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Instructional Design & Support

Captioning Options

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The Office of Information Technology can provide consultation and support regarding options for captioning your video content. While the cost of closed captioning video content is the responsibility of the requesting department, OIT can assist with contracted captioning services that are then billed back to your department if needed. 

Please note that if you are an instructor and have a student with an accommodation request involving captioning, you may first request assistance though Student Disability Services (sds.utk.edu). Otherwise, OIT staff will provide consultation and training by request.

Contact the OIT HelpDesk for assistance 

For more information and assistance with captioning your video content, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or call 865-974-9900 to schedule a consultation. 

CAPTIONING OPTIONS: ORIGINAL CONTENT 

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Options 

The accuracy of auto captioning depends upon good audio quality. When recording media, please begin with a good microphone or headset and a quiet recording environment. Faculty and staff may check out quality recording microphones from OIT by completing an equipment reservation form. Students may consider reserving time in The Studio at Hodges library for this purpose. 

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), sometimes known as “auto captions”, is available at no additional cost, and may be a suitable option by itself. This option may also be used to provide an initial product that can then be corrected to perfection by the media creator. In general, ASR captions can be expected to be about 80% accurate, though this can vary widely based on the quality of recording, aspects of the speaker’s voice and the nature of the subject being discussed. ASR captions should always be reviewed for accuracy. 

We have two supported options available for ASR captioning available at no additional cost: 

  • Canvas Studio 
    Canvas Studio is an excellent “one stop” place to record or upload media into Canvas for use within your Canvas course(s). Canvas Studio provides an option to create ASR captions, which may then be edited, if desired, before publication. Please see our Captioning Canvas Studio Videos Quick Reference Guide.   
  • YouTube
    YouTube is another good option as a place to record or upload media for captioning and distribution. YouTube is a good option if you wish to share your media outside of Canvas (e.g., on a website) or to make it available in a public-facing YouTube Channel, etc. YouTube also provides an option to create ASR captions, which may then be edited, if desired, before publication. Please see our Captioning YouTube Videos Quick Reference Guide
     

Vendor Options (Requesting Department Responsible for Costs) 

UTK has a partnership with several approved vendors that can provide high-accuracy captions at reasonable prices.  We will provide you with recommendations and price estimates based on your specific needs and turn-around time. If you would like to have a video file captioned, please submit a support ticket to begin the process at help.utk.edu. An OIT staff member will contact you to discuss options and estimate costs.  While the cost of closed captioning video content is the responsibility of the requesting department, OIT can assist with contracted captioning services that are then billed back to your department if needed. 

CAPTIONING OPTIONS: EXTERNAL/UNOWNED MEDIA  

Professional Studio Productions 

If you would like to caption media developed by professional studio (e.g.Hollywood productions, videos from professional organizations), it’s best to begin by looking for existing caption files. We recommend two sources: 

  • Hodges Library
    The library has a large collection of media that is already captioned. It is possible that they may have a version of the media you would like to use already captioned and usable through their collection. Contact the library first at lib.utk.edu/.   
  • OpenSubtitles.org
    A second option is to see if others have contributed to an open-source bank of captions available at opensubtitles.org. Most titles have multiple subtitle files that reflect different frame rates or versions of the film. Try several if necessary to identify one that works well. If this option is unsuccessful, you may request training for adjusting caption file timing from help.utk.edu or may opt to use one of the vendors listed above.  

Unowned Media from Other Sources 

If you would like to caption media developed or shared through a video hosting platform (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo), it may be possible to use a UT-approved vendor to caption content without violating copyright. This option will require streaming the content through a vendor-provided interface or through another streaming interface that allows captions (e.g., Canvas Studio). If you would like to find out more about having an unowned video file captioned, please submit a support ticket to begin the process at help.utk.edu.

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