It’s been a while since we’ve posted about Zoom. After an influx of Zoom blogs and resources to get us through the emergency remote teaching period of 2020-21, the video conferencing tool has settled into a consistently used platform at UTS – with an established collection of resources being the ‘go to’ place for anyone needing a refresher.
This week, there have been some updates that may impact on your teaching practice: the addition of automated captions and live transcripts as text alternatives to audio, and a change to where you store and access your recorded meetings. Here’s what you need to know…
Automated captions and live transcripts
Automated captions are closed captions that are generated in real time using cloud-based speech recognition technology. They are displayed just above the Zoom toolbar.
Live transcripts are a record of all the automated captions generated during a meeting. They:
- can be shown or hidden by participants as desired
- can be saved and download at any time during the meeting
- identify who was speaking when viewed in Zoom (but not in the saved transcript)
Meeting Hosts can enable or disable both features for all participants. If enabled, participants will see a notification in the meeting window. Participants can show, hide or request these features.
Some limitations to captions and transcripts are:
- English is the only supported language
- They’re not available in Breakout Rooms, but manual captions are available in one Breakout Room per meeting
- Saved transcripts do not show who was speaking
- Their accuracy can vary – they should not be used if captions are required to meet someone’s accessibility needs; for more information on best practice for captions and transcripts, read our ‘Inclusivity and Accessible practices’ resource
Enabling the feature is straightforward. On the Zoom toolbar, you will see an icon that reads ‘CC Live Transcript’. Selecting ‘Enable Auto-Transcription’ will enable the option for you.
Accessing and storing meeting recordings
The second change is the move to Zoom Cloud recordings. Previously, Zoom Cloud recordings were accessed through AARNET CloudStor via a link that was emailed to the host. Now, recordings can be accessed straight from your UTS Zoom webpage or directly from Canvas.
Recordings on the Zoom Cloud are stored for 180 days (or 6 months) and you will be notified 7 days before the recordings will be removed from your account. If you need your recording beyond this timeframe, you can download it to keep it on your computer or to upload to Kaltura.
Don’t fret – you will still receive an email when your recording is ready and you will also still have access to all your past CloudStor recordings.
Note that there is currently an issue that may affect a small number of UTS Zoom users in regard to concurrent Zoom meetings (meetings that are linked to a single host user at a time): a maximum of two concurrent meetings will now be strictly enforced by Zoom. The best way to mitigate this is to use ‘Schedule on Behalf of’. This feature allows users such as Subject Coordinators to schedule Zoom meetings on behalf of another person, with the Meeting ID scheduled in the other person’s Zoom account.