DESIGNING FOR ACCESSIBILITY

Auto-generating Transcripts of Pre-recorded Audio Files

Providing transcripts alongside audio files or podcasts on Blackboard significantly enhances accessibility. Annotated transcripts of lecture recordings or podcasts offer students multiple means of engagement, allowing them to easily identify and revisit key concepts. This approach not only supports diverse learning preferences but also reinforces understanding and retention of the material.

The latest version of MS Word, available as part of the CUNY Microsoft Office 365, allows you to dictate documents and generate automatic transcriptions of existing audio (.MP3 format) and video (.MP4) files. In the steps below, we will be utilizing the cloud version of CUNY-licensed MS Word to auto-transcribe the pre-recorded file, even though the desktop version of Word offers the same capability. The cloud version is chosen for its convenience in sharing the file.  Follow the steps below.

Need help logging in?↗️

  • Click on the button above to access CUNY MS Office 365.
  • Log in using your CUNYfirst credentials (FirstName.LastName##@login.cuny.edu).
  • Click on the Word icon on the left-hand menu.

From the Create New section at the top, select Blank document.

Create new Word document screenshot in CUNY Office 365

  • Click on the Home tab at the top
  • Click on the arrow next to the Dictate button Voice recording icon in Word
  • Select Transcribe

Transcribe option in Word

  • Click on Upload audio.
  • Select the audio file from your computer and click Transcribe. Depending on the length of your recording, this may take several minutes.

Upload audio file into Word

  • Once your file has been transcribed, you can view it on the left side of the window. The transcript will contain speaker designations, where there are pauses, as well as time stamps.
  • You can edit the transcript by hovering your mouse over a specific section and clicking on the pencil icon.

Edit transcript section transcript to document in Word

  • To view the full transcript, click on the Add to Document button at the bottom. You can choose between options to add just transcription (text) or transcription with the speaker and time stamps.

Add a transcript to document in Word

  • The screenshot below shows plain text being added to the document. You notice the link to the original audio file at the top (stored in CUNY OneDrive) and the extracted transcript below. You can edit transcript, if you wish.

Audio transcript after being extracted in Word

  • MS Word will automatically tag the document heading (in the screenshot below the headings are the words Audio file and Transcript). The link to the original file has a descriptive title. All of that makes the document accessible to students who use assistive technology, such as screen readers.

Audio transcript after being extracted in Word

  • You can check the document accessibility report by selecting the Review tab at the top and clicking on Check Accessibility.

Accessibility report in MS Word

The CUNY MS Word cloud version that we have been working on so far enables seamless file sharing. You can easily generate a share link and paste it in LMS.

  • Click on the Share button at the top right and click on Copy Link.
  • Paste the link into LMS to share the transcript with your students.

Share MS Word cloud doc

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Eugenio María de Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451
718-518-4444