5. Materials & Media

Recommendation 5.4: Accessibility (Video)
Provide quality, accessible video and other media in order to deliver course material effectively and inclusively.

Synopsis from Self-Review

Media do not need to be high production quality to be effective. There are multiple approaches that can work, including “selfie videos,” lecture capture, narrated PowerPoints, and more. How you choose among these depends on personal preferences, the technology available to you, and the kinds of visual support you have to accompany your video. Shorter videos (10 minutes or less) are more accessible and effective than longer ones, as are videos with captions. Some students require video captions and transcripts of audio content, and all students benefit from these elements of accessible design.

How to Put Into Practice

When possible, avoid presenting long videos to students. Instead, break these up into shorter chunks (e.g., 6-9 minutes). You can string together multiple shorter videos on your Canvas site. Also remember that video has the important role of establishing your presence as the human being who is teaching the course. Use it to provide both the informal and formal kind of talk that you would do naturally in a face-to-face setting. 

Be proactive about attending to accessibility considerations for video content. UW-Madison is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive learning environment in any circumstance so that students and instructors can fully participate. 

It is a significant benefit for all students to have captioned video content and transcribed audio content.  Fortunately, there are tools in Kaltura that make the captioning process simpler. Aim to prepare your lectures far enough in advance that you can caption them (see an overview of this process Adding a captions file to media in Kaltura). Start with machine captioning, and then use the caption editor in Kaltura MediaSpace to improve the quality before you switch on the captions (see Step #10 on this KB Doc). Other supports you can provide to all students include structured notes or a transcript. Avoid releasing a video with only machine captions, as the potentially numerous errors could be disruptive to a viewer.  


Accommodations are changes made for individual learners to address a specific need.  All approved accommodations that have been requested through McBurney Connect should be implemented by your instructor as long as they are timely and reasonable. If you have a student who uses media or real-time captioning, or who uses a sign language interpreter as an approved disability-related accommodation, captioning of video content and transcription of audio-only content is required, and you should have received communications from the UW-Madison McBurney Disability Resource Center. For a listing of student accommodations in each section, log into McBurney Connect

Useful Links for Creating and Sharing Videos

Creating Video Content

Using Kaltura MediaSpace to Deliver Video Content

Captioning for Videos

These documents cover some of the essential steps and tools available to caption videos:  

Additional Resources

Background Information

What is this?

Video and other forms of media can be used both for content and feedback. Whatever approach you choose, it’s critical to ensure media resources are high enough quality that learners are focused on the content, not on trying to discern what they’re seeing or hearing, and that accessibility affordances (e.g. captions) exist and are accurate for students who need them.

Why is this important?

When you engage with students online, audio and video are the main pathways for creating a sense of connectedness. By making accommodations for students who need them, and following guidelines for accessible design, you create an inclusive foundation that benefits all students, allowing them to fully process course content in a timely and effective manner, and experience the rich learning experience you have planned for them.

Where is this?

Media are typically delivered through recorded lectures, podcasts, narrated PowerPoint presentations, or demonstrations. Canvas is the focal point for course media. Video can be uploaded to Kaltura MediaSpace and linked or embedded in Canvas Pages.

Success Factor 5: Materials & Media

Lectures and course materials are accessible, multi-faceted, varied, and aligned with course learning outcomes.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 International License.