Featured Senior Lecturer – Dr James Shea

Caption.Ed and Dr James Shea

Meet Dr James Shea, James is a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Bedfordshire, a Subject Leader in English and a Published Author. We caught up with him following the exciting news that he has just been granted both a new book deal and the opportunity to proceed with a very interesting research project which could change how people are taught across education (learn more about James’s research here).

James considers himself  “a hearing-impaired person in a hearing world” having lost his hearing when he was 6 years old. James retains some low-frequency hearing which is optimised through the use of specialist hearing aids and he is also a proficient lip reader. 

During our discussion, we explored some of the tools and strategies James adopted to improve his comprehension of spoken audio. James outlined how on video calls, turning on the camera, camera position and lighting were the difference between being able to follow a conversation versus being left unable to engage. Simple things that make an enormous difference, especially with the boom in remote working.

James finds captions of great help when available. Rather than being solely reliant on the text, James uses the captions to supplement the information gleaned either from hearing or lip-reading, to build a fuller understanding of what has been said. James outlined how the success of this method of processing multiple channels of information is reliant on captions being easily visible, ideally movable on the screen. Similarly, if there is a notable lag between the speaker and the caption, then this strategy can begin to fail. 

With this, we’re pleased to say James has found benefit in Caption.Ed:

“The transcription was good and it helped raise my comprehension well”.

“Caption.Ed immediately made a difference. It created much more liminality for me instead of making me have to try and speculate as to what missing words were”

The customisable captions allow James to adjust his screen and make his view of lips and text a lot easier to access.

“[Caption.Ed] is clearly enhancing the liminality of my online experience and for that, I’m really pleased” 

Thank you to James for providing us with such a great insight into how he works and the tools that he finds helpful, which has and will aid us to continue to build the best products possible to support our users. 

“You’ve made a difference. It is much appreciated” 

To keep up with James and his research feel free to follow him on Twitter