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Captions are added to all Kaltura videos.

Accurate captions are essential to making your videos accessible. While UCSD is committed to ensuring the accessibility of all educational content, the benefits of including captions extend beyond addressing the needs of viewers with disabilities. Given that learning preferences are a variety of continuums (rather than binary categories such as visual learner/aural learner), making captions available to students provides them with choice on how they consume educational content.

Captions typically display at the bottom of a video player and contain a text-based representation of all relevant audible information that occurs in a video. They're essential for viewers with auditory disabilities to be able to perceive the educational content of your video.

Captions are different than transcripts. Caption files are specially-formatted text documents that include timecodes that tell the player when a particular piece of text should be onscreen. A transcript is basically just the text with no timecodes, often presented in a large block with no paragraph breaks.

How Do Captions Work in Canvas / Kaltura?

Here are the main things you need to know:

  • All videos added to Kaltura after 13 June 2020 should have some sort of machine captions. For videos added before that time, you can request them manually.
  • Machine captions are about 70% accurate on average.
  • We recommend that you edit your captions to ensure they're accurate. (Otherwise they aren't particularly helpful to students with relevant disabilities.)
  • Captions can be edited within Canvas, or downloaded, edited in a text editor, and uploaded.
  • Videos that come to Kaltura as a result of our Zoom integration will carry Zoom's captions with it. These should include the name of any (authenticated) speaker.
  • Our default embed and Media Gallery players will automatically display captions in the player (i.e. viewers have to turn them off if they don't want them).
  • Kaltura also generates a transcript based on the captions that displays in a widget below the player. The transcript itself is not editable; any changes you make to the captions will be reflected in the transcript.

Either click the links below to jump to a tutorial or use the links in the left navigation:

  • Deleting captions: how to remove a caption file from a Kaltura entry entirely
  • Disabling captions: how to remove a caption file as an option in the player, but not delete it
  • Editing locally: how to download and edit captions on your computer
  • Editing online: how to edit captions using Kaltura's web-based closed caption editor
  • Requesting captions: how to request machine captions for a Kaltura entry
  • Tips: recommendations for how to expedite caption editing
  • FAQs: frequently asked questions about Kaltura captions

Have additional questions about video? Contact Multimedia Services at