How to engage every student with video content
Nigel Booth from IPV explains how UK universities can follow the lead of US colleges to provide better accessibility to every students
Posted by James Higgins | March 12, 2018 | Technology
ai, subtitles, video-content, accessibility

Universities all over the world are becoming reliant on the production and use of video assets – whether for marketing collateral, as part of the curriculum or as the enabler for online courses. However, the need to manage media assets and ensure accessibility for all students is just as important as creating lots of content.

Many American universities are currently under pressure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which stipulates that ‘a public entity shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, members of the public and companions with disabilities are as effective as communications with others’. For content producers, this means that any video content used by a publicly-funded university must have subtitles, to make sure it accessible to students with hearing impairments.

To adhere to requirements, a number of these US colleges are looking at putting in place workflows that automate the creation of subtitles for their content using artificial intelligence (AI). And to keep up with expectations surrounding accessibility, UK institutions should be following this lead.

The solution is intelligent subtitling 

From driverless cars to improving customer service, artificial intelligence has been deployed by businesses across the globe. So why shouldn’t education benefit too?

A management system for video content can now be easily integrated with AI to allow for the creation of subtitles quickly and easily for all video content, without the need to use more expensive human resources. Speech-to-text functionality is now available in multiple AI machines and lets universities create two kinds of subtitles automatically. When burnt-in, they’re saved onto the video itself and can’t be removed – a solution that’s ideal for easier delivery and simpler production workflows. Alternatively, they can be written out, saved as a separate subtitle file and added to most online players alongside the content. These can then be toggled on or off and change size depending on what screen’s being used to view the video.

Instead of spending countless hours transcribing subtitles, universities can integrate an asset management solution with AI subtitling to produce, edit and share their video uninterrupted, saving them time and resources.

Adding subtitles intelligently using AI has helped universities in the US become regulation-compliant. Educational institutions in the UK can also benefit by making sure they’re automatically providing the right level of accessibility to students.

Metadata made easier

Another application which is extremely useful to universities is the attachment of metadata which makes it easier to find video content. AI-enhanced image recognition technology can be integrated into a video management suite for a university and will create tags as video is ingested into the system. Using artificial intelligence, the system picks out specific images or objects, automatically adding metadata tags to the asset. For example, if a soft drink can appears in a video, it will add a soft drink tag to the file. Then, when a user needs to find videos that feature a can of soft drink, all they have to do is search soft drink and it will show all relevant video assets.

This can help universities’ video production teams quickly siphon through large amounts of video to find relevant pieces of content, defining everything from a specific person’s face to a sports uniform.

Importance of accessibility

As more universities and organisations offer video content online, during lectures or in marketing, the need for universal accessibility becomes greater. The ability to add subtitles to content means students with hearing impairments aren’t left out of the conversation. Intelligent subtitling speech to text allows for a quick win, reducing the need to use expensive human resources for data entry and offering immediate benefits to both content makers and viewers.

Nigel Booth is executive vice president for sales and marketing. In his 12 years with the IPV he’s taken responsibility for all of the company’s sales and marketing activities worldwide. To find out more about IPV, visit their website. 

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