Closed Captions are lines of text that appear superimposed on top of a video image, usually near the bottom of the screen. They include narration, dialogue, and in some cases, descriptions of sounds and noises that are part of the audio playback.
Closed Captions differ from subtitles. With subtitles, only the transcript of the video is displayed. Closed Captioning is the standardized version of on-screen text representation of audio, and should be used in all classroom situations, both in a traditional setting and online, requiring the use of video.
Closed Captioning is useful not only for a student who has an accommodation which requires the use of Closed Captioning. If words are unfamiliar, or if audio quality is poor, the text can help hearing students understand the information better. In the case of videos found online or accessible out of the classroom, a student may wish to review the materials at a later time, and may not have the ability to listen to the audio, or, if they are in an environment with an excess of noise. This could happen if they are viewing the film on a portable device while riding the bus, or sitting in the cafeteria.
Standardized Closed Captioning is also a benefit to students who are not native English speakers. Additionally, some students have a learning style or preference that would allow them to benefit from the use of the Closed Captions on a video.
The following resources provide additional information about Closed Captioning.