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Captions in Collaborate

Last updated: September 12, 2022.

Live closed captioning

Collaborate includes live closed captioning. This provides an accessible learning experience for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for students whose native language is different from the moderator’s.

Text-to-speech of live closed captioning isn’t supported at this time.

Moderators must make attendees captioners. Captioners type what is being said during a session. Other attendees can view what is being typed in real-time. You can have multiple captioners for multiple languages.

>> More on making an attendee a captioner for moderators

Captions entered during the live session are included when the session is recorded. If your session had more than one caption track, only the first available one is captured.

>> More on session recordings for participants

Being a captioner

As a captioner, you can provide captions for others in your session. This is a role that is assigned to you by a moderator.

There can be more than one captioner in a session. Captioners are identified in the Attendees panel with a Closed Caption (CC) icon by them.

Live closed captioning is not supported in Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean. Users with browsers set to these languages receive an error when they start.

  1. After you are made a captioner by a moderator, the message “You can now provide captions for others in this session” is displayed at the top of the page.
  2. Spacebar or select Let’s get started providing captions to viewers button, visually displayed with the text Let’s get started.
  3. After captioning is selected, focus moves to the “Provide captions to viewers” edit field with the placeholder text Type Captions.
  4. Captions can now be entered into the edit field.

After you select to start providing captions, all attendees are alerted that captions are available. Your captions appear on their screen as you type them in real time.

Your name is used as the title of your captions by default. It’s good practice to change the title to something others can recognize when they view your captions. For example, Closed Captions or Spanish Subtitles.

  1. Go to your name at the top right of the closed caption edit field.
  2. Spacebar or select Edit caption stream title: [your guest name] button.
  3. Delete your name.
  4. Type a new title in the “Type a new name for the caption stream. Press Enter to update or Escape to cancel.” edit field with the placeholder text Type caption stream title.
  5. Press Enter to update.
  6. Focus is placed in the “Provide captions to viewers” edit field with the placeholder text Type Captions.

Do you see the content being shared and want to watch the speaker? Select the picture-in-picture to see the active speaker.

View captions

After the captioner has accepted the role, the message “Closed captions are available for this session. Would you like to use them?” displays at the top of the page.

  1. To view the captions, Spacebar or select Yes, enable closed captions button, visually displayed as Yes.
  2. After Yes is selected, the  closed caption edit field is enabled at the bottom center of the page.

To turn captions off, Spacebar or select No thanks, continue without closed captions button, visually displayed as No thanks.

Change the font size of the captions

  1. From the read-only closed caption edit field, go to the Select font size for closed caption text select field. The default option is set to Normal.
  2. Spacebar or select Select font size for close caption text select field.
  3. Navigate and select one of the following options:
    • X-Small
    • Small
    • Normal
    • Large
    • X-Large
  4. The font size and the size of the closed caption field adjusts to the change.

Live captions and Chinese, Japanese, and Korean browsers

The input process for live closed captioning is not supported in browsers set to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This means that what you type may not appear how you want. Attendees see all keystrokes, not just the resulting word.

Example: To type the Japanese word “河口”, the captioner types “kakou”, which appears as “kかkこう”. These characters are manually converted into “河口”. Attendees viewing the captions see both the typed and converted characters, making the captions difficult to understand.

Watch a video about live closed captioning

Video: Closed Captioning in Class Collaborate shows you how closed captioning works in Class Collaborate.

Recording captions and chat transcripts

If the moderator has allowed session recording downloads, you can download recordings and transcripts from the recording player Recording menu.

Open the Recording menu at the top left of your screen.

  • Download the full recording
  • Download caption transcripts
  • Download chat transcripts

For the first recording of a session named ‘Geography 101’, the downloaded recording would look something like: “2022_08_23_14_47__Geography 101_recording 1_a1951db7-0c29-47f3-b90a-c829389bc3b61_recording.mp4”

The time in the recording name is in UTC.

You can also download captions from the main Recordings list.

  1. From Recordings find a recording with Closed Captions (CC).
  2. Select the Closed caption options menu and select Download captions.

How do I see captions in the recording I downloaded?

Open the downloaded MP4 in your player. Select the subtitle or caption track in your player so it appears. Some players have subtitles on by default. Others do not.