LINC (Leadership for INCLusion in the Early Years) is an higher education level programme which enables practising early years’ educators to support the inclusion of children with additional needs in their early years of education.  LINC has grown to be Ireland’s largest blended learning cohort in higher education offering combined online and traditional face-to-face based classes to over 1,000 students per annum. The revolutionary programme was awarded the prestigious Jennifer Burke Award in 2018 for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

Challenges

Early years' educators selected for enrolment in this higher education course receive the majority of their classes through an asynchronous online learning environment. During the 6 module, 3 semester course, participants log onto an e-learning platform at a time that suits them to listen and watch online lectures and complete learning activities.

LINC soon realised that although its programme was instructing educators on how to be inclusive, their own online lessons weren’t accessible to all participants. With the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) estimating that 1 in 10 individuals are either hard of hearing or deaf within the European Union, it was quite possible that some of the educators enrolled in LINC would not be able access the programmes audio/video lessons.  LINC decided that they needed to provide subtitles and a transcription of each of their weekly recorded lessons to ensure accessibility for all students.

An option was to manually transcribe all of the online lessons  which would involve a tedious process of listening, pausing, typing, rewinding and listening again to 1.5 hours of recorded content per week was not an option. A daunting task that would take around 6 hours each week!

Solution

The LINC Team decided they needed a more efficient and cost-effective workflow method and began looking for an audio-to-text transcription service provider.

After a few months of looking, they heard about Happy Scribe through the Higher Education grapevine. Further research into Happy Scribe’s product offering, showed that Happy Scribe had just the factors they were looking for in a service provider: high accuracy rate, competitive pricing and simplicity of use.

“It takes about 5 minutes to show someone new how to use Happy Scribe”

Benefits

Using Happy Scribe’s video to text transcription service has come with a lot of benefits for the LINC programme. By far, the biggest benefit is that the team now saves a ton of time!

They were also ‘happily surprised’ with the accuracy - Irish accents aren't easy to decipher!  However, even with the strong Irish dialect and technical jargon words used in the videos the team find that only a very small amount of the transcription requires editing on each lesson.

The LINC team also love the multiple export options available.  With Word, TXT, SRT, STL, HTML, AVID and Premiere Markers export options available, it makes it easy for LINC to create subtitles and transcriptions for use alongside the video lessons.

Moreover, training other team members to use Happy Scribe’s interactive transcription tool has been easy.  LINC finds it only takes them around 5 minutes to give a new team member a run through on how to use the platform. The straight forward process is a real benefit for any company.

“We now have a good quality transcription of our recorded lessons for students – it’s more inclusive of all needs.”

Results

Before Happy Scribe, LINC was not able to make their online lesson content fully accessible to all of their students.  Now with all of their lessons fully transcribed and subtitled, early years' practitioners are getting the eduction they need to ensure that all children in Ireland have access to high quality and inclusive early learning and care.