Live closed captioning

The Ultra experience includes live closed captioning. This provides an accessible learning experience for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for students whose native language is different from the moderator's.

Moderators must make attendees captioners. Captioners type what is being said during a session. Other attendees can view what is being typed in real time. You can have multiple captioners for multiple languages.

More on making an attendee a captioner for moderators

Captions entered during the live session are included when the session is recorded. If your session had more than one caption track, only the first available one is captured.

More on session recordings for participants


Being a captioner

As a captioner, you can provide captions for others in your session. This is a role that is assigned to you by a moderator.

There can be more than one captioner in a session. Captioners are identified in the Attendees panel with a Closed Caption (CC) icon by them.

Live closed captioning is not supported in Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean. Users with browsers set to these languages receive an error when they start.


Let's get started

When you are made a captioner you see an alert letting you know that you can now provide captions.

Select Let's get started when you are ready. This alerts other attendees that captions are available. Your captions appear on their screen as you type them in real time.

Selecting Let's get started also opens a text field for you to type what you hear during the session.

Your name is used as the title of your captions by default. It is good practice to change the title to something others can recognize when they view your captions. For example, Closed Captions or Spanish Subtitles.

Do you see the content being shared and want to watch the speaker? Select the picture-in-picture to see the active speaker.


Chinese, Japanese, and Korean browsers

The input process for live closed captioning is not supported in browsers set to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This means that what you type may not appear how you want. Attendees see all keystrokes, not just the resulting word.

Example: To type the Japanese word "河口", the captioner types "kakou", which appears as "kかkこう". These characters are manually converted into "河口". Attendees viewing the captions see both the typed and converted characters, making the captions difficult to understand.

Set your browser to English to type captions in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


Watch a video about live closed captioning

The following un-narrated video provides a visual representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Closed Captioning in Blackboard Collaborate shows you how closed captioning works in Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience.


Collaborate Auto Captions

Automated live captioning

If you require real-time captioning, and a live captioner is not available, automated captioning may be an alternative. Blackboard Collaborate doesn't currently include automated live captioning but there are currently plans to add this functionality in the future. In the meantime, automated live captioning may be available from a third-party company. For example, Google provides a free service that generates captions for some audio files, videos, and directly from an instructor. For more information on this service, please contact Google directly. Please note that Blackboard doesn't endorse or recommend any third-party automated captioning services for use with Blackboard Collaborate or otherwise. Further, Blackboard doesn't guarantee that any third-party automated captioning services are suitable for use with Blackboard Collaborate, comply with applicable laws and regulations, or will meet their intended or required purpose. Any use of third-party automated captioning services is done at your own risk. Blackboard strongly advises that should you utilize a third-party automated captioning service, the end-user student and instructor practice using the service to ensure that captions are in fact available and that the service is accurately interpreting the audio content. Regarding captioning of recordings, Blackboard Collaborate provides some solutions for institutions to upload their own captions, and an integration with 3playmedia for institutions who have a contract with 3playmedia.