Video standards for online teaching and learning
This guidance applies to all new teaching materials prepared for the academic year 2020-21 and beyond.
Lecturers should provide an accessible alternative way of presenting the information in a video. The requirements and arrangements differ depending on educational context and digital platform:
Pre-recorded videos for online teaching and learning
Requirement summary: A text alternative must be provided in the form of closed captions. The alternative text may be autogenerated, but it should ideally be checked for accuracy by a human expert.
- Generally video content is uploaded into Panopto for access by students. For other workflows, departments are responsible for ensuring that suitable captions are provided.
- Panopto is now set up to generate captions automatically using ASR (automatic speech recognition) for all module folders for AY2020-21 and beyond. Some editing will likely be required to ensure the captions are of sufficiently high quality to be useful for student learning. The higher the technical content the more editing will be required. Video content should be uploaded in sufficient time before release to students to allow review and editing of the captions on a ‘best endeavours’ basis by the lecturer or their delegate.
- In cases where extensive editing is required, as evidenced via sample editing (likely because of the highly technical nature of the verbal content), then a request should be made to your Departmental Captioning Coordinator to see if support for caption editing can be provided from a fund that has been made available to each Department for this purpose (Autumn term 2020 only). This support might be the time of a GTA or a UTA to manually edit the ASR captions or for Verbit Captioning to be applied in place of the ASR. NB. The fund will not be sufficient to provide assistance for all video material even for Autumn term 2020 – Departmental triaging/prioritization protocols will apply.
- The Panopto-generated captions (or Verbit ones, if used) are automatically displayed in the Panopto interface – as closed captions on the video and in the captions window. This also allows text searching on the caption content.
Live video stream or recording of a live teaching session
Requirement summary: Although not a legal requirement, when systems allow, a text alternative (e.g. closed captions) should be provided for a video stream of a live teaching session. For example, this is available by default in Microsoft Teams meetings.
Following a live stream, once the video is uploaded to a website or intranet it is considered a pre-recorded video (i.e. it is no longer live) and must have an alternative format provided (see above guidance.)
If the live stream video is made available for review after the event, captions should be reviewed if practical.
- Closed captions are available by default for video streams of live teaching sessions in Microsoft Teams. No action is required from the lecturer.
- Where there is no facility for providing closed captions for a live stream, e.g. in Zoom sessions, no action is required.
- If the recording of the live session is made available after the event for students to consult (e.g. where the live event was a problem class or seminar), this can be provided ‘as is’, with the real-time generated captions in place or with no captions, depending on the system.
- If the live session involved primary delivery of subject content, e.g. it was a lecture delivered live, the recording should be downloaded from the original location and uploaded into the appropriate module folder in Panopto where captions will be generated automatically. In this case, review and editing on a ‘best endeavours’ basis is required, as outlined in Scenario 1.
‘Disclaimer statement’ for all Panopto recordings AY2020-21
“The video captioning displayed here is not 100% accurate – please cross-reference against the primary sources (i.e. lecture slides and any accompanying notes) and contact the lecturer if you have queries.”
Requirement summary: Content from previous academic years may remain available for students to consult. This legacy content does not have to be made accessible under the 2018 Accessibility Regulations.
However, if content from previous academic years is used as part of teaching or assessment in AY20/21 and beyond the material should be made accessible as described above. This is most easily achieved by copying the recordings into the Panopto module folder for the teaching year, where captions will be generated, and then reviewing and editing the captions to achieve the required accuracy standard.
Video captions guidance for students
Video captions provided for pre-recorded videos for online teaching and learning are automatically generated and then on a ‘best endeavours’ basis edited by a subject expert.
The video captioning of educational videos is not 100% accurate – please cross-reference against the primary sources (i.e. lecture slides and any accompanying notes) and contact the lecturer if you have queries.
Captions of live video streams are available for sessions held in MS Teams, but not in Zoom. The captions in Teams are automatically generated and are provided ‘as is’ both during the event and in any recordings made available for consultation after the event. There is no human review and editing stage involved, and so these captions should be used with caution, as the accuracy may be low. You should cross reference captions against other sources, such as your course notes, slides from the session, etc. and contact the lecturer if you have any queries.
Where live sessions involve primary delivery of key subject content (i.e. they are live lectures), the recordings will be transferred into Panopto and captioned as for pre-recorded videos.