YouTube and Captioning

Posted on May 27, 2013


Youtube logoMore and more educators are using Youtube to post videos. These videos may take different forms and have different purposes. They can used in the school or accessed outside of school by the student. The problem is that the videos are seldom captioned. A teacher may respond, “Do I really need to have my videos captioned? I don’t have students who are hearing impaired.”

Bringing some Universal Design for Learning into the discussion, a teacher might not know if they have a student who is hearing impaired. Also, some students may prefer captions. They may not have computer speakers or may access the video in an environment where there is noise. English language learners may also use captioning. If you want to make a truly reusable learning object (RLO), your object needs to be accessible to all learners.

1. First, upload your video and YouTube will create Automatic Captions. (It will take a few minutes for Youtube to do this). The captions won’t be 100% accurate (and may provide a few laughs) but they will be something that can edited offline. Instead of captioning from stratch, it will be easier to edit YouTube’s Automated Captions.

2. Use the Video Manager button and choose to Edit the video in YouTube.

3. Choose Captions from the top menu.

4. Click on the Automatic Captions 

Download Caption Graphic Now you could directly edit your captions, but I find some people like edit in a document instead of the Youtube caption window. To do so:

5. Choose Action.

 Under download you will have choices of formats. You can use anyone as long as you keep the format when upload your corrected transcript. Basically, when you edit your transcript, only change the transcript text and ignore the other coding.

6. Once you download, open the file in Word or any text editor.

7. Listen to your recording and correct the transcript

8. Save as a TXT file. 


Uploading the Corrected Transcript

Now it’s time to upload your corrected transcript and disable the Automatic Captions. You want to disable the Automatic Captions so that only one caption choice appears.

1. In your YouTube account, go to Video Manager and Edit your video.

2. Click on Captions in the upper menu

3. Click on Add captions

Add Captions Graphic

If you want a copy of your text without time codes, you will need to go through your document and remove all the codes.
4. Choose “Upload timed caption file” and choose the corrected transcript file.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 9.26.25 AM

5. Return to Captions and choose Automatic Captions.

6. Under actions choose Disable.
Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 10.28.52 AM

When making video learning objects, don’t think of captioning as an extra step. It’s expected that your media is accessible to all learners. YouTube has made it easier to create captions. Once you do the steps once, it’s a breeze to repeat.