Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Closed Captioning in LabSim Offers Broad Appeal

Colleges and universities are making closed captioning a greater priority than ever before as the need for it—and the usage of it—grows. New methods of course delivery, such as distance courses in which professors capture their lecture on video, are presenting new situations where closed captioning is needed. Additionally, more students than just the hearing-impaired are using closed captioning functionality to improve how they learn.

“While the impetus for closed captioning stems from a desire to accommodate students with hearing issues, schools are also discovering that closed captioning has broader appeal, particularly among students for whom English is a second language. And for the rest of the students on campus, there's one other big benefit: It allows them to search captured content quickly, by enabling keyword searches,” wrote Bridget McCrea of Campus Technology.

McCrea highlighted several universities, including George Mason, Oklahoma State, Western Kentucky, Penn State, and Gallaudet, that are utilizing technologies such as DocSoft, Echo360, and 3Play Media, as well as the help of student transcriptionists, to incorporate captioning on a broader scale. However, some curriculum materials—like TestOut’s LabSim—don’t require the extra time and resources of the university to add closed captioning. LabSim videos are already closed captioned.

For the last several years, TestOut has incorporated closed captioning in the instructional videos in its LabSim courses, and students tell us frequently of the benefit they find in it. There are hearing-impaired students that train with LabSim and are able to get just as much out of it as the next student. Other LabSim users turn on closed captioning while they listen to the audio to help reinforce learning. Some LabSim users with attention deficit disorder have said the closed captioning helps them keep focus. Many are grateful for it when they’re studying LabSim in a library and need to mute the sound on their computer.

In what situations do your students use the closed captioning in LabSim?

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