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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Captioning and Transcribing Video and Audio

This document is intended to give readers a basic understanding of terminology and tools available to James Madison University faculty and staff to transcribe video and audio recordings, and create subtitle files for captioning video.

Faculty are required to create captions/transcripts for their video only if a student in their class has registered with JMU’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) and has a captioning accommodation. However, it is strongly recommended that all faculty create transcripts of their videos so that students with inadequate internet access, hearing impairments, or different learning styles can access the content. Visit the ODS website for additional resources for faculty.

On this page:

Recommended workflow for caption/transcript creation

  1. Ensure your recording space is properly set up for high-quality audio/video capture.
  2. Script your lecture. This will make creating transcripts/captions easier.
  3. Record your lecture.
  4. Generate captions/transcript and correct errors (more info below).
  5. Embed your video in Canvas.
  6. Upload the corresponding script in Canvas alongside the video.


  • “Transcript”
    • Translating a video’s audio into text.
    • Basic text file that a user can read apart from the video file.
  • “Closed Captions”
    • Captions that can be turned on and off by viewer.
    • Captions that are stored in a subtitle file that can be easily modified.
  • “Open Captions”
    • Captions that are always on. They are part of the video picture and cannot be turned off.
    • Because “open captions” are part of the picture, if a text in a caption has to be changed, the whole video has to be edited and re-uploaded.
  • “Subtitle File”
    • File that contains captions text and timing information so captions appear with proper audio, etc.
    • Subtitle files are supplements to the video file.
    • SRT is most common subtitle file format. SRT is short for SubRip Subtitle File.
    • SRT files can be easily edited with a text editor.

Tools for creating caption or transcription files

Tips for using TechSmith Knowmia, YouTube, or

TechSmith Relay tips:

YouTube tips: tips: