Page 42 - Campus Technology, October/November 2018
P. 42

the captioning in a self-service mode. However, that level of faculty involvement came with anoth- er requirement: making the solution easier to use.
“My mantra was always if it is going to be more difficult than YouTube, we don’t want it,” said Jor- dan Cameron, assistant director for academic web accessibility. “We kept working on usability with the vendor, and they were very responsive.”
Kennesaw, which has more than 1,100 online courses in 70 fully online programs, had previ- ously been using a speech-to-text appliance for machine-generated captions that student assis- tants would clean up and return to faculty. The pro- cess involved no fewer than 12 steps on the part of faculty, many of them quite time-consuming. “We want to meet the needs of students and be in line with federal guidelines,” Cameron said, “but we just could not handle the volume anymore with our old systems.”
There were other problems with the legacy solution. First off, it required a huge amount of server space to maintain. Kennesaw couldn’t do any cloud storage with it, and no other vendor could partner to work on the captioning. “Every bit had to be done here with our student assis- tants, who are limited to working 20 hours per week,” she said. Even with five student assis- tants, it took a long time to return files to faculty members, who found the whole process cum-
bersome. “We were having a hard time getting people to implement something that is federal law,” Cameron added.
The legacy solution also required a substan- tial lead time for captioning while courses were being created. “As faculty were developing a new online course for the next year, we would advise them to do it six months in advance because it was going to take us a long time to get the videos captioned,” she said. “We hated to do that.”
The university realized it needed a solution to meet the following needs:
• Reduce the number of steps faculty must take to get videos captioned;
• Allow faculty to request machine-generated captions that they can edit;
• Allow faculty to request professionally cap- tioned files; and
• Remain within the prescribed budget.
Cameron worked with a project team that included Veronica Trammell, executive director of learning technologies, training, & audiovisual outreach, as well as instructional designers who gave input on what the faculty members need and want. They also studied what others in higher education, such as the University of Minnesota system, had done to address the issue.
“We realized we wanted to make sure our system gave the faculty opportunities to work on
Veronica Trammell
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | October/November 2018

   40   41   42   43   44