A university student watching a lecture on a laptop with live captions displaying on the bottom of the screen. The student is smiling.

5 Reasons Universities and Colleges Need Live Captioning

Live captioning is the perfect way to make university and college classes accessible, easier to understand, and more conducive to motivated study by your students. Live captions can be delivered to students attending an in-person lecture, or a live-streamed lecture.

Live captioning gives students immediate access to a text version of spoken words, allowing them to follow along with a lecture or tutorial as it happens. For university, nothing beats the power of real-time access.

If you’re not convinced, check out our five benefits of live captioning at university and college.

1. Boost Comprehension and Learning

Captions improve comprehension, boost information retention and allow students to fully participate in classes – invaluable benefits for anyone in a learning environment.

For students with English as an additional language, live captions can be particularly valuable. If students don’t have the same native language as their teacher, it can add a barrier to understanding.

Live captioning addresses critical moments of potential misunderstanding that drag down learning. Live captions can also be translated into several other languages in real time, if students prefer to read in another language.

2. Improve Accessibility

It is essential to provide access for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and live captioning makes a huge difference for these groups.

If there isn’t an accessible option for deaf and hard-of-hearing students to learn in classes, there is no reason for them to attend. This can severely limit the success of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, through no fault of their own.

Pre-lingually or culturally Deaf people often sign language as their first language and English as a second language later in life. For this reason, some may feel more comfortable using an interpreter. But many of these students still choose live captioning as it provides them with direct access to the written English, which they can use for their assignments and exams. 

Post-lingually deaf people – who became deaf later in life – are often more comfortable communicating in English. They may have little or no knowledge of sign language and generally prefer captioning.

3. Increase Confidence

Because live captioning allows students to soak up every word from the teacher, they can engage with the teacher and the class with confidence. Live captions provide reinforcement to students so they never miss a word, enabling them to fully absorb the lessons and feel engaged in the subject matter.

Live captioning supports deaf and hard-of-hearing students, in particular, to feel equal and empowered in lectures and tutorials. With live captioning, they aren’t trying to lip read, straining to follow and trying to learn at the same time. This an exhaustive mental load, and live captions relieve that burden and allow these students to participate fully in classes.

4. Provide Transcripts

The process of live captioning creates an accurate record of everything being said, in real time. By virtue of this process, the student has an accurate written record of the class content. It’s no wonder they are so popular with all students.

Transcripts can be used for studying for exams and assignments, creating new kinds of content to reference and share with other learners, and as a record of what happened in each class.

5. Benefit Everyone

Live captions benefit everyone. We can see this both from responses students have given about captioned learning content, and academic research from around the world.

For students with all kinds of disabilities and experiences, live captioning can offer great support. They make access easier for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, auditory processing disorders, dyslexia and intellectual disabilities. They also support students with English as an additional language, and those who are studying remotely.

For the highest accuracy, Ai-Media uses real people people – not computers – to convert speech into text in real time. We also offer the option of artificial intelligence (AI) live captioning.

Want to know more about live captioning at your college or university? Get in touch or visit our website to find out more about live captions for your classroom or live stream.


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