Friday, 17 September 2010

Viewpoints videos now more accessible

Viewpoints videos are now more accessible to a wider range of users - they all now have closed captions available in YouTube. All of our subsequent videos and 'digital stories' will also use closed captions.

'Closed captions' are subtitles that appear on screen as a video plays, providing a text representation of the audio content of the video. They are called 'closed' as they can be turned on and off according to the user's preference.

Captioning video is good standard practice - it helps meet W3C accessibility guidelines by allowing users with hearing impairments to access the audio content of the video.

It can also benefit users with no audio playback hardware, mobile users sited in a quiet area (like a library), those learning to speak a non-native language, or in an environment when the audio is difficult to make out.

To sample closed captioning in YouTube, you can view either of the videos below.

  1. Click Play on the chosen video, then hover over the grey-and-white triangular button on the bottom right of the YouTube screen (second from the right).

  2. Then, select the CC (closed caption) button that pops up, and your captions should appear automatically.

  3. To make the captions disappear again, follow the same process, hover over the triangular button and deselect the CC button this time.

Notice how the captions are synced with the audio - this is all done with automatic timecodes.

Do you want to know how to add closed captions to your YouTube videos? Follow this simple step-by-step guide written by Viewpoints, which will walk you through the straightforward process. (You can download this document from SlideShare as well, if you want a copy on your hard drive.)

As a rough guide, it will take 30-50 minutes to create and upload captions for a 3-minute YouTube video. A simple online tool specified in this document (with full instructions for use) will help you add timecodes so that your text is synced properly to the audio on screen.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Viewpoints workshop delivered at ALT-C conference

Catherine O'Donnell and Alan Masson delivered an interactive Viewpoints workshop today at the ALT-C 2010 conference in Nottingham, the 17th International Conference for the Association for Learning Technology.

The workshop was entitled 'Encouraging creativity and reflection in the curriculum', and aimed to stimulate constructive dialogue around curriculum planning, allow collaboration and creativity, and help participants plan a student-centred curriculum design model.

The workshop was one hour in duration and allowed participants to try out one aspect of the Viewpoints tool strand in a hands-on session. Afterwards, participants or interested parties can communicate via the forum on the Viewpoints social networking Ning area (sign-up required).

Slides from this workshop are available to view here:

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Creativity workshop in Belfast Campus

Alan Masson, Catherine O'Donnell, Roisin Curran and Jill Harrison today delivered a Viewpoints creativity workshop on Belfast Campus.

The workshop was delivered to members of staff from Hospitality and Tourism Management. The team wanted to generate some ideas around creativity in the curriculum, although they are not undergoing revalidation until 2012/2013. Creativity card prompts were used, as well as Assessment and Feedback and Information Skills cards. 22 members of staff attended

In the evaluation exercise afterwards, most staff indicated they found the session useful to help them reflect on creativity in curriculum design and the learner perspective, although many indicated they would prefer more time to explore the concepts.