Harvard and MIT sued over closed captions on videos and podcasts in online courses

This is something every online instructor needs to consider. Why? Because our materials need to be accessible to everyone. Thus we need to conform to standards, such as 508 when developing our materials. If you were to know more about some of the most sought-after courses, you’d know that the same problem is prevalent within them, too. Obviously, its nearly impossible to make all videos and podcasts with closed captioning because it would take a significant amount of time and resources making these types of media worthless. One of things we have done at UNCW is to make sure that we provide an optional resource that covers similar material. Thus if my course has a podcast I can either type it up, which would take forever, or I can simply provide a reading that contains similar content. For all of my videos, I put them on youtube. Youtube does CC for all of their videos so all of my video sources are usually taken from there. This saves me time and everyone is happy. The only downfall is that my videos are then available to the public and on googles servers, which could be an issue for some people. There are many issues that this lawsuit will bring about such as…should online materials be accessible for everyone if there is a face to face course option? I say that because online courses are definitely not made for everyone (ie people who are not self motivated). Fortunately for me I am not a judge so I do not have make these decisions. I just try my best to make my materials available to everyone. And if you do have a disability or some other issue preventing you from viewing your instructors materials simply ask them for an alternative – I would hope they work with you on this.

You can check out the article here

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