Making your website more accessible is about creating a great user experience. While the internet has made it easy for people to find the information they need, the big question is: is the content accessible to everyone? A major portion of online content is in the form of multimedia content such as audio, video, podcasts, and webinars. Digital transcription, captions and subtitles make audio and video content accessible not only to people with disabilities but also to those who need it for study, to explore quotes, or just get basic information from it. Digital transcription agencies can provide high quality transcripts of different types of video content.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 54 million people are living with disabilities in the U.S. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, “Almost one in four adults ages 20 to 69 who reported good to excellent hearing already have some hearing loss.” Catering to this audience is not only important for ethical reasons but also to maximize business potential. In other words, if you exclude people with hearing impairments from your target audience, you would be omitting a significant portion of your market. By making your audiovisual content accessible to them, you can attract more people to your website and also make them feel included.
Benefits of Making Audiovisual Content Accessible with Transcription
Transcripts or text versions of video or audio content are usually provided along with the original media and support a wide range of user needs. While basic transcripts are a text version of the speech and non-speech audio information needed to understand the content, descriptive transcripts also include a text description of the visual information needed to understand the content.
Descriptive transcripts make video content accessible for people who:
- Have hearing or visual impairments
- Wish to read, scan or search the text version of the video’s content
- Have insufficient mobile data and cannot download the media files
Providing transcripts is the only way to make the video content accessible for those who have both hearing and visual impairments. With a transcript, the content can be translated by braille devices.
Other benefits of making your media content accessible with digital transcription:
- Increase accessibility to your audio-visual content
- Make the audio and visual information meaningful to people with hearing impairments
- Make this audience feel included
- Make content accessible to people with certain psychosocial disabilities and limited intellectual abilities
- Meet ADA requirements and avoid the risk of litigation
- transcripts can be repurposed into other types of content, such as blogs, articles, slide presentations, infographics, and social media posts
Boost Search Engine Optimization with Transcription
One major benefit of making your multimedia content accessible with captions and audio transcription is that it boosts search engine optimization. In fact, transcripts have emerged as an effective SEO tactic. With transcripts, Google bots can crawl all the content in your video and understand it. Without text to accompany it, Google cannot determine the context of your multimedia content. Adding transcripts and captions to your video will make the content visible on search and boost SEO by increasing views, engagement, and search ranking.
Paginated transcripts can improve accessibility to long-form video or video that extends over 5 minutes. Long-form videos like a webinar, TV show or recorded event provide more in-depth information and have to be placed prominently at the top of the page. The long transcript of the video can be broken up and placed on separate pages. The transcription of each page should optimize with the right keywords based on the topics discussed at that particular point in the video.
Paginated transcripts will give you the opportunity to
- Target additional keywords
- Increase the overall size of your website
- Get more indexed pages and rank higher
- Increase internal cross-linking
Overall, digital transcription improves SEO and accessibility to your site in many ways. The following statistics from Search Engine People provide evidence of the SEO benefits of digital transcripts:
- After transcribing all their audio content, the radio show This American Life (TAL) found that 6.68% of search traffic is due to transcripts. TAL noted that a portion of their unique visitors who had found their site through search landed on a transcript page. The transcript pages also accounted for a 4.36% increase in inbound traffic and a 3.89% increase in inbound links.
- Two other studies reported that pages that had transcripts earned on average 16% more revenue than those that did not have transcripts. It was also found that Youtube videos with captions earned 7.32% more views overall.
If you have the time, you can transcribe your media content yourself using a transcription tool. On the other hand, when quality and time are the prime considerations, professional transcription services are definitely the better option. An expert can provide you with accurate and in-depth transcriptions that can go a long way in making your website more accessible.
Have you ever thought about the difference between hearing and listening? We tend to think that hearing a person talk is enough to understand what they’re saying. But hearing is not the same as listening. When someone speaks you hear them, but if you were not listening, you will realize later that you didn’t comprehend what they said. This usually happens because we were distracted and thinking about other matters, or what we’re going to say next. Active listening, an important skill for audio transcription service providers, means focusing on the speaker and understanding what’s being said or the message the person is trying to convey.
Active Listening in the Workplace
Active listening promotes effective listening, and is defined by Wright State University of the People as “actively absorbing the information given to you by a speaker, showing that you are listening and interested, and providing feedback to the speaker so that he or she knows the message was received”.
Strong and effective communication skills are essential in the workplace. Active listening is an important soft skill that promotes good communication. It means concentrating and making the effort to understand what the other person is saying and also responding to show that you are doing so. This is different from passive listening which is one-way communication – listening without reacting or responding when someone is speaking.
Active listening requires:
- Focusing on what’s being said
- Understanding the speaker’s intent
- Not interrupting, but responding or asking appropriate or specific questions when relevant
- Showing concern or understanding by using brief affirmations like “I see”
- Being able to summarize the information
- Considering non-verbal communication such as voice inflexion, tone, body language and facial expressions
In the workplace, active listening helps in the following ways:
- Promotes better communication
- Makes the speaker feel valued and respected
- Builds rapport and good relationships with co-workers and managers
- Wins trust
- More effective team collaborations
- Helps retain information, which is especially important in work meetings and conferences
- Improved individual and team decision-making
- Better productivity
- Boosts creativity and innovation
Active listening allows you to process all information you are presented with and make mindful decisions that you can uphold.
Tips to Improve Active Listening Skills
Here are some tactics to improve active listening at work:
- Focus and give your full attention to what’s being said. Turn off your own thoughts.
- For full clarity and visibility, ensure engagement with follow-up questions when relevant.
- Avoid multitasking (texting, checking emails, reading, etc) when someone is speaking.
- Take time to recall the conversation, especially the main points.
- Offer answers in the form of verbal and non-verbal cues (smiling, head nods, and comfortable eye contact).
- Paraphrase: Rephrase what was said using your own words – this will show that you were listening.
- Be mindful of your posture by leaning forward slightly and showing great interest in the talk.
- Be non-judgmental. Keep your mind open to what the person is saying and provide feedback only after the person has finished speaking.
- Don’t interrupt – wait for the speaker to finish talking before commenting or asking questions.
- When listening for a long period, focus on and remember keywords and phrases.
- Empathize – put yourself in the other person’s place.
Active Listening: A Key Skill for Audio Transcription
Active listening is a basic skill for transcriptionists. Effective listening is necessary to understand the recorded audio and video and transcribe it accurately. Transcriptionists need excellent listening skills to handle audio recordings with multiple speakers talking over each other, difficult accents, technical jargon, and background noises. Close attention to detail and listening to the recordings multiple times if often needed to understand the gist of the recording.
For example, take legal transcription which covers a wide range of subjects. Legal transcriptionists should have excellent listening skills as lawyers often used the documents they produce to prepare for trials and may also use them in court. In addition to being familiar with legal terminology, procedures and systems, outstanding active listening skills are needed to accurately transcribe digitally recorded courtroom proceedings, interviews, interrogations, depositions, meetings, etc. and avoid ambiguities and inaccuracies. In fact, legal transcription errors can have negatively impacted a case and prove really costly. That’s why law firms now prefer to outsource their transcription tasks. Reliable digital transcription agencies have the manpower, technology and other resources essential to provide accurate documentation of legal proceedings.
Listening is vitally important both in the workplace and home in today’s world where we juggle virtual personal and working environments with in-person interactions. “Empathy allows you to understand your colleague’s perspective and needs which is critical for successful collaborations,” says Dr Susan Birne-Stone, a therapist and coach (www.forbes.com). Active listening demonstrates greater empathy, which is a much required soft skill in the workplace.
Podcasts represent an entertaining and engaging way to connect with a global audience. Education is one of the industries where podcasts are making a mark. With the COVID-19 pandemic, classrooms moved to homes, putting an end to in-person interactions. In these challenging times, high-quality educational podcasts supported by podcast transcription services are improving accessibility for students as well as teaching methods.
Podcasts offer many benefits for both students and teachers. Let’s take a look at what makes podcasts a suitable format for education.
- Convenience: It’s easier to listen to a podcast than watch a video lecture or read a lesson. Text and video need your full attention, but with podcasts, you just have to listen and absorb the content. Podcasts are a relatively easy way of keeping students engaged and helping them learn.
- Education anywhere, anytime: Students can listen to podcast lectures during other activities — cooking or commuting or helping out with household chores. They can download the podcasts onto their phone or laptop and listen to them anywhere. This is an ideal option for those with busy schedules.
- Makes revision easy: When podcast lessons are presented in an easily digestible format, it becomes easy for students to review them multiple times throughout the course. This is especially useful when they are preparing for an exam. They can study and review topics that they found difficult to understand at their own pace.
- Enables catching up on missed lessons: Missing classes could make students feel stressed and demoralized. Podcasts would be a big help in this situation. Students can catch up by downloading recordings of the lectures. They can listen to a podcast on their way to school to catch up. Likewise, a teacher who could not come to class for a few days can make a podcast of his/her lectures available to their students, which will cut backlogs.
- Improves accessibility: Podcasts play a vital role in making education accessible. With podcast transcription, lecturers can make the content accessible to people with hearing impairments and those who could not follow or understand the audio. Educational podcasts could also support students who don’t like reading or find it a challenge due to mental impairments like dyslexia. Podcasts are also a big aid for students with visual impairments who find conventional learning methods difficult.
- Supports learning of English: Many students listen to podcasts to learn or improve their English. Listening combined with transcripts and subtitles will take this learning to a new level. A study at the University of Nottingham on the processing of native and foreign language through subtitles concluded that “Many vocabulary-learning studies seem to confirm that having both written and oral form of a word facilitates learning” (The Atlantic). Having a transcript and subtitles in front of you when you’re listening to a lecture in English will help you connect the sentences and words, and understand what’s being said more easily. Transcripts can improve all aspects of English learning, especially vocabulary, grammar, spelling, pronunciation, reading and reading speed.
- Podcasting assignments encourage creativity: Students can be encouraged to create their own podcasts as part of their project assignment. Besides promoting engagement with the topic, this can strengthen skills in research, writing, and collaboration through class discussions and peer learning. Examples of topics for student podcasts include documenting a field trip, book reviews, interviews, review of course content, and so on.
- Helps hone listening skills: Studies show that creating podcasts that require active engagement can help hone students listening skills and comprehension abilities. According to one study, students benefit from feedback assignments, student-generated content, and additional learning materials when combined with podcasts (com).
- Promotes a consistent educational experience: Podcast lectures can help teachers ensure the curriculum is covered uniformly. When the same person teaches multiple sessions of the same class, recorded lectures ensure that every student gets the same information and has the same experience.
- Allows sharing teaching experiences: Teachers can share teaching podcasts with the teaching community. Podcasts can include a description of their best teaching lessons, their experiences and techniques used, lesson plan copies, thoughts on teaching, learning, and/or assessment, and examples of their students’ work. Edutopia lists The Bedley Brothers, Every Classroom Matters, and Classroom Q&A as examples of top teacher-produced podcasts.
Digital transcription agencies play a key role in supporting podcasting in education. A readingrockets.org article points out that reading along can keep easily distracted students extremely focused. Students say that text along with audio improves their focus and losing attention. The text-audio combination also allows rereading of difficult topics. With podcast transcripts, students can easily go back and reread a topic that they didn’t understand when they first heard it. As explained above, podcast transcription also supports learning English and correct pronunciation. With the podcast-transcript combination, students can both hear and see the words which will significantly improve their understanding of the content.
Workplace communication is now more important than ever. Whether remote, hybrid or in-office, teams need to communicate effectively to stay on the same page and translate efforts into real results. Communication can happen synchronously or asynchronously. For in-office teams, synchronous or real-time communication occurs via face-to-face meetings and chats, and phone calls to colleagues in another part of the office. Popular modes of remote synchronous communication include standard tools like email, chat, intranets, and work collaboration tools like video conferencing supported by meeting transcription.
While real-time communication is important, asynchronous or async communication – where both parties don’t have to be present – comes with many advantages, like mitigating stress and improved productivity. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of asynchronous communication for teamwork and how it can be improved.
Improve Async Communication with the Right Tools
Async communication using the right tools can effectively support key tasks like brainstorming and project planning, management and tracking.
- Asynchronous videos are a great way to provide information shared in real-time to team members, according to Clockwise, a San Francisco based software company. A video with the slides and audio presentation of the updates at a real-time meeting can be recorded, transcribed, and shared among all stakeholders. Feedback can be collected and questions answered using a tool like Slack, saving time on scheduling meetings and allowing the team implementing the changes to focus on this.
- Traditional e-mail is making a comeback with advantages like carefully written detailed notes on a particular topic, the ability to support attachments, direct links to calendars and meetings, and the inclusion of only participants in that discussion.
- Async tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms and TypeForm ease brainstorming across the team for projects.
- Content collaboration platforms like Dropbox or Google Docs can be used to share everything from meeting agendas to project outlines. You can also add images, video, and coding to team projects.
- Chat tools allow team members to engage with one another, easily share ideas and collaborate on projects, promoting effective async communication. Providing context in chat notifications and limiting use to office hours can improve the use of chat tools.
- Tools like Slack and its extension Geekbot allow for daily and weekly project tracking by collecting information using mini-surveys, channel postings or instant messaging.
- Lead generation software like Mailchimp or Emma automate the segmentation, capture and management, and dissemination of These automated platforms help distribute and analyze the data shared exclusively in meetings.
- Company newsletters can ensure regular communication with teams and also build a personal connection with employees.
Benefits of Asynchronous Communication
Convenience: Async communication allows team members to work on work schedules convenient to them to get tasks done. You can communicate with anyone regardless of geographical location – without having a face-to-face meeting.
- Flexibility: Unlike in a scheduled real-time meeting, People don’t have to respond immediately — unless it’s very urgent. This flexibility is a big advantage when you’re busy with other important work.
- Improves productivity: Continuous real-time video conferencing can be a major distraction. With async communication, employees can focus on their primary tasks and perform better, which can greatly improve overall productivity.
- Promotes authentic feedback: In a real-time video conference, people may feel inhibited and hesitate to provide feedback. On the other hand, async communication encourages honest, considered feedback as people are more likely to think deeply and express themselves better.
- Async communication is a better option for self-paced training, coaching and mentoring.
Role of Digital Transcription
When you are working on many projects, it’s crucial to have a record of meetings and conferences that you can revisit at any time. Digital transcription can support both types of workplace communication – synchronous and asynchronous.
Take a live video conference. It’s important to record and transcribe it to preserve the main points of the discussion. Digital transcription ensures that the text of video/audio messages are forever there to go back and refer to. Even if you use dictation technology with a transcription tool that automatically takes down what’s said, review by a human transcriptionist is crucial to ensure accurate documentation.
We have already seen that documentation is a prerequisite for asynchronous communication as you have to deliver messages to people who are not available face-to-face. Transcripts of live meetings can be shared across the team using collaboration tools. Digital transcription also supports asynchronous learning. In sales coaching that happens in real-time, trainees can be provided with transcripts that include the key points of the session. Captions and transcripts will help improve accessibility and inclusivity and make the material accessible to self-starters and people with hearing impairments.
The bottom line: both synchronous and asynchronous communication are essential and balancing their use is the key to successful collaboration. Recording meetings and getting them documented with the help of a meeting transcription service provider allows conversations to be shared and analyzed for decision-making. Recording conversations and transcribing them can help businesses make the most of synchronous and asynchronous communication.
Video publishers create and publish a number of videos that may become popular on the web. Video publishing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Watch and many others are very popular and publishers can acquire a number of subscribers and thereby considerable revenue through their videos. To increase the popularity of your videos, you need to transcribe them so that text can be included along with the audio. This can be done with speech recognition technology, human transcriptionists or by combining both of these. A professional video transcription service can provide customized transcription at cost-effective rates.
Let us look at the advantages of transcribing video content.
- Accessibility to Hearing Impaired People: People who have difficulty in hearing cannot enjoy any audio or video content. But with a transcript, deaf people can also enjoy the media content. Transcribing the video with closed captions helps to provide excellent viewing experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Moreover, federal law requires that videos be transcribed and captioned for all federal agencies. Video accessibility is mandated for broadcast media and for “places of public accommodation” like museums, libraries, and universities.
- Improves Viewing in Sound-sensitive Environments: According to PEW Research study, 31 percent of adults in the USA are constantly online. People who listen to your audio or video content while they are on the go like when travelling in a train, when in a noisy cafeteria etc. cannot enjoy the content due to noisy surroundings. Not every environment is conducive to playing audio. But having a transcript helps them to consume the content and prevent them from bouncing off your site.
- Better SEO and Increase in Video Views: An SEO study by SafeNet compared the search rank for web pages with video transcripts. In less than a month, the pages with video transcripts climbed the ranks in Yahoo and Bing for a targeted keyword phrase, moving from no listing, up to 14th, then to 9th and 11th place, respectively. Search engines cannot crawl or decipher audio or video content, but with a transcript the content becomes more visible to the bots, and it will be indexed and ranked. Including relevant keywords will also help with your SEO keyword strategy. This makes it easier for your target audience to find the content.
- Interactive Transcripts Increase Engagement: You can also make your video transcript interactive by highlighting words as they are spoken in time with the video. This helps the viewers engage more with the video and reinforces the content since it can be read and heard at the same time. It also allows the user to click on the text to jump to that point of the video. This provides a better and smoother UX instead of having to mark timecodes when navigating a video.
- Increased Video Search and User Experience: When a viewer gets access to your video transcript, there is a great potential for better user experience. Adding a transcript gives viewers an alternative option for better understanding the video’s content. It also makes it easier to search for video with keywords or topics.
- Useful for Non-native English Speakers: Video transcripts help ESOL viewers to fully comprehend your content. The transcript serves as a reference for vocabulary and spelling, and it can be used as study guide. There are approximately 4.9 million ESOL students in American public schools. So, to make your content more accessible for millions of people, transcribing your video/ audio content is essential.
Partnering with a reliable media transcription service will assist in generating high quality and accurate transcripts of your videos. They offer customized service according to the needs of the clients and ensure quick turnaround time.
Media, especially video, impacts our lives in many ways and its significance is increasing. Hardly a day passes when we don’t watch a video or two on our smartphones or computers. Supported by digital transcription agencies, most businesses use video for marketing their website. Video has been a powerful e-learning tool for several years now, and in 2020-2021, the adoption of this medium saw a surge with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Video is a great aid for both teachers and students at any level. The Impact of Broadcast and Streaming Video on Education, Cisco, found that
- 68% of educators believe that video content stimulates discussions
- 66% believe video increases student motivation
- 55% believe it helps teachers be more creative
- 62% believe video helps teachers be more effective
- 61% believe video is preferred by students
Benefits Of Video For Teaching And Learning
- Video combines many kinds of content (images, motion, sounds, and text), and students can relate to it much better than print material alone.
- Interactive video promotes learner motivation and engagement – verbally, by thinking or taking notes, or by applying concepts.
- Video increases knowledge retention. Students tend to remember concepts delivered through this visual medium better than with other instructional media.
- Students can watch instructional videos any time and from anywhere, revisit the content as many times as needed, and learn at their own pace.
- Video can be used to teach many subjects and deliver everything from math tutorials and science experiments to animated grammar lessons and feature-length documentaries.
- It can be used to tell stories, a tool that can grab students’ attention better than any other method.
- Video increases communication abilities and digital literacy, which are important skills for students.
Using video presentations in teaching make classes more effective. Teachers can use it to explain complex topics better as well as to teach concepts that are practical and best-explained step-by-step. Teachers who make their own videos can tailor them to the needs of their students. They can address barriers to learning by using transcripts to make their lessons comply with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) standards and meet the needs of individual learners, especially those who are deaf. In fact, audio transcription service providers play a key role in the e-learning set-up.
Report: Game-Based Learning Helping Students Develop Missed Skills
Research has long supported learning through games and learning with video can be fun. Game-based content can provide benefits similar to hands-on activities for younger students. The Daily Advertiser recently reported that St. Landry Parish teachers are using video game-based learning to help students develop missed skills. In an elective remediation class this year, students got to be ninjas or superheroes while honing their math and science skills to win the game. Port Barre Middle School teacher Sandra Castille said she was able to make instructional decisions based on data from the game, and this helped her understand how students were performing on certain skills. By tracking student progress in real time, Castille could customize the gaming experience and in-person lessons.
The Daily Advertiser report also showcases another teacher’s positive teaching experience using video. “With COVID I felt it was extremely important that middle school students have a fun way to remediate lost learning and improve deficient skills,” said Therese Ellender, supervisor of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) for the district. Ellender noted that students continue to “play” in the program after the school year ended.
Creating Accessible Educational Videos With Captions And Transcripts
While including closed captions and transcripts with educational videos will make the content accessible to those with hearing impairments, it also benefits all students. A survey conducted by Verizon Media and marketing and advertising agency Publicis Media showed that 80% of people use captions don’t have hearing problems and found captions improved engagement, focus, and comprehension.
“The specific areas that captioning can improve include: word recognition, word comprehension, vocabulary, identifying the main idea of a story, phoneme recognition, listening comprehension, and oral reading skills. Captioning also helps students understand and retain more of the concepts presented in the video, remember more of the dialogue of a film, take better notes, and participate more in class discussions of video content, making it a great tool for teachers of any subject at any level.” (Captions for Literacy, 2013)
Other studies have reported that closed captions and interactive transcripts helped students maintain focus and retain information better. Students can understand the lecture better when the text is visible along with the audio. Transcriptions can be downloaded from the classroom for offline review if necessary and searched for particular words or phrases. Reliable audio transcription service providers can ensure captions and transcripts that comply with federal accessibility laws.