You’ve probably noticed that the traditional way of learning has changed over the last decade.  Long gone are the days when we rocked up to a physical classroom and had someone lecture to us.  Increasingly, we are learning remotely: individuals are Googling ‘How To’ videos, corporates are offering online training courses, and schools are incorporating virtual classrooms.

This has led to an explosion in the global e-Learning marketplace. In fact, a recent report by Orbis Research estimates that the industry will be worth $275.10 billion by 2022.

The growth has been fuelled by better technology, which has paved the way for increased access to the Internet, cheaper and quicker production of videos, and an easier way to share video content. As the demand for this type of video consumption continues to grow, it’s no secret that the market for online training courses will skyrocket too.

This is great news for individuals, corporates, and institutions looking for potential new revenue streams.  However, before you jump into creating and uploading your latest educational production you should consider these 4 reasons why you MUST include transcripts with your e-learning video:

1.In many cases, it’s the law!

Depending on your jurisdiction and the type of institution you represent, including a transcript of your web-based educational content may be required by law.  

In 1998, the US Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require US Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. Under Section 508 of the law, all US Federal agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public comparable access to all electronic information.

This means providing an interactive transcript or captioning all e-Learning videos to allow equal accessibility of information for hard of hearing learners and non-native speakers. Whilst this law applies only to the US, accessibility standards issued by the European Commission and the World Wide Web Consortium are similar.

Failure to make your learning videos fully accessible may earn you some unwelcome media attention.  Take for example the case of EdX, an online learning platform that Harvard co-founded with MIT.  They were sued a couple of years ago for not providing accurate captions for the deaf and had to enter into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice.

Legal experts believe that there will continue to be more litigation against companies that ignore their obligation to ensure their online video content is accessible.  To protect yourself against this kind of legal action, include a transcript!

2. People Learn Better By Seeing AND Hearing

Research has repeatedly shown that individuals learn and remember best when they can both see and hear information, rather than just hear them.

“As teachers, we want to assume students will remember everything we say. But if you really want something to be memorable you need to include a visual or hands-on experience, in addition to auditory information,” says Amy Poremba, author of one particular study from the University of Iowa.

Making sure your learners comprehend the e-Learning material is particularly important for corporates that issue training videos.  Lack of understanding can lead to poor work performance, lawsuits, and lost revenue.  

3. Easier to Find Relevant Information

Including a full interactive transcript gives users the functionality to search for a specific topic within the e-learning material without watching the entire video again.  

This is particularly useful if a learner just needs to review a specific section of a training course.  For instance, imagine you are an apprentice plumber or a budding property flipper trying to install a new toilet bowl.  You remember the steps in the training video on how to drain and disconnect an old toilet, but forgot how to install the new one.  

If the training video you learned from didn’t have a transcript you would have to watch and fast forward through the first part of the video until you found the relevant section.  However, if your training video has an interactive transcript, you can simply use the CTL F shortcut to find ‘Install new toilet’, which would take you to the relevant part of a video instantly.

If you are a company, the benefits include saving staff time, which leads to reduced costs. If you are a YouTuber offering e-Learning videos, this functionality is an added benefit that may increase your viewership.

4. Aids Additional Content Production

A transcript of an e-Learning video can be repurposed in a number of ways.

If you are a school offering online courses, teachers can use the transcript to help develop tests.  The transcript provides a written record of what was taught ensuring teachers test students on material covered to date.  Also, with a written record, a teacher can cut and paste relevant text to produce the questions and answers, which saves time.

If you are a company training employees, you can use the transcripts to create training manuals for later online reference.  This is helpful not only for employees, but it can be used by Compliance to ensure that you are adhering to all the training regulations required for your industry.

It you are an individual trying to earn YouTube dollars from tutorials, you can use the transcript to produce a detailed ‘How To Guide’.  If transformed into a colourful pdf with images, you can use as free resource to encourage more subscribers or embed into an email newsletter.


Whether you are an individual, a company, or an educational institution, including a full transcript of your e-Learning video will help improve the overall learning experience for both your learners and your teachers, and it  may even keep you from being embroiled in an expensive lawsuit!

Recent advances in AI technology make it easier, quicker, and cheaper than ever to transcribe video to text.  And we here at Happy Scribe are here to help! Please feel free to contact us today with any questions on how we can provide you with you with a transcript for your e-Learning video.