Making Videos Accessible to All Learners (From Remote to Hybrid)
Education is a high priority these days, whether you work in higher-ed or produce educational videos for Facebook. Both situations require a clear message and accessible delivery to reach more learners.
Do your viewers consider your videos accessible?
Consider these best practices for sharing learning lessons with a broader audience if you aren’t sure.
Top tips for making videos accessible
There are always new ways to make your existing videos better. Consider creating video content according to these established best practices.
Learn what’s required. Before you even begin creating content that’s beautiful or on-trend, consider what the ADA and other organizations ask of you. Your videos may fall under accessibility guidelines regulated by law.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are also a good start. They ask that sites (including videos) be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR). The WCAG isn’t law.
It does provide a framework for getting ahead of regulations. It also helps website creators make accessible learning content.
- Simplify design
Your lectures should focus on the presenter and the content shared. Avoid flashy backgrounds and animations that don’t add to the lesson. Precise and accurate titles for your videos and lessons can help students find content quickly.
- Create cross-platform compatibility
Students today use all types of devices. It would be best to assume that they all have a dedicated desktop or laptop. Mobile devices, including smartphones, are convenient ways to view content.
Many students are limited to using data plans for their internet. Smartphones may be their most readily-available device.
To give every student the best chance of viewing your video, make lessons compatible on all devices and browsers.
- Make more content asynchronous.
While live video content has its perks, many students have scheduling conflicts that make catching a live video difficult. Families may also share one computer or have spotty broadband during peak hours. To take some pressure off stressed students, give them a way to download video content.
Then, it can be used for offline viewing at their leisure.
- Support audio with text
There are numerous benefits to captioning your videos. For one, it increases the odds that visual learners will understand and retain what they hear on the video. It also adds another method of instruction for ESL learners.
This group may be acquiring new language knowledge while watching videos on math or history. There are also hard-of-hearing students to consider.
These learners need a text option for understanding audio content.
Yes, captions and subtitles can transform the virtual classroom, as we’ve discussed above. That brings us to the value of speech-to-text, a learning tool category that exists both on-screen and off.
Speech-to-text also acts as a secondary library of learning content.
This library can be repurposed for a variety of educational purposes.
The simple addition of subtitles can provide all-inclusive learning methods. These are useful for all students in your classroom – no matter what device they use.
What does enhanced learning with speech-to-text look like? Here’s an example being used today.
A classroom teacher presents a live video lecture to her students and records it as she talks. This video is later hosted on the learning management system. Absent students can access and download for asynchronous viewing.
Those in the live classroom also have access to the view for review and study purposes.
The video is uploaded to a service like Rev.com to turn it into a text document.
You’ll get two choices:
- AI (automated) transcription, which is available in under an hour and offers up to 80% accuracy
- Human transcription, which offers up to 99% transcription, results in less work for you during the editing process.
When you transcribe video to text, it can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Classroom handouts and notes
- Future test and quiz bank content
- Flashcards and study tools
- Learning ebooks and articles
- Collaboration guides for education peers
One of the best transcription productivity tips is to keep all your learning videos in one place online. Rev can pull the video from YouTube and GoogleDocs (among other sites.)
As long as the URL is public, you don’t need to store the file on your PC. This saves you time doing a lengthy upload from your device. It also saves you storage space.
At the same time, you can easily order caption files. The Rev website offers transcription, captions, and subtitles, all with the same process.
With all of the emerging technologies in education, you may be surprised at how speech-to-text leads. It acts as an assistive technology for the deaf. It also uses artificial intelligence in educational ways that weren’t common two decades ago.
The data increasingly shows that everyone can learn with captions. Additionally, “captioning a video improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video.” Consider the alternatives before you spend much money equipping your classroom with expensive gadgets.
Therefore, taking a few minutes to create captions may be the key to changing how well your video lectures are received. Services like Rev give educators text files and captions in hours (instead of days).
This way, you can work faster than ever before.
Engaging learners and providing more visual clues can often be the extra nudge needed for reluctant learners to understand and retain new information. Both new lectures and those existing videos in your library can benefit from the speech-to-text treatment.
You won’t have to spend too much time or money to create these accessible learning tools, making it a win-win for educators and the students they teach.