DESIGNING FOR ACCESSIBILITY
Enable Closed Captions (CC) in Zoom
Video conferencing tools like Zoom foster real-time interaction and collaboration in synchronous lectures. Ensuring accessibility in these live sessions is paramount, and one way to achieve this is through Zoom’s closed captioning feature. This feature provides autogenerated live transcription of spoken words, functioning similarly to subtitles in a movie. There are many instances when Closed Captioning is helpful in viewing a Zoom session, including when the listening environment is noisy or when some other factor prevents a listener from hearing the call. Whether aiding students with hearing impairments or enhancing comprehension for non-native speakers, closed captioning ensures that all students can follow along in real time. For example, during a complex lecture, closed captioning allows students to visually reinforce auditory information, promoting inclusivity and equal access to education. It is not just a technological enhancement but a commitment to educational equity.
Fortunately, it is easy to enable Closed Captioning in Zoom. Follow the steps below to enable closed captioning, and view full transcripts in live Zoom calls.
Once in a live Zoom meeting, from the toolbar, click on CC (Show Captions) button.
In a live Zoom session, any participant can toggle the Show Captioning button on the bottom toolbar and any participant can select a language for the Live Transcripts. The following messages display:
- “A participant has enabled Closed Captioning”, and
- “Who can see this transcript? The transcript of this meeting may be saved and shared with apps and others by participants with relevant permissions (based on the settings configured for this meeting.”
Note that though you can select languages other than English, the captioning can be slow and erratic, though it self-corrects as it goes.
To view the entire transcript while in a live Zoom meeting, from the toolbar,
- click on CC (Show Captions) button to enable live transcript.
- click on the arrow next to the CC (Show Captions) button and select the View Full Transcript option. You can view the full transcript or save it by clicking on the Save Transcript button at the bottom. Note that the Zoom meeting host can enable this feature for participants.
If you record your Zoom meeting, accessing the live transcript afterward can be an invaluable resource for both instructors and students. The transcript serves as a written record of everything spoken during the session, allowing for a detailed review and reflection on the content. Students can use it to revisit complex topics, clarify misunderstandings, and reinforce their learning. Instructors can analyze the transcript to identify areas for improvement in their teaching or to create supplementary materials. The following section will guide you through the steps to access the live transcript on Zoom after the recorded session, unlocking these benefits and enhancing the overall educational experience.
- Click on the Record button from the bottom menu to start recording. Select Record to the Cloud. Note that only a host can enable a recording. Participants will be prompted to acknowledge the meeting is being recorded.
- Click on the CC (Live Transcript) button at the bottom of the screen. The message “Live Transcription (Closed Captioning) has been enabled” displays at the top of your screen. Note also the warning that “The account owner and everyone in the meeting can save this transcript and share it with apps and others.”
- When you finish the meeting, stop the recording. Confirm that you wish to stop recording in the dialog box on the screen. A confirmation appears on the screen. You will get an email with a link to your Zoom recording. Depending on the length of your recording, this may take several minutes.
- Open the link to your recording in your email. You can also access your recording when you log into Zoom Cloud.
- Select the video title you wish to play.
- Click the play icon. The text of the transcript is displayed on the right-hand side of the video.