Do it yourself captioning video or transcribing audio (free)
How to create captions for video and audio media or transcribe audio by yourself using campus recommended tools.
If a student has requested accommodations, the instructor will be contacted via the McBurney Disability Resource Center to assist.
There are differences between captions, transcriptions, and audio descriptions.
You might need to set up an account with the (vendor, group, tool) you use, and there may be costs associated, but not always.
In this document:
- Getting started
- Captioning for a student requesting accommodations
- Pre-recorded (asynchronous)
- Live web conferencing (synchronous)
Record a video
Upload the video to the captioning service or tool
Use the auto-captioning function or add a transcript you already have
Review and edit the results for accuracy
Share the appropriately captioned video
Want to pay someone to do this work? Review the guidance on ordering captions, transcripts or audio descriptions for a fee.
Captioning and transcription formatCaptions and transcripts should include the following:
- Who is speaking in brackets at the start of a new speaker
- Ambient sound in brackets if applicable to media content
- Vocal or emotional tone in brackets if applicable to media content
- For vidoe, any on-screen text that is not read aloud in brackets
If an instructor has a student in their course who is affiliated with the McBurney Disability Resource Center, McBurney will send instructors a faculty notification letter. McBurney will contact the instructor to discuss the accommodation process for McBurney providing sign language, live captioning (CART) services, or captioning pre-recorded media to the student. See McBurney Disability Resource Office departmental services for more information.
The following tools can be used to add captions to videos using automatically generated machine captions which the instructor must then edit and review for accuracy and format.
Install Kaltura Capture to record your video.
Log in to Kaltura MediaSpace with your NetID and upload the video to Kaltura MediaSpace.
Use the machine captioning function in Kaltura MediaSpace (“ordering machine captions”) to generate auto-captions. The results are approximately 75% accurate and are best recorded with a dedicated headset/microphone, and when there is a single speaker with no overlapping speech.
Review and edit the machine captioning results for accuracy and correct punctuation. In brackets state who is speaking at the start of a new speaker and indicate relevant ambient sound or emotional tone if applicable. Editing on average takes 3.5 times the duration of the video.
A widely used and familiar video sharing site, YouTube typically integrates well with wherever you are sharing your video content. With your UW-Madison NetID, you already have an associated YouTube account and there is an automatic captioning feature.
Edit and review your captions for accuracy and correct punctuation. In brackets state who is speaking at the start of a new speaker and indicate relevant ambient sound or emotional tone if applicable. Editing on average takes 3.5 times the duration of the video.
Publish your video
Use the shareable link to add your Youtube video into Canvas or your preferred location to share content.
Quick tip: a person involved in your live web conference has to caption for you. There is no automated option for captioning your video.
When conducting web conferences for course instruction or webinars, use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or WebEx. For both services, select a web conference participant to be a “Live Captioner”. This person inputs captions while the session is in progress. See the following captioning guides for different services:
- Setting up live captioning using a participant captioner (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra)
- Viewing captioning windows during a web conference (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra)
- Navigating accessibility in a web conferencing session (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra)
- Get answers to your Blackboard Collaborate Ultra questions