From Session 2, every Macquarie student will be able to access a transcript of their lectures and any other videos stored on the Echo360 Active Learning Platform. Together with the recent addition of Live Automated Captioning to the Zoom platform, online learning at Macquarie has taken a leap forward in providing accessible resources to all students and teaching staff.

After a successful trial, the Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) feature in the Echo360 Active Learning Platform will be available in all units from July, 2021.

What does this mean for my unit?

From Session 2, text transcripts will be automatically created from the audio track of all Echo360 videos and made available for students and teaching teams to view directly from within the Classroom player. 

ASR iconLook for this icon while viewing a recording to view the ASR transcript.

What is Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)?

Much like the dictation features available on phones and PCs, ASR converts speech, such as audio from Echo360 recordings, into a transcript that is displayed to students and teaching teams, and synchronised with video playback.

Why use ASR in online learning?

ASR automatically creates text transcripts from the audio track in your videos and makes them available for students and teachers to view directly from within the Echo360 Classroom player. This enhances the learning (and teaching) experience in the following ways:

  • With the video transcript window, students have one more way to engage with subject material and content.  With the transcript pane open in Echo360, you can read or follow along with the audio track to any video. There is moving text highlighting that helps to keep your reading focus in sync with the video and audio content, and you can even copy phrases out of the transcript into your personal notes.
Highlighted text in ASR
  • Search and Navigation links:  Transcripts are searchable, and the search results are also navigation links. This means, you can search for a key term in a video and click through the search results to go to each moment in the video where that term appears. This form of navigation is useful for highlighting key concepts and themes in the session.
  • ASR transcripts can be edited into closed captions (see below). The ASR transcript can be downloaded and manually corrected / edited to form a closed caption version, which can then be uploaded back into Echo360.

Look for this image to download your transcript.

What’s the difference between ASR and closed captioning?

ASR differs from closed captions in two ways.

First, the ASR transcript is displayed in a separate window to the video itself, while closed captions overlay the video.

Second, closed captions are intended to meet certain standards, and as such, are typically highly accurate. They are also created and edited by humans, compared to ASR, which is machine generated, and therefore not always as accurate.

This new feature adds to recent changes in Zoom where lecturers and tutors hosting classes over Zoom can now enable a Live Transcript feature in all their sessions, allowing all participants to view the live transcript and/or closed captions (subtitles) during the class. Note, however that unlike ASR, this feature in Zoom must be activated by the convenor / host, and only after the meeting has started.

For more on lecture recordings using Echo360, see information for teaching staff and for students.

Contact OneHelp for any issues with Echo360 transcripts.

Posted by Amanda Parker

Learning Enhancement Manager, PVC L&T

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