The Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) grant from the state will create valuable opportunities for instructors to develop media-rich distance learning courses.
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The Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) grant from the state will create valuable opportunities for instructors to develop media-rich distance learning courses, according to the grant administrators at College of the Canyons.

The DECT grant allows PCC fulltime and adjunct instructors to close-caption work that they produce themselves or copyrighted video and/or audio materials they have permission to use, according to Distance Education Specialist Dr. Carole S. Robinson. She added that the actual length of the video(s) submitted for closed captioning and transcription determines the amount of each grant.

“It pushes the faculty to start learning to use different media and make their own videos,” Robinson said.

Robinson explained that the grant is intended for online, hybrid and on-campus classes that use methods of material delivery over distances, such as web conferencing, podcasting, class capture and content posted within a managed learning system.

Geography Instructor Rhea Presiado has used the grant since 2012; she shares the recorded/closed-captioned lectures with both her online and her face-to-face classes.

“I tell my face-to-face students when you go home you may want to study the lecture,” Presiado said. “Maybe you zoned out or you forgot or you didn’t understand…the close-captioning has helped all my students.”

Geography student Jasper Yangchareon finds it convenient to be able to pause and jot down or clarify something with the correct spelling. “Basically, I’m allowed to follow along at my own pace which I think is key to more widespread student success,” he said.

Like most instructors, Presiado produces her own videos and with the grant gets them closed-captioned and transcribed. The videos range from traditional lectures to screen casts to tutorials to show students how to use a specific program on the computer, show-and-tell on geography and how to read an online textbook.

Presiado also records and close-captions the field trips with her face-to-face students and is able to share these with her online class, allowing the students to take a virtual trip.

In addition to furthering the college’s ability to serve learning-impaired and audio/visual learners, closed-captioning also supports regular students as the course content is always accessible and they can consult the material to improve their comprehension, according to Robinson.

“ESL students have a much easier time learning if they see the words. It benefits everyone. In a way, it benefits the instructor because more people comprehend what is going on,” she added.

The Fashion Department produced its own video illustrating a sewing lesson. “They really caught on,” Robinson said. “Students can go back and look at [the video] and slow it down…it is a really good tool.”

Last year about twelve classes took advantage of this grant were anthropology 1, geography 1 and 2, philosophy 25, fashion 110 and 115, among others, said Robinson.

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