Increasing Accessibility with Audio Descriptions
Audio descriptions are an additional audio track within a video that describes what is on the screen that’s not spoken. Designed to meet the needs of visually impaired users, these helpful narratives are sometimes called descriptive video.
Audio description tracks fill in information that may be missing in the standard audio track, but is displayed to viewers visually. This information may include information about actions being taken, characters, scene changes, and more.
Audio Description Helps Paint a Comprehensive Picture for the Visually Impaired
Imagine a video for a history course on 17th century Holland; the screen shows the image of a painting by Vermeer. The standard audio track may offer information relating to the painting, but doesn’t provide a student who cannot see the screen any information about exactly what is on the screen.
In this case, the audio track might say, “An aged oil painting of a young woman with a blue and light yellow scarf over her hair contrasts against a dark background. The woman’s head is tilted slightly as she looks directly at the viewer over her left shoulder. The young woman wears a pearl earring that nearly touches her white collar under a yellow garment. Heavy folds of the garment suggest coarse fabric unusual for the time period.”
Now, the user who cannot see the painting has an idea or point of reference for additional content in the video.
The American Council of the Blind and has numerous audio description examples on their Audio Description Project page, which helps “promote and advocate for the use of high-quality Audio Description in television, movies, performing arts, museums, educational materials and other venues where the presentation of visual media is critical to the understanding and appreciation of the content.”
Using Audio Descriptions in Your Video Content
Audio description tracks enable the user to toggle between two audio streams, including the standard audio and the additional audio description.
There are several different ways to make use of audio descriptions in video content.
- Video creators can opt to include audio descriptions in their main soundtrack. While this can be challenging, it saves any need for an additional track. For instance, an instructor might say, “the screen shows a PowerPoint slide detailing…”.
- Audio description tracks can simply be uploaded as a secondary track. This track can include only the essential audio to fill in information the student requires.
- An audio description track that includes the full lecture content can also be produced and made available as an alternate track.
Adding Audio Descriptions to Videos with the YuJa Video Platform
YuJa’s Video Platform fully complies with accessibility requirements related to audio descriptions. YuJa’s HTML5 Media Player provides built-in capabilities to add separate, user-enabled Audio Description tags to a video.
YuJa continues to improve accessibility features in the HTML5 Media Player to enhance the learning experience for all students.
Creating Engaging Lecture Capture Recordings for Remote and In-Person Instruction
Recording lectures through YuJa’s lecture capture tools provides students with the ability to watch, re-watch, and review lectures wherever they are, using a computer or mobile device.
For online learners and flipped classrooms, lecture captures may provide the only lecture experiences for the class. Recorded lectures that are interesting and appealing to students will help engage students, keep their attention, maintain focus, and help them learn.
Below are some tips to create engaging recordings for all students, whether they attend class face-to-face or online.
Add Visual Interest With Multi-Source Recording
YuJa makes it simple to incorporate multiple cameras, video feeds, audio and screen sources. This brings all of the tools of a well-equipped lecture hall online and makes it more accessible to your students, even those away from the classroom. Incorporating visual elements engages your students, including visual learners, as you lecture.
Visual presentation material is essential to take your lecture up a notch. It also makes note taking easier for students.
- Use PowerPoint or another presentation software to incorporate images, notes and other information. You can easily share your screen as you produce a lecture capture recording.
- Plug in your classroom SmartBoard to allow students to see you work equations, make notes or share information on the board.
- Document cameras allow you to share printed material with students.
Most instructors are already using PowerPoint presentations, SmartBoards and other tools in their everyday lectures. These tools are even more important when recording lectures.
Helping Students Connect with Lectures
“Incorporating visual elements engages your students, including visual learners, as you lecture.”
Visual interest is not the only way to create an impressive and engaging lecture capture. You can implement many different strategies to maximize the effect and interest of your lecture captures.
Show: Show how, when and why this material matters using real-world examples. This is especially helpful for general education classes.
Connect: Connect material to information your students already know. Making familiar connections can help students stay interested.
Summarize: For information dense lectures, summarize or review material before moving on to new material.
Define: Define jargon or unfamiliar terminology.
Outline: Use outlines, a table of contents and other tools to help your students organize their note-taking.
Explain: Explain difficult concepts in several ways to reach all of your students.
Use Assessment Tools
YuJa offers a number of ways to assess the efficacy of your lecture captures.
- Incorporate video quizzes into lecture captures. The results will help define problem areas.
- Review discussion boards for student questions. Check and see if students seem to be struggling with a certain concept or assignment.
- Check your analytics for signs students are re-watching portions of videos. Analytics provide insights in real-time.
Improve the Learning Experience with Hardware and Software-Based Lecture Capture Technology
“Both software and hardware solutions have numerous advantages, and both help leverage technology to bring interactive educational opportunities to students.”
The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform allows a scalable lecture capture solution with desktop-based software, a hardware capture appliance, in-browser capture tools and mobile capture applications.
Software Capture and Personal Capture Applications
Record lectures anywhere and from any device, including mobile devices, with Software Capture.
Software capture offers:
- Flexible course delivery across locations
- Access using any device, whether its a browser, phone or tablet
- The ability to present using slides, audio, video and other peripherals
- Multi-stream audio and video captures with automatic-captioning
- Search-inside-video capabilities
The YuJa Hardware Hub is Another Powerful Lecture Capture Solution
Simply placing a YuJa Hardware Hub in classrooms enables lecture capture and live streaming of multi-source content.
With the Hardware Hub, instructors can:
- Automate recording, remotely scheduling, starting and pre-scheduling on their schedule
- Publish and distribute content automatically
- Integrate hardware with existing video and audio sources
- Preview sources connected to the Hardware Hub, which enables real-time source monitoring
Advantages of Hardware and Software-Based Lecture Capture Solutions
Both software and hardware solutions have numerous advantages, and both help leverage technology to bring interactive educational opportunities to students. No matter which solution is chosen, videos are processed with AI-based semantic analysis, which enables auto-captioning and video search.
Which solution is right for an institution depends, but listed below are some considerations for each.
Software-Based Capture is:
- Cost-effective. It doesn’t require additional equipment outside of a podium computer or instructor’s laptop.
- Easy to use. This solution may require more instructor involvement than a hardware solution.
- Intuitive. Software Capture is an ideal option for new users who are looking to test the features of YuJa.
Device-Based Capture (the Hardware Hub) is:
- Scalable. This solution is ideal for university-sponsored connected classroom integration.
- Automated. Device-based capture automates the process and reduces instructor involvement in lecture capture. It can be turned on manually or set to activate according to a pre-programmed schedule.
- Hands-off. This solution allows a more hands-off approach, making it ideal for faculty who prefer not to manage technology.