Tokenistic captions on NSS Official Video 2013

Dire captions on NSS Official video


More and more people are using the YouTube caption tool in the belief it offers information in an alternative format but it doesn’t. If it wasn’t so serious, you could say it offers a laugh – like the example above which shows the caption for all Student’s Unions, Associations and Guilds – and there are many other examples in this video alone which demonstrate just how much the caption tool is tokenism.

Multimedia has great potential for teaching and learning. It suits a range of learning preferences and offers variety and interaction with content. However, to be inclusive it needs to be provided in alternative formats and this is the step most people miss.  If you use YouTube captions take the time to check them out; the chances are they’ll be to poor to be of any real value.

Guide to Getting started with YouTube captions and transcripts  YouTube 

5 Replies to “Tokenistic captions on NSS Official Video 2013”

  1. As you say, this is both laughable and disgraceful. This video has been created as part of a hugely costly marketing campaign to promote the NSS. How hard would it have been to manually create a proper transcript and captions? An extra hours work at most?? No wonder it’s hard to get staff to take accessibility legislation seriously when public bodies just pay lip service to it.

  2. Hi, Sue.

    Is this the original?

    I was actually amazed how google’s automatic captions are accurate, 60~70% ? It’s unfortunate that it fails miserably in the most important moment.

    BTW, it’s worth noting that the uploader of the youtube video does not have to create caption files (with start and end time of each sentence) by themselves. If you upload transcription (just text of the video contents), then google automatically add time for you

  3. Hi Makoto; this link is where I accessed the video from. Your advice on captions is useful, thank you, I’m going to post on this in the DIY Multimedia Google Group today 🙂

  4. Makoto, thanks for your advice about captions. Just out of interest, what type of file do you recommend for uploading transcripts? I’ve heard .txt is best practice?

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