Professor Chris Tisdell presented a talk yesterday afternoon about closed captioning of his maths YouTube videos, as part of UNSW Diversity Fest. 

The Inclusive Education Showcase in the Scientia featured talks by nine practitioners in Inclusive Education Design from across UNSW, followed by a Q&A with the presenters. Inclusive Education comprises practices that make teaching and learning more accessible to all students, implemented via various practices, technologies, and the co-production of courses with people with a disability.

Professor Tisdell spoke about his recent research on how closed captioning and translations can be used to improve learning for all students via online video. He introduced closed captioning to many of his YouTube videos after noticing that YouTube's own auto captioning feature was often inaccurate. 

Professor Tisdell got together a team of student volunteers who spent a summer manually creating closed captions for around 45 of his videos. First year students were encouraged to watch the captioned videos and were surveyed on their thoughts. 98% of students in the study broadly agreed that closed captioning was useful for their learning. 

The survey revealed that closed captioning is not just useful for people who are hard of hearing or those for whom English is a second language. Closed captioning also benefitted many native English speakers who said it allowed the flexibility to watch the videos in a noisy place or while commuting. 

The results of the survey found that the educational benefits of closed captioning go way beyond the usual expected audiences and situations. 

Some more information about Professor Tisdell's research into closed captioning: