Understanding Captioning and Caption Workflow

Task: The following article will provide an overview of the value of captioning, possible methods through which videos may be created, and the workflow those files will need to follow to be captioned when being brought into Canvas. Please note that all content uploaded into Kaltura's My Media will be automatically captioned with machine-generated captions and will most likely need to be reviewed and edited for accuracy.



Providing access to course materials is essential. It is also a legal requirement. DSS has the responsibility to help ensure access and provide accommodations for students with disabilities. As we incorporate best practices into teaching, we broaden access and minimize the need to retrofit. The following steps are noted to help ensure we provide accessible videos.

  1. Select videos to be used in advance (no less than 7 days).
  2. Identify frequently (ongoing) used videos and caption if not already captioned.
  3. Select captioned videos.
  4. For uncaptioned videos, submit to Kaltura for automated captioning.
    1. Editing is required when a specific student need exists.
    2. No editing is necessary if no known need exists, although review for general accuracy is strongly encouraged.
      1. Editing is the responsibility of the instructor/department.
  5. For uncaptioned videos unable to be captioned by the instructor/department, submit to Disability Services for Students (DSS).
    1. Less than 4 days notice may preclude the ability to caption the video.
    2. If unable to caption in time for use, the video is inaccessible and should not be used.

Captioning your lecture videos will help not only students who are deaf/hard-of-hearing but everyone else in your course as well (Universal Design):

  1. For non-native English-speaking students, providing closed captions will improve comprehension of your lecture videos.
  2. For Instructors with English as a secondary language, providing captions will help improve student comprehension.
  3. Closed captions help your students understand, spell, and properly pronounce discipline-specific terminology.
  4. Closed captions provide better cognitive reinforcement. Some students learn better while they read.
  5. Closed captions can make your lecture content searchable using keywords.
  6. Videos can be viewed with the sound off in places like the library.

How to Caption your videos:

Videos uploaded to MyCourses using Kaltura are automatically captioned to 80% accuracy using Kaltura Reach, read more about the Kaltura Captioning Process

Lecture Capture

If you are using a classroom installed computer to capture your lecture

  1. Use Kaltura Classroom to record and upload your lecture
  2. Fix the captions as needed

If you are using a personal computer in your office or at home.

  1. Use Kaltura Capture and upload the video to Kaltura
  2. Fix the captions as needed

An Existing Video or Audio File

  1. Upload the file to Kaltura
  2. Fix the captions as needed


If you have content on DVD you wish to use as part of your course you should first contact your institution's library to see if they have already obtained streaming rights to the material. They will be able to assist you if they have the rights already.

If the library does not have streaming rights, you should seek permission to break copyright protections of the DVD in order to provide the content online. You may also use the Fair Use Evaluator to assess if you can rip the DVD in the context of your course.

  1. Rip the Video using Handbreak
  2. Upload the .mp4 file to Kaltura
  3. Fix the captions as needed

Videos found Online

If the videos already contain captions, simply link the video to your course. If the video you found does not have captions, first look for another source that does. Popular video sites like Youtube will allow you to filter search results by videos that already contain captions.

If there are no options readily available online contact your institution's library to see if they have already obtained streaming rights to the material. They will be able to assist you if they have the rights already.

If the videos do not have captions, the library cannot obtain the rights to stream the content and will be used only in an academic course limited to the students in that course, then it may be downloaded using a tool like Video DownloadHelper and uploaded to Kaltura. You should seek permission to use the video beyond what is allowed under Fair Use.


Digitizing VHS is a time-consuming and complex process. Our recommendation would be to first find an alternative source such as through your institution's Library, purchase a DVD copy, or streaming source online.

Reordering Captions

There may be times when you need to reorder captions or get a new set of automatically generated captions. For example, you might have a non-English video and need to order captions in the appropriate language. Captions can be reordered manually.

Professional Captions

There may be times when a recording needs professional captioning, which is a paid service. This may most likely be necessary if there is an individual who needs access to the media and has an identified accommodation. If you are at UNH, and this is the case, please contact Student Accessibility Services for assistance. 


User will understand captioning and be able to caption their work.

Need additional help?

Please contact the Service Desk at 603-862-4242. Fill out the Lecture Capture web form with as much information as possible or contact the Technology Help Desk on your local campus.

Print Article


Article ID: 1311
Fri 7/19/19 5:59 PM
Wed 2/7/24 9:34 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office