Zoom recently updated its platform to include live caption/transcript options which is an excellent addition to access. Please keep in mind that auto-transcripts may still not provide full access for some individuals. Faculty will be notified about captioning-specific needs for courses. For programs, please continue to ask your audience about access needs prior to programs.
Overview of Zoom‘s Live Transcript features and configuration options, if you want to change the defaults.
- Live Transcription is automatically enabled in everyone’s account. You don’t have to change any settings.
- The meeting host will flip a couple switches, in the Zoom meeting window when the meeting starts before any participants can view the Live Transcript.
- The meeting host enables live auto-transcription by clicking the Live Transcript [CC] button at the bottom of the Zoom meeting window, then clicking Enable Auto-Transcription. See the screenshot below for reference.
- Meeting participants view Live Transcript by clicking the Live Transcript [CC] button at the bottom of their Zoom meeting window and then selecting the option to view as subtitle, live transcript, or both. See screenshot below for reference.
Note, the Live Transcript [CC] button doesn’t appear until the meeting host either decides, remembers, is reminded, or receives a request to start Live Transcript.
- Live Transcript is not available for participants who are in Breakout Rooms; however, it is still available in the main room during Breakout Room activities.
- One of the default settings is “Allow all participants to save transcripts.” You can disable this setting, if you choose. See the ITS overview of Zoom Live Transcript for details. However, before disabling, please see the suggestion in the next section about weighing the potential benefits to student learning by allowing them to save a transcript.
Using Zoom Live Transcript to support student learning in your class sessions
The following are based on insights which students have shared with me over the past year. They’re intended as suggestions and to prompt reflection.
- Commit to enabling Live Transcript at the beginning of each Zoom class session. Many students benefit from having captions available, whether they’re needed for an accommodation or not.
- Notify your students that you intend to make Live Transcript available for class. They may not be aware until you tell them.
- Weigh the potential benefits of “Allow(ing) all participants to save transcripts” before you consider disabling this feature. There are a number of potential benefits to student learning by allowing them to save a text transcript of a class session, despite its grammatical imperfections.
- Among the most obvious potential benefits relates to note taking, specifically, decreasing the cognitive burden students experience when faced with splitting their attention between the demands of note taking and attending to what is being said during class. Knowing there will be a transcript to return to when class is over can free students to prioritize listening without fear that if they don’t capture what’s said in that moment, it will be lost to them forever.