Online course material captioning: Resources and guidelines for instructors in CALS courses

On 2/17/21, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Karen Wassarman e-mailed CALS instructors about captioning recorded course material.

Closed captioning makes video and audio content more accessible to online learners. It is strongly recommended for all courses with recorded video or audio materials to have captions or transcripts for this material. Many students use captions for clarification, comprehension and retention of the material and it also helps them search for the key terms or concepts for review.

To assist you with captioning of recorded material, CALS has developed an in-house captioning service to help you provide captioning for your students. They can caption Kaltura and YouTube videos within 5 business day of request. See here for how to submit your requests: How to Request Captions from CALS

Another option is for you to create and edit your own captions using Kaltura’s machine captioning service and built-in caption editor. Please be sure to use the “machine caption” option and not the “professional caption” option as the latter is done by hand and if you desire that level of service please use our in-housing captioning service (see above). For instructions on how to use Kaltura’s machine captioning services here: How to Create and Edit Your Own Captions in Kaltura. Please note that machine captioning is only 75% accurate and will require you to do some editing for accuracy. Your material does not need to be generated in Kaltura to use Kaltura for machine captioning; see here for how to upload files into Kaltura.

If you have a student with McBurney captioning accommodations required you will have been notified by McBurney, and Nikki McIntosh (CALS instructional designer) will have reached out to you. For captioning needs of recorded material, you should be using the CALS in-house captioning services to fulfill these requirements, or you can choose to do it yourself. Please do not use the McBurney Disability Resource Center’s media captioning service or the “professional caption” option in Kaltura for recorded material as these options lead to higher additional cost to CALS than the in-house services.

If you have a McBurney accommodation request for live (synchronous) captioning or CART for one of your students, these are handled differently than the recorded captioning needs above, and you should work with McBurney for these services. Nikki McIntosh will have reached out to you to clarify questions on this type of need as well.

Please contact Nikki McIntosh at with questions regarding these captioning options and what is best for your specific course situation.