Study Aids

Report: Video Captions Benefit Virtually All Students

The majority of students use video captions and video transcripts to help themselves improve focus, retain information, engage with material and improve comprehension, according to a new study from Oregon State University. However, many institutions do not offer captions or video transcripts despite a legal obligation to do so.

The Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit conducted the national study in collaboration with 3Play Media. The researchers surveyed 2,124 students across 15 public and private universities throughout the United States. Of all respondents, 19 percent reported hearing difficulties, and 37 reported vision difficulties. However, only 13 percent had registered with an office of disability services, and less than 12 percent reported they require academic accommodations.

“Many people associate the use of closed captions and transcripts only with disability accommodation, and that can mean they are not made widely available,” said Katie Linder, director of the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit and author of the study, in a prepared statement. “One hope for this study was to help educate university administrators about how a range of students are using these tools, and that making them more available could help more learners.”

The study revealed that students find closed captions and video transcripts helpful, whether the student is deaf or hard of hearing or not. More than half of students said captions improve their comprehension, and other commonly reported benefits of captions include helping students focus, retain information and overcome poor audio quality. Students also reported that using video transcripts as a study aid helped them find and retain information.

Key findings from the study:

  • Almost 100 percent of survey respondents had at least one course — either face-to-face or online — that included some video content;
  • 75 percent of students use captions as a learning aid in face-to-face and online classrooms;
  • 98.6 percent of students who use captions say they are helpful;
  • 71 percent of students without hearing difficulties use captions at least some of the time;
  • Students reference video transcripts as a learning aid 85 percent of the time;
  • 66 percent of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students find captions extremely or very helpful;
  • 61 percent of students with learning disabilities find captions helpful;
  • More than one quarter of students were unsure about the availability of closed captions for video content in their course; and
  • Almost one-in-five students were unsure about the availability of video transcripts for their course.

Further details about the study and a link to the full report can be found on 3Play Media's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

comments powered by Disqus

Campus Technology News

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.