Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many faculty have been asked to move their courses online with very short notice. Last year during the polar vortex I experimented with making lecture videos with PowerPoint. I have now updated the process again for the videos I am creating this year. The process is efficient and I think it meets ADA requirements for captions. The videos are not perfect but they convey the material clearly and are pretty good given the circumstances.
- Microsoft Surface Pro (or similar pen-enabled tablet) and a stylus
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Google Drive Space
- Otter.ai account
- Headset (I use a cheap wired headset that I got on sale at Menards on Black Friday)
- Record my voice with a headset and PowerPoint on my Surface Pro so I can annotate on the slides while I'm talking.
- I stop the recording at the end of each slide (it makes it easier to re-record slide 3 if you don't have to start over from the beginning).
- Output the slide show as a video in standard definition (480p)
- Upload to Google Drive (built-in streaming and limited sharing)
- Upload to Otter.ai for automatic transcription.
- Edit the transcription for mostly technical terms and synonyms.
- Export the transcription as a monologue text file.
- Add the transcription as a caption file for the video in Google Drive.
- Wait a few minutes and Google Drive will line up the transcript file with the audio and closed caption will be available for the video.
These videos are not perfect, but they are pretty good for less than two hours of work, little notice, and limited resources while working from home. In my first week, I created three videos. The first two videos went smoothly. However, on the third video, it took Google Drive almost 36 hours to process the file so that you could view it with the embedded player. Unfortunately, I had to wait until it was done processing to add the transcript to make the captions. It is unclear what caused the delay or how I might be able to avoid it in the future.
Drop me a note if you have questions about the process. If you would like to view one of my videos, drop me a note with an email address and I will share the video via Google Drive.
Disclaimer: The otter.ai link above is my referral link. I get a free month if you sign up using my link. The free version gives you 600 minutes per month, the paid version is 6000 minutes per month and there is an education rate. So far it has worked pretty well for me so I wanted to share.