What is captioning?
Captions allow people who do not have access to sound to engage with video and audio content. Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can participate in classwork involving videos when the videos are captioned. Captioning is part of the Accessible Technology Initiative because videos have become an integral way to share information with students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Captioning also supports the concept of universal design. Captions improve comprehension for viewers with various learning styles, especially those who learn better if they see the words as they are spoken. It can also be helpful for topics that are complex or contain technical terms. Captioning helps to reduce language barriers by making it easier to understand speakers with accents or content not in the viewer’s native language. If the viewer is in a noisy environment or unable to play sound, or if the sound quality of the video is poor, captions give the viewer access to the content.
Captions can improve engagement across viewers. One study found captioned videos were viewed 38% longer. Another ongoing study at SFSU has found that captioned videos improve both grades and student participation across all students.
Many commercial videos are already captioned. For content that faculty, staff and students produce themselves, including lecture capture, CSUN offers a range of options for captioning.