Video and audio can be an excellent way to bring presence into your course and is most effective if kept short and concise. Lengthy videos should be avoided for potential bandwidth demands on the student and to ensure engagement.
Within Ulster University our video platform is Panopto and training material can be found on the ODL wiki.
Panopto videos can be embedded into the Blackboard content areas and will play on all devices.
When including video by law you must provide an alternative for students. Panopto has auto-captioning functionality which you can then easily edit to correct any errors (this will be especially important for subjects with technical language and frequent use of abbreviations). These captions can then be downloaded for inclusion in Blackboard as a transcript.
Providing these alternatives are crucial to improve the experience for all students including hard of hearing, deaf, English not a first language, difficult and complex content, those in noisy study environments.
If it is a recorded talk using PowerPoint slides remember to add that file into the Blackboard area as well, for students to read and take notes on.
There are two types of captions:
- Closed captions: this method is done after the video is recorded and the viewer can decide whether these display on screen or not. This is more time consuming but results in accurate captions, which can include descriptive elements as well.
- Open captions: this method is sometimes referred to as ‘live captioning’ and the viewer is unable to watch the recording without them (in the live session the viewers, depending on the platform, may be able to zoom in on the content to push the captions off their screen). Whilst less time consuming, they can’t be edited afterwards and an additional transcript file won’t be available for download.