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Beyond Accessibility: How Captions Can Enhance Video Engagement in Learning Environments

March 06, 2023

Mediasite Captions are now available in the U.S. and Europe. Machine-generated captions are available in U.S. English for U.S. customers and UK English for European customers (GDPR compliant), with additional languages and geographies coming soon.

Mediasite captioning is powered by Vidable™, which leverages AI-powered technology that enables it to offer superior performance in addition to the multitude of benefits associated with adding high-quality machine-generated captions to your video content.

For those of you who may be wondering what we mean by “the multitude of benefits”, we totally get it.

In the past, captions were mostly discussed as an accessibility solution for the deaf and hard of hearing. But in the video-first world, it has become increasingly important to think broadly and creatively about the value of captions and their underlying technology. This is especially true in learning environments, where captions can play a supportive role for students in a variety of ways.

Let’s take a look at some of benefits that come with adopting a high-quality captioning solution like Vidable.


Top Benefits of Adopting a Captioning Solution


1. Streamline Your Compliance Strategy


Captions are clearly a cornerstone of video accessibility, which is fast becoming a mainstream standard across the globe.

Captions are already mandated for many types of video content by accessibility laws in the U.S. (Section 508) and E.U. (EAA), and by the WC3 WCAG 2.1 guidelines. Institutions that do not comply are subject to fines and other penalties, not to mention bad publicity. To avoid those risks, it’s important to integrate a high-quality captioning solution into your video infrastructure.

However, compliance with legal accessibility requirements is not the only benefit to captioning videos. Let’s look at some of the other reasons captions benefit viewers.


2. Support Non-Native Speakers

students using laptop

Today, most learning environments are home to many non-native speakers (both students and educators).

A growing body of research indicates that captioned video content can play an important support role for second language learners, and can reinforce comprehension for non-native speakers whose reading skills are more developed than their speaking/listening skills.


Many students who are neither deaf nor hard of hearing absorb spoken content more effectively when captions are available.

3. Enable Personalized Viewing Experiences for Students with Different Learning Styles

In the video space, the line between personalization and accessibility is breaking down – and captions are a big part of the reason why. This is especially true when it comes to education and learning environments.

For instance, many students who are neither deaf nor hard of hearing absorb spoken content more effectively when captions are available and they can read along. Other students like to study while listening to music.

Captions allow these students to examine video in addition to written content without interrupting their playlist.


4. Support Viewers in Quiet or Noisy Environments

Adding captions to your organization’s video content can help to support remote learners and/or students who need to view content in loud environments like coffee shops or airport terminals.

On the flip side, captions can be a life saver for a student who forgot their headphones at home but needs to view video content while studying in the quiet area of a campus library.


5. Enhance the Searchability of Your Video Content

High-quality speech-to-text data is the first step toward making your video content searchable both for you and for your audience.

Searchability metrics, like keyword density, will allow both students and educators to locate sections within longform video that are most relevant to their interests or course of study.

And when your viewership metrics capture the use of searchability functions, it can provide your institution with insights into the type of content that is resonating most with students.


85 percent of video on Facebook is watched without sound.

6. Optimize Your Video for Social Platforms

Hundreds of millions of people watch videos on social media every day, but a large percentage of those views will not include the audio content.

For instance, Facebook’s player mutes video content by default, which means that OVER 80% (!!!) of viewers will not hear the audio.

So, if your video engagement strategy involves any sort of distribution or promotion via social media channels, captions are an absolute must-have.


These are just a few examples of the value that can be gained from adopting a high-quality captioning solution like Vidable. Reach out to your sales representative today to find out how to activate Vidable in Mediasite.


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