Getting Personally Acquainted with Proper Self-captioning Skills for Today and Tomorrow

Concurrent Session 1

Brief Abstract

Self-captioning can seem like a mysterious, unnerving experience. Yet, giving it a try may reduce hesitation and open UDL horizons previously unknown. Attendees will be guided to make a short “selfie” introduction video, upload it to their YouTube channel, and using their laptops, try self-captioning in and/or YouTube.


Karen is part of the Instructional Development, or iDev, Team that creates tutorials and training to equip faculty, staff and students to effectively use Webcourses@UCF and other online instructional assets. Karen has a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is preparing for Ed.D. candidacy at the University of Central Florida. Before joining the CDL Instructional Development Team in the fall of 2012, Karen had taught ESL/EFL to non-native English speaking teachers, graduate, undergraduate and college intent students for over two decades. This part of her career included teaching seven years in East Asia and ten years at UCF-CMMS. While at CMMS, Karen also contributed her skills in writing, editing, graphic and web design, while also helping to implement and train basic online teaching and learning in Moodle. Karen is the utility patented product developer of the Redema Ottoman Footrest, inspired by her need to elevate her legs with dignity while pregnant and teaching at CMMS. Resourcing her previous career and educational interests, Karen currently coordinates Blind/Low Vision and Deaf/Hard of Hearing online content accessibility reviews for students registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). She enjoys learning the latest to enhance online accessibility and likewise orient and equip instructors who use Webcourses@UCF. In March 2014, her proposal for the LTI UDOIT (Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool, pronounced, You do it) was awarded a Higher Education Canvas Grant for Applying Universal Design for Online Learning. The Accessibility Team along with Jacob Bates and the Techrangers at CDL developed and implemented UDOIT into Webcourses@UCF in May 2015. UDOIT continues to receive national accolades and award-winning recognition, including the 2015 Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Effective Practice Award, 2016 Campus Technology Innovators Award, and the 2017 WCET WOW Award. UDOIT Cloud is now available via Cidi Labs.

Extended Abstract

According to Ofcom, approximately 80% of those who regularly use captions are not designated as deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). The need for proper captions and transcripts is increasing for those who are in environments where they cannot hear well (airport terminals, busy restaurants), are not native English speakers, do not have ready access to headphones, or would rather read a transcript to save time. So, as the global use of video increases, what does this mean for captioning? The most common form of captioning on the popular YouTube platform is “English automatic.” However, it is likely not to be grammatically accurate enough for most, even native speakers of English, to understand and follow well after a few moments. One of the most frequent errors in automatic captioning is the misspelling of proper nouns or names. Ensuring the accuracy of names of specific people, places and branded things usually requires human review and editing. Yet, the idea of self-captioning can seem like a mysterious and unnerving experience. Giving it a try may reduce hesitation in the future, open personal Universal Design for Learning (UDL) horizons previously unknown, and build confidence to move forward on ensuring multimedia content is accessible to all. Non-native English speakers, or those who speak English as a Second Language (ESL), can improve the accuracy of their video content delivery regardless of accent or dialect through self-captioning.  Attendees will be guided to make a short “selfie” introduction video on their digital devices using their titles and names as well as possibly their educational institution, department and the online course they are teaching. The video would then be uploaded to the respective owner’s YouTube channel. After uploads are complete, using their laptops or tablets, attendees can try self-captioning in Amara and/or YouTube. Strategy options will be offered of correcting the “English automatic” captioning in YouTube, uploading a script as a Word document in YouTube, and manually updating the captions in Amara. As takeaways, attendees will have reference guides for self-captioning, at least a good start on making their short “selfie” introduction videos more appropriately captioned, and increased confidence that self-captioning is personally achievable.