Panopto automated captions change

What has changed with Panopto captions?

We will turn on Panopto auto-captioning for all content uploaded after 21/03/2022. This means that automated captions will be available to all viewers who wish to use them.

Previously, Panopto created automated captions on uploaded content and the content owners had to make them available to viewers. This change empowers viewers to use captions on new recordings sooner and lightens the administrative load for content owners.

Content owners can turn on captions for recordings made before 21/03/2022. We are investigating ways to automate this process.

Viewers can follow this guide to use captions, and to change caption style and position.

Auto caption accuracy

Auto captions are created using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, which is where a computer translates spoken words into text. The quality can vary from one speaker to another – eg: 70-75% accuracy depending on the audio quality, but it is often much higher. Accuracy is affected by low-quality audio, use of jargon, and unclear pronunciation, but captions can be edited to make them more accurate or removed completely.

Panopto aims to improve the accuracy of auto-captions over time. It is a high priority for the team at Panopto.

Students with transcribers

Automated captions are not a replacement for Learning Support Assistants or note-takers for students who have them. The University is turning on this feature is to enhance the student experience and empower students to learn in ways they prefer.

What should teaching staff do?

Nothing. This feature will be turned on automatically. If you experience any issues with the automated caption service then please contact ServiceLine.

There are a number of steps you can take to improve the quality of auto-captioning:

  • Use a good quality microphone if you can.
  • Reduce background noise as much as possible.
  • Avoid acronyms and jargon.
  • Use clear speech and pronunciation – try not to speak too quickly or merge words together.
  • Multiple speakers can impact the quality of auto-captions. Where possible stick to a single speaker at one time and avoid speakers talking over each other.

More information about Panopto captions

Frequently Asked Questions about video captioning.