Live Captioning on Forum
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Written by Naf
Updated over a week ago

Live Captioning on Forum

For the most accurate live captions, we recommend inviting a human Captioner to attend class. Captioners will need a Forum account and to be enrolled in a specific class or section. Read on for more details on how to implement and use live captions with a Captioner.

If you do not have access to a Captioner, we suggest enabling Chrome’s Live Captions accessibility setting. See here for more details.

Setting up Live Captioning on Forum

To mark a lesson plan as including live captions, a captioner will need to be added to a class from the Class Edit page or to a section on the Section edit page on Forum. Please note that set-up for live captioning takes place entirely within Forum.

Once a Captioner is added to a class or section, that class info card will include a captioning tag to indicate that live captioning will be available.

Adding a Captioner to Class

Captioners will need a Forum account to be set as a captioner for a class. Once the captioner has an account with the right organization, they’ll be able to be set as a Captioner.

  • Navigate to the section and the class session in need of a captioner

  • Select the “people” tab

  • Scroll down to the “Captioners” field

  • Search for the name of the captioner

  • Select the captioning user’s name

  • When that user enters class, they’re now ready to caption

Adding a Captioner to a class session

Feature Walkthrough

Captioner Role

Captioners, once registered with Forum, will have a customized role with limited permissions and will not be visible in the classroom. Captioners will be invisible inside of the classroom, but will be able to see and hear all material.

Captioner Text Input

Captioners will type live captions from within Forum, using a new text input box in the sidebar. The captioning text box includes the option to pop out in a new tab (using the arrow icon) and the ability to show/hide captions from their view only (using the eye icon).

Captioner’s text input in the sidebar

Live Captions Setting (per user)

For instructions on how to set view live captions in class, please see the Viewing Live Captions article.

Display of Live Captions on the Stage

Once a user has enabled captions (captioners will automatically have live captions enabled when entering class), typed captions will display at the bottom of the Forum stage. Captions may have no more than 65 characters per line, will show 1-3 lines at a time, and will display for at least 9 seconds. Captions will update with a scrolling animation.

Captions will display centered at the bottom of the stage

@Captioner Handle

Breakouts may require some flexibility on the instructor and captioner’s part. Forum doesn’t know which particular student(s) need captioning accommodations, only which users have enabled captions. Forum will make an assumption and place the Captioner in a breakout room with a user that has captions enabled. If Forum’s assumption isn’t correct, and a student with an accommodation need is in a different breakout, students and/or instructors can coordinate by using the @Captioner handle in the chat to address the Captioner specifically.

Captioner Tips

  • Hit space or return/enter when ready to display on Forum - Forum considers a word or phrase incomplete if the captioner hasn’t pressed the spacebar or moved to a new line using return/enter. The captioner should add a space or move to a new line when they are ready to send text.

  • Make corrections quickly (before hitting space or return/enter) - Forum’s captioning box has a 3-word buffer to allow for corrections as a captioner types. Captioners can make quick corrections before hitting enter or creating a line break to display text. Once text is displayed on the Forum stage, any edits to that text will not be reflected there.

  • Watch for notifications during breakouts - Because Forum assumes which breakout room the Captioner should join, breakouts might need to be re-organized in order to get captioners in the right room. If the Captioner ends up in the wrong breakout room, a student or instructor in the correct room will reach out to @Captioner through chat. This will send the Captioner a notification to join them in the correct breakout room.

Instructor Tips

  • Add captioner to Forum ahead of time - Captioners need to get into Forum quickly to start captioning. Get them set-up and ready to go before class starts so they don’t miss anything. If they have questions, they can reach out to or use the live chat feature.

  • Use the classroom chat and handle @Captioner if you need to communicate with the captioner

  • Captioners can access all live chat or tech help features if needed.

  • Check the Classroom header to see if captions are available. If a Class is expecting support for Live Captions there will be a gray indicator in the Classroom header. The indicator turns green to signal that the Captioner is present in the Classroom and ready to start captioning.

  • To see if a participant has captions enabled, hover over their video in the participant bar. You can help a student toggle captions on or off from here too. To help a user toggle captioning on their own, guide the user to the Settings menu. Remember, captioning is a user-level setting, changes will persist across all classes.

  • Use the breakout sidebar to see where the Captioner is during breakouts. The breakout sidebar tracks Captioner location under the Present Staff list.

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