eLearning Technology Blog

Meet the Transcription Team

by WSU Online 21. March 2012 15:04

Have you ever wondered where those transcripts attached to your WSU Online course media come from?
Meet our transcription team! Our team consists of 12 people: four are on-campus work study students who work in Van Doren Hall, and eight are either alumni or independent employees of WSU, working at a distance. Our transcriptionists come from a variety of backgrounds, with knowledge and experience ranging from Biology and Crop Science to Business and Anthropology. They prepare transcripts so that all students have full access to lectures, videos, and other media within WSU Online course spaces.

We value and prioritize transcription efforts here at WSU Online, in order to help comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Section 508 provides web-based technology and multimedia standards to ensure people with disabilities can have equal access to website and multimedia (audio, video, etc.) content. Federal agencies (like State Universities) are required to apply these web-based technology and multimedia standards when creating websites and multimedia. 

So, WSU Online creates transcripts as an accessible text alternative for audio-based multimedia used in online courses. It takes our transcription team six to eight hours to transcribe one hour of media for each course.  Having transcripts available not only helps people with disabilities access the content immediately; it also allows for the information to be more easily converted into closed captioning for future use.

Below are a few tips to help expedite the transcription process when recording media for your WSU Online class:

  1. Record your media in a quiet office. Be aware of barking dogs, crying babies, slamming doors, background music, whirring air-conditioners, and malfunctioning microphones. It’s a fun idea to record your lectures in a busy coffee shop, but having all the extra noise pollution may make it difficult for the transcribers to understand what you’re saying.
  2. Avoid using extra words like “um” and “well.” This is a difficult habit to break, but our transcribers are required to be very detailed and accurate. In other words, they do record every word.
  3. Review every transcript sent to you. We send transcripts to you for your approval in the Media Verification workflow in Course Verification. Because our transcribers are not experts on your subject matter, please review every transcript carefully.  We rely on you, and your expertise, to confirm the transcript is ready for publishing.

Our transcribers are busy little bees, preparing pages and pages of important transcripts so that all students have full access to lectures, videos, and other media within WSU Online course spaces. Thank you for taking the time to create and provide such valuable course materials.  Your expertise and experience makes transcription an exciting and rich process for our team.

Amy Sperry


Copyright Peace of Mind

by WSU Online 8. March 2012 15:23

Understanding Copyright laws can be intimidating; especially as to how they pertain to an online classroom. It’s hard to know what images, articles and video clips have been released into the public domain, and it can be even more complicated to wade through online illegal image use policy to determine who the correct owner is! Here are a few tips to make sure that the links, images, clips and articles you find are safe to use.

1) Use a website like http://www.tineye.com/ to reverse search your image. Say for example you use an online search engine to find images for Computer Science. There are over 1,660,000,000 images that pop up on Google alone! Many of these are repeat images and here is where the problem begins. It’s hard to tell who owns an image, but by entering the web URL of the image into http://www.tineye.com/, you can do a reverse search of the image often discovering who the official owner is. You can then send an e-mail asking for permission to use the image.

2) Wikipedia is an excellent Resource! Instructors are constantly telling students that Wikipedia is not a reliable resource, but the good news is, it’s excellent for image searching! There are thousands of public domain images on Wikimedia and even more links to public domain websites. Check out this link to view Wikimedia’s policy on Copyright images as well as a list of Public Domain websites they have links to. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Free_image_resources

3) It is almost always acceptable to link to an outside website (with no permission necessary). As an instructor, you are responsible for maintaining these links and making sure that they direct students to the appropriate site. You are also responsible for making sure that the content on the website that you link to is appropriate for educational use (and pedagogically sound). But as long as you are not taking images, quotes, clips, or articles off of the site and putting it on your own site or course space without permission, feel free to link away! This is the easiest and most effective way to give students the opportunity to experience what the internet has to offer without having to go through all the hassle of Copyright permission requests.

4) If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Our staff at WSU Online is very knowledgeable about Copyright law and how it pertains to online education. We are here to provide an excellent resource to you!

Good luck and happy searching!

Amy Sperry


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