When people think of captioning software, many assume it only benefits people with hearing loss. However, you may be surprised to find that 80% of people who use captions are not deaf or have hearing loss.
The benefits of captions are in abundance for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) – such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyspraxia. This blog covers exactly how students with SpLDs can benefit from Caption.Ed’s captioning and note-taking features and provides detailed examples of where captioning software can be used to meet their needs.
How Caption.Ed can support students with dyslexia:
Working memory is essential for learning and refers to retaining and manipulating information from short-term and long-term memory. More than just memorisation, working memory enables us to do something with information, whether that be engaging in mental arithmetic or carrying out the steps to a recipe without having to glance at the cookbook.
However, around 10% of the population have a weakened working memory – and for students with SpLDs, including dyslexia, this figure ranges between 20% to 50%. For students in particular, weak working memory can adversely impact their learning. Students with working memory constraints tend to have trouble remembering sequences of information presented orally and sometimes experience difficulties in listening and writing/typing at the same time.
Captions can help by providing alternative ways to process information; students can read as they listen, and more than 100 empirical studies have shown this to boost comprehension and memory. By using captions, students also reduce the amount of information stored in their working memory, freeing up space for the absorption of visual and audio content to facilitate their learning.
Alongside captions, Caption.Ed Pro provides a full-text transcript of what’s been said at the end of a live session, so students can go back and review anything they feel they’ve missed. This takes the pressure off having to retain large amounts of information, allowing students to fully be ‘present’ in the session by spending less time note-taking and more time absorbing lecture content.
It’s not uncommon for students with dyslexia to experience ‘Irlen Syndrome’, a condition characterised by the brain struggling to make sense of the visual information it receives. This can lead to visual distortion and physical symptoms, including migraines, strain, and fatigue.
However, studies have shown that using coloured backgrounds can improve readability for people with dyslexia. And that’s why Caption.Ed offers students the option to customise how they view their captions. So, whether that be changing the colour scheme, contrast, or text size, students can optimise Caption.Ed to suit their visual preferences. Check out this help article to find out how you can do this for the browser extension and desktop app.
Students with dyslexia may also experience difficulty identifying speech sounds and relating letters to words (also known as decoding). This can lead to the mispronunciation of names and words or problems retrieving words, which can make it easy to get lost in what’s being said. However, captions enable students to visually see the correct spelling of words and sentence structures as they are spoken, which can, in turn, improve their grammar and literacy.
How Caption.Ed can help students with dyspraxia:
Dyspraxia is a common disorder affecting movement and coordination. Like dyslexia, those with dyspraxia may also experience working memory difficulties, and this can make efficient note-taking tricky.
However, a multisensory approach to learning through visual and audio mediums provides multiple ways for students to engage with information and can help boost cognition. To further assist these students, Caption.Ed has a ‘flag as important’ and ‘copy across’ function that allows students to take notes seamlessly without having to frantically scribble notes down. Any notes made are automatically saved to the Caption.Ed library, ready for students to return to at a later date.
Students with dyspraxia can often find it challenging to focus on multiple things at once. However, students using Caption.Ed can simplify the display in the captioning window to show only what is needed. For example, students can choose to show just captions, the note-taking function, or both – the choice is entirely theirs. The playback speed can also be adjusted, enabling students with dyspraxia and dyslexia to rewatch sessions at a pace that suits them.
How Caption.Ed can help students with ADHD:
One of the diagnostic markers for ADHD is attention deficit, which is where an individual struggles to maintain concentration for a given period. In an educational setting, this can put students at a disadvantage to their peers, especially if they miss critical information from their seminars or lectures.
But this is where captions can really make a difference.
Caption.Ed provides highly accurate real-time captions for both live and pre-recorded material, acting as visual stimuli to help maintain attention to the content provided. Captions remain on the screen beyond the moment of spoken audio, allowing students to compensate for any lapses in concentration and giving them extra time to comprehend the information. To assist students who find themselves easily distracted, there is also the benefit of being able to scroll back and recap anything missed in the session.
The interface of Caption.Ed is designed to be unobtrusive and is also adjustable. This is particularly helpful for students with ADHD as the Caption.Ed window can be minimised so it doesn’t distract from the main content on the screen, helping the student to focus on the important teaching material in front of them.
More than captioning software
As you can see, Caption.Ed is so much more than captioning software. With its built-in accessibility features and note-taking functionality, Caption.Ed has the potential to enhance the learning experience for all students, regardless of their ability.
With the pivot to online learning in recent years, increasing inclusivity has never been more critical and this is precisely what Caption.Ed was built to do: to make the world more accessible to all.
Want to see what all the fuss is about? You can speak to our sales team and get a free trial of Caption.Ed via the link below.