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How to get captions

How do I get captions?

Captions aren't generated by default – lecturers have to activate them manually for each recording. If they've been enabled, you can show or hide them by clicking the closed caption icon – Closed Caption icon – on the right-hand bottom corner of the player.

If you'd benefit from captions and they haven't been enabled, contact the relevant member of teaching staff or Course Organiser in the first instance. You don't need to have a diagnosed condition to justify asking for auto-captions to be turned on, and you can find email templates for requesting changes on the Disabled Students' Campaign website.

The General Board's Education Committee (GBEC) considered the benefits and drawbacks of automatic captioning – particularly with regard to accuracy – and  agreed that it's not currently appropriate to enable automatic captions by default. The University will continue to monitor developments in automatic captioning and will review this decision in due course.

How should I use captions? 

When using captions, you need to remember that they're generated through artificial intelligence and may contain errors. Staff aren't expected or required to check or edit automatically generated captions or transcripts.  In some subjects – particularly with technical or foreign language subjects – staff prefer to provide slides or handouts that they can check and ensure are correct, rather than enable on captions. Therefore, we recommend that you use captions cautiously and always as a complement to the recorded session or lecture handouts – never in isolation.

Where captions are available, you'll be able to change several settings by clicking the three black dots on the right-hand bottom corner of the player, next to the playback quality icon:

 Playback icons

The caption settings provide the following options:

  • Position: You can position the closed captions below the video ('Dock below video') or have it superimposed on top of the video ('Overlay on the video').
  • Colour: There are two colour options for caption text and background, 'Light text on dark background' or 'Dark text of light background'.
  • Size: The caption text can be 'Regular' or 'Large' in size.

What if I need additional support?

If you find that captions can't be provided as routinely as you need, or the accuracy is so poor as to be unmanageable, contact the relevant teaching staff or course organiser as a first step. Staff are normally open and supportive, and may not realise that you are being affected.

If you're a disabled student and unable to get the support you need in this way, contact the Disability Resource Centre. They may be able to help you get a notetaker, assistive technology or other support. You can also contact the Student Advice Service for help with overturning decisions or making a complaint, and the Disabled Students' Campaign for peer support or lobbying for change.

Further information for teaching staff

 Captioning and transcripts

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