Often captions are associated with accessibility for people with disabilities. However, many of you already did appreciate captions in information comprehension and enhanced learning. In 2015, the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit conducted a national survey with research partners about how students use and perceive closed captions in their learning experience. The researchers investigated students with and without disabilities.
The results were very positive regarding the closed captions.
For example, 54% of the respondents sometimes use closed captions when available in their course videos. 35% of them used it always or often! Mind that 2015 was a pre-COVID era, and currently, so much more studying and course material are provided in videos. Now, we confidently guess, the share of active close caption use should be much higher.
Indeed, during the COVID times, when lots of time is spent at home or in few selected environments, routine and repetition may negatively affect one’s focus. Six years ago, already 59% of the respondents stated that closed captions in course videos are either extremely or very helpful; another 29% found it moderately beneficial. In essence, four out of five students back then realized the benefits of closed captioning, and we reckon that within distance studying, the utility of closed captions is much more relevant.
The respondents of this research confirm the utility of the closed captions. Two-thirds of the respondents stated that closed captions help them focus, retain information, and overcome poor audio quality (incl. Incomprehensible accents, etc.). Additionally, closed captioning enabled them to access the information in noisy or silent environments such as public spaces or libraries. Public spaces are becoming relevant again in 2021.
Bottom line, closed captions help with comprehension, accuracy, engagement, and retention. We, at Go Transcript, help with high-quality closed captioning services. Next time you want to enhance your teaching material, reach out, and we will help you improve studying by your students.