Lecture Capture

Enabling Automatic Captions in Panopto

Panopto offers automatic speech recognition (ASR) captioning of videos hosted on the platform that you, as an instructor, can make available to your students. Following universal design for learning, ASR captions can create an environment that is more accessible to more students from the start, including English language learners and students who don’t have access to or choose not to pursue formal accommodations for any reason. When watching a video that has ASR captions enabled, students can turn captions on and off based on their preference. 

Relevant Factors 

The following factors may help you decide if and how you’d like to use ASR captioning in your teaching.

  • Privacy: As the instructor, you have the ability to download Panopto’s ASR captions. Students, however, are not able to download the caption file, meaning that Panopto’s captioning is more secure than what is available in Zoom, for instance.
  • Variable captioning quality across populations: Some people may face more unreliable captioning than others. Automatic captioning is known to be less reliable when representing non-native English speakers and those who speak with dialects or accents that were not frequently used to train the relevant artificial intelligence. ASR captions can also struggle to accurately represent technical, disciplinary language. If you’re concerned about the quality of Panopto’s ASR captions, you may want to review captions on one video before making captions routinely available to students.
  • ADA non-compliant: Because of variable quality, Panopto’s ASR captioning is not guaranteed to reach the standard of legal compliance. Students with documented accommodations may still require separate supports arranged in conjunction with Disability Services

Options for Adding ASR Captions 

Learn more about your options for enabling automatic captions and find links to step-by-step instructions for doing so below: 

  • Add automatic captions to a Panopto folder to have every video subsequently added to that folder captioned by default. Note that folder permissions are not retroactive; if you already have videos in a folder, you will need to add captions to those individual videos.
  • Add automatic captions to a particular video to have more granular control over which videos receive ASR captions.
  • Edit or remove captions: If you add automatic captions to a video and realize after the fact that the quality is poor and might do more harm than good, you can edit the captions or delete them. You can also turn off ASR captioning at the folder level following the same steps you used to add captions to the folder.