your institution's standardization, the law in your area, or any other factor that's out of your hands, captioning your lectures may actually be necessary, and not including them can result in various penalties. Even if the decision is out of your hands, implementing captions on all your lectures will at least be easy with the help of automated transcription software.
Heading back to school this year is both a stressful time for students and for teachers, but by automating the task of captioning your videos, get ready to let that stress go. By taking all the manual work out of something that's likely a requirement in your day to day work, you're adding a crucial feature to your lectures and barely need to lift a finger to do so. With a zero-minute commute, a good internet connection, and automated transcription software helping you with captioning your lectures, 2020 just got a little bit better in a big way.