This article will discuss how to effectively use subtitles in employee training online courses.
Back in 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued FedEx Ground for discrimination against disability. The lawsuit said FedEx could not accommodate ASL interpretation and closed captioned training videos during orientation of their new hires. What does that tell you?
Subtitling and captioning training course videos is not only a good practice but is mandated by law in the US to facilitate eLearning for all. The better the quality of your subtitles is, the more accessible your content would be to your employees.
Benefits of subtitling
Training and development are essential to an organization’s process to help their employees upskill and be ‘job trained.’ In fact, 94% of the global workforce admitted they’d stay longer if their company invested in their career.
However, training has now become much more accessible, thanks to the hybrid or remote work culture. Online training courses have been the holy grail for remote teams to learn and upskill despite being located miles apart from their teams. Naturally, the employer must ensure that these courses are of top quality and help their employees advance on their career ladder. Subtitling or captioning is a good way to ensure that.
Subtitling doesn’t only help people with hearing disabilities but also everyone in your company. Here are some benefits of using subtitles in Employee Training Online Courses.
Helps you deliver content effectively
Often, despite putting in your best efforts, the final video you produce may lack the audio quality you intended. There might also be times when everyone doesn’t clearly understand the trainer’s strong accent. These factors could hamper your employees’ learning process, which can, in turn, hamper their productivity. Subtitling ensures that the content isn’t lost between the transition and that your employees get the desired result out of the training material.
Helps your employees accelerate learning
With online learning, your employees are likely to learn five times more material than traditional classroom learning. How? The best thing about online learning is that users can access course content anywhere, anytime—in a coffee shop or a crowded bus station.
Subtitling can be a time saver in such cases. It helps learners to quickly grasp a concept without needing to listen intently to the trainer and still get 100% out of a course. With subtitles, learning never pauses and frees up more time to invest in upskilling, thereby increasing module viewership and ROI.
Helps a diverse set of learners
Subtitling lets you help audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing, non native English speakers, and students with special needs. As you can provide subtitles in multiple languages, it becomes easier for anyone to access your training videos without anything hampering their progress.
Helps retain learners’ attention
While online learning allows one to access multiple courses and quickly upskill oneself, it can be very distracting to learn in a non professional setup. Especially when your employees are working from home, they find it even more challenging to concentrate.
Subtitling helps retain their attention for a longer period. Let’s say they’re watching a tutorial and hear a difficult word they didn’t understand. They might go backward and listen to that part again. Perhaps they exit the video or try to look up that word and see if the pronunciation makes sense. Somewhere in between, they decide to scroll on social media for five minutes. But when they have subtitles to their rescue, they will know the word, and it’ll be easier for them to continue learning without any distractions. Moreover, it helps them retain the information better when they read words while consuming the information.
How to use subtitles in employee training courses
There are two ways to add subtitles to your employee training videos. You can either manually type in the transcription of the video or get the transcription automatically generated with the help of a tool.
The first process can be too time consuming and will only increase your production time. However, the second approach will fast track your production process and make your learning and development initiative a great success! Here are some steps you can follow to produce high quality subtitle enabled course videos for your employees.
Investing in a caption and subtitle service would be your best decision—in terms of productivity and ROI— if you’ve multiple employee training programs or courses in the pipeline. Because it’ll help you save time and workload on handling hours of video content and manually transcribing word to word.
Think about the amount of content you can produce in less time! Use an automatic service provider that allows you to directly import videos from Zoom or Vimeo and transcribe and subtitle on the go! Additionally, you should be able to edit your subtitles as and when necessary and translate the text into multiple languages. Choose a vendor that can simplify your workflow and help you create subtitles regardless of the difficulty of your content.
Let the presenter know in advance
We often see a video running ahead of the words, and even if the two manage to catch up, the speed of the trainer disrupts the alignment. As a result, it hampers the learning experience of your employees.
You must remember that subtitling is not only a post production process but it should be taken into account from the beginning itself. You must ensure that the presenter is well versed with your company’s subtitling process and the speed at which you like them to appear on the screen. The presenter must take ample pauses between the video and ties to dial down their accent.
Proofread the subtitles
A video course filled with too many subtitle errors can be off putting for employees and, as a result, pulls them out of the learning experience. Often, a misspelled or wrongly positioned word may completely change the meaning of a sentence, leaving the learner confused.
- Look for grammatical errors
- Make sure you’re not using two similar sounding words
- Make sure there’s a proper pause between sentences and commas and full stops are used correctly
Most importantly, remember that no subtitling service can be 100% accurate. So, be ready to put in a minimal (yet crucial) human effort to ensure that your subtitles are error free and ready to go!
Format the subtitles to enhance readability
It is crucial to adjust the text to ensure that viewers can read everything in time. If it improves the quality of the subtitle and video altogether, modify the wording as much as possible to maintain clarity and the intended meaning. The idea is to make the subtitles less overwhelming for readers so they grasp everything the video explains.
- Edit redundant, superfluous, or filler words
- Change sentence structure to give it more clarity
- Merge sentences if needed
- Shorten sentences by replacing them with alternatives
- Stick to a maximum of 2 lines at a time on screen
- Ensure time sync between audio and subtitle
- Leave a gap between when the presenter is speaking and not speaking
- Give at least 2 seconds for learners to read one line of text (you can reduce or increase this later upon testing)
Transcribe the raw videos as well
Wait, how does that help? Won’t it delay the production process?
Well, you have a good reason to do that. It often helps if your editors know which video sections cover what topic—manually watching the entire course video might take hours for them to find out that section and edit or extract it. However, when you transcribe the entire raw footage and create subtitles for it, you can easily look up the keyword in the subtitles. This way, the editing team will get familiar with the course content and extract the best parts of the footage to maximize the learning experience.
Use timestamps in the transcripts
Choose a subtitling service that also provides timestamps from your raw footage. These timestamps help editors pick up a section from a video and quickly cut and edit it, streamlining the video production process. This means editors won’t have to consistently switch between viewing and editing modes and work more productively.
In a nutshell
Creating quality course videos takes much more than just the content and filming; subtitling and captioning are often overlooked!
Luckily, many tools available today can help you create top quality video courses for your employees and provide them with the best learning experience. Make sure you follow everything you learned here and choose the right tools to produce the best videos for your employees.