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Closed Captioning in Online Videos

Captions are the text that appear on a video that represent the audio portion of that video.  These captions are a verbatim transcript of the speakers along with important sound cues like [clock chiming].  Captions are required for many viewers so they can participate equally in the content.  In order to ensure equal access captions must be 99% accurate in both content and timing of the captions and provide accurate sound cues.  

Faculty at the University of Portland have access to both automated and professional captioning services.  It is important to note that our professional captioning services will provide you with the 99% accuracy needed for equal access and compliance.  Automated captioning is a great service but will require additional time to fix captions to meet the 99% accuracy.  

Professional Captioning

UP leadership has created a centrally funded model for providing professional captioning services.  Academic Technology Services manages this central funding and provides options for professional captioning.  The simple way for faculty to order captions is by using our MediaSpace platform.  

MediaSpace is our internal video management platform, you can think of it as our UP YouTube.  MediaSpace has a feature that allows you to upload your video and click on the "Order Captions" item in a drop down.  This is a simple and easy way for faculty to not only share video but order the captions needed for equal access to that content.  The platform does require that faculty be added to the correct user group in MediaSpace.  How do you get started?

  • Contact Academic Technology Services to gain access to professional captioning.  You can email them at
  • Upload your video to MediaSpace
  • Click on the actions button below your video and click on order captions. 
  • Within 48 hours the captions will be automatically applied to your video.  

What to consider when captioning your video

  • If you can't determine the audience for your video you should be captioning the video.  Someone in that audience may need the captions for equal access.  
  • Don't submit draft videos for captioning. Every time you submit a video for captioning we pay for that captioning. Submit the final version you intend to use in your teaching and learning.  
  • Provide enough time to receive the captions. The turnaround time for captioning has started to come in at closer to 24-hours but to ensure enough time plan for a 48 hour turnaround time.  
  • Studies have also shown that captions can assist students when learning languages.