Technological advances continue to shift the way students learn and educators teach. With extensive broadband access, reliable communication tools, and user-friendly videoconferencing facilities more broadly available, it is easier than ever for educators to deliver high-quality learning experiences online.

Even before the appearance of COVID-19, an increased number of classes were being offered remotely from the rise of online English as a foreign language courses to a growing number of programs for homeschooled children.  

The global COVID-19 pandemic has shifted these numbers upwards even more. With over 400 million students disrupted due to the spread of COVID-19, more students than ever before are learning online today.

However, in the rush to set up online learning platforms with limited knowledge and insufficient resources, the issue of ensuring that classes are accessible for all often gets pushed aside.  Unfortunately, inaccessible online classrooms are not only a disadvantage to Deaf and hard of hearing students, it is also an issue for hearing students, who may be learning from crowded homes.

Luckily, there is a quick and cost-effective way to ensure that online courses are accessible to all: add captions to Blackboard videos.

Who Benefits from Video Captions?

If you think you don’t need to caption your videos because you don’t have a Deaf or hard of hearing student in your class, you should think again. Research shows that only half of deaf college students file documentation or request accommodations.

While video captions are essential for students that are Deaf or hard of hearing, research also shows that video captions can actually help everyone. Video captions are useful for students in a lot of ways:

  • assisting the learning of non-native speakers
  • helping students with ADD/ADHD or learning disabilities
  • allowing students to consume a video in a noisy environment
  • enabling key word searches of content for review of specific course material
  • displaying spellings of proper names and technical words

Video captioning makes course videos accessible to all, making learning open to all.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a web-based software product that provides educators and businesses the ability to teach students and employees via a virtual environment. The main aim behind Blackboard is to create and deliver online courses and learning successfully to recipients with few or no face-to-face meetings.

Blackboard provides many types of tools and features for enriching the learning experience. Through Blackboards’ learning management system (LMS), instructors can provide students with video lectures, course documents, online assignments and assessments in a single environment. Instructors can also use the platform to keep attendance records, post grades and send emails. Students can access course documents, send files to their instructor, and access grades directly. Course materials are available 24/7, from any location, allowing students to learn when and where they like.

Blackboard makes it easy to teach and learn.

How to Add Captions to Blackboard Videos?

If you are already using Blackboard to upload course videos, it is time to start including captions to all of your content.  These steps make it easy:

1. Sign Up to Happy Scribe

If you already have a Happy Scribe account, go to step 2.

Otherwise, to use Happy Scribe's Subtitle Generator Software, go to our signup page and submit your information.

Once you have successfully signed up, you can upload your recording to Happy Scribe.

Happy Scribe offers 30 free minutes of transcription to all new users. If your file is longer than 30 minutes then you will need to buy credits on your account.

Happy Scribe offers 30 minutes of free audio to text transcription to all new users.

2. Subtitle Your Recording

Click "Upload" to open a pop-up browser. Find your recording and wait.

Happy Scribe will automatically covert the audio into text. It usually takes half of the file length to transcribe a file completely.

Happy Scribe makes it easy to convert audio to text.

3.Proofread & Correct Your Subtitles

Once your video has been successfully transcribed, open the transcript to proofread and review your text. Potential errors will be highlighted in red to help you proofread your transcript.

Happy Scribe makes it easy to proofread transcripts by highlighting potential errors in red.

4. Export Your Transcript

Your transcript is done! Click Export and export as Subtitles (SubRip .srt) file.

Happy Scribe allows you to export your transcript into many file formats.

5.Upload the SRT File to Blackboard

From Collaborate scheduler, select Recordings and find the recording you want.

Note:The Collaborate Scheduler is available in Blackboard Learn and LTI compliant LMS courses. The Collaborate Scheduler is not available in the Blackboard Open LMS Collaborate activity module.

Upload Happy Scribe video captions to Blackboard in the Collaborate scheduler.

Select the Recording options menu, and select Add caption source.

Browse for the SRT file and upload it.

And that’s it!  You have successfully added captions to your Blackboard video.


Creating accessible video content for all of your online courses doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive. If you have any questions about adding captions to your Blackboard videos, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Happy Scribe.