Options for Creating Captions and Transcripts for Online Videos

Providing accessible content (captioned video & transcript) for online courses is required by law. Beyond the legal requirement, captions and transcripts have pedagogical benefits for a broad range of students. While video captions were designed to facilitate access to video content for people who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing, they are also useful for students who are learning English, and to understand fast speech, for example. Transcripts provide a text alternative to student who may prefer to read rather than watch or listen.

I need to change or update my course videos. What are my options for creating captions and transcripts?

Videos that you made during the course development process will more than likely need updating at some point, even if you’ve intentionally evergreened them while recording. You have a few options for creating captions and transcripts for your videos:

  1. Generate your own captions and transcripts using one of two tools (Premiere and Panopto)
  2. Pay an external service (such as Rev.com or Speechpad.com) to generate captions and transcripts that can be added to videos stored in Panopto and to Canvas sites

Below, find a table listing some of the considerations of using each of these approaches.

Option Cost Accuracy Faculty Effort/Time Commitment Learning Curve Turnaround Time
Panopto Free to you 70-80% for auto-captions Low accuracy requires you to edit mistakes in the captions; extra step to create transcript file Pretty simple interface for captioning; need to be able to deal with an unusual file type and follow steps to create the transcript Determined by your capacity
Premiere Free to you 80-90% for auto-captions Low accuracy requires you to edit mistakes in the captions; fewer mistakes than Panopto More complex interface (steeper learning curve); more efficient because it generates both captions and transcript file Determined by your capacity
External Service From $1.50 per minute of video 99% and up Submit files to external service N/A Usually 5-7 days; can pay more for a faster turnaround