Why E-learning Videos Must Include Transcripts and Subtitles

Learning through videos has become a growing trend in the education industry. From online classes over corporate training to foreign language lessons, videos are ever-present.

In pursuit of the right ways of improving e-learning videos, the topic of transcripts and subtitles emerges. How useful are transcripts and subtitles? Do we even need them? The answers are: very useful and yes, we absolutely do.

Both students and teachers can benefit from including transcripts and subtitles alongside e-learning videos. If you want to know how and why just keep reading.

Ensure a Seamless Learning Experience

Expecting from students full concentration during the whole video lesson is equivalent to expecting a million dollars to fall from the sky. Not very likely, to say the least.

If a student misses important information while watching the video what would he have to do? Rewind the video and try to spot the minute when that information was shared. Or, in the case of a live video – nothing as the information is long gone.

Revising the video content will be much easier if there is a transcript that students can use as a reminder.

Not to mention that students can get interrupted or some kind of noise can overpower the audio, and again they can miss a valuable aspect of the lesson. Subtitles can help them stay in tune with the lesson even if something disrupts the sound.

On the other hand, the transcript will help them catch up with what they’ve missed and continue with the lesson without any trouble. Both subtitles and transcripts exist to provide a seamless learning experience.

Improve the Effectiveness of Lessons

Some students learn best when they read the material. No matter how much effort is invested in e-learning videos, the lack of text can lessen the students’ results.

If there is a student whose comprehension and retention are best when reading the text, transcription, and subtitles will cover that.

Amy Poremba, the author of a study from the University of Iowa said that “As teachers, we want to assume students will remember everything we say. But if you really want something to be memorable you need to include a visual or hands-on experience, in addition to auditory information.”

The more senses the students activate, the higher will their engagement be. That’s why providing them with text on the screen and reading material in the form of transcripts is relevant.

Encourage Learning for People with Hearing Disabilities

Creating videos that include subtitles and transcriptions will encourage people with hearing disabilities to reach their academic goals without any challenges. All people deserve equal opportunities for learning and transcripts and subtitles are a part of making that happen.

However, the written content isn’t just useful. They also ensure that your e-learning videos meet the standards of compliance that refer to accessibility for the disabled.

Under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all US Federal agencies have to provide disabled employees and members of the public comparable access to every piece of electronic information. The European Commission and the World Wide Web Consortium have set the same standards.

Therefore, if you want to avoid any legal issues, the information that the video content contains must be accessible to everyone.

Allow Students to Learn at Any Time

One of the advantages of e-learning videos is that they can be played at any time and in any place. All that students need to do is take out the cell phone and press play.

But what if they are in a quiet place, and they forgot their earphones? Or, the place is very noisy, and they can’t hear a word?

The environment shouldn’t be the reason why students can’t learn when they want to. And it won’t be if subtitles and transcripts are provided with the video.

Provide Students with Study Materials

Transcribed material can serve students as a study material. They can save the transcript or print it out and use it to prepare for the test.

Since revision through written content is less-time consuming, students will be more likely to use video transcripts as a study reference. Instead of watching a 10-minute or 30-minute video and take notes, they can simply pull out the transcript and get to learning.

Transcripts Can Assist Teachers for Test Development

Transcripts are also helpful to teachers. What they can do with transcripts is use them to generate questions for the test. The transcripts can save them a lot of time as they won’t have to watch the videos to refresh their memory.

It is much easier to copy the text from the transcript than to go over the whole video material yet again. With the transcripts and essay ideas that they can look at here for free, teachers can create great tests and exams in no time.

The time teachers save on generating questions can be invested much better. For example, they can use that time to come up with new creative lessons or answer students’ emails.

Improve Learning for ESL Students

Not all students are native English speakers. Therefore, providing written content can improve their understanding of the learning video.

It happens that while watching the video, ESL students can’t make out what the speaker said. The instructors can speak too fast, or they can say a word that students have never heard before. The best way to help ESL students in such situations is to provide them with written content.

The students can use the transcript to find the word they don’t understand. If the video features subtitles, they can learn even faster by reading the subtitles and connecting the unknown words to their meaning.

Wrapping Up

No one can deny the necessity of transcripts and subtitles. They make the e-learning videos much more useful and what’s more, available to all students.

The effort invested in transcribing and adding subtitles is the effort invested in better learning and teaching experience. It’s time to make the transcripts and subtitles regular aspects of e-learning videos.

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