Captioning Videos in Kaltura

This document provides information with regards to captioned content in the Digital Learning Environment.

Related KBs:
Kaltura (Captioning) - Adding and Editing Captions
Kaltura Service Terms of Use
Kaltura My Media and Canvas
Kaltura Capture Desktop Recorder

Which videos must be captioned?

All video and audio content in a course must be captioned, regardless of whether you have a student who has a documented disability. 
All video content in Kaltura can be captioned either via requesting machine generated captions or through a formal request through Student Accessibility Services. If content is hosted elsewhere, the instructor of the course may need to acquire or produce a new copy of the media so that it can be uploaded and captioned. Media which poses a copyright concern will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

What if I link to videos? Do they have to be captioned?

Yes. All content which is a part of your course must be captioned. In most cases of external media without captions, it is recommended that instructors instead find a suitable alternative with captions or provide a text-based alternative (e.g. the actual scientific study a selected cable news story is about). In many cases, content on services like Kanopy and Ted are already captioned.

Are machine-generated captions good enough?

Sometimes. If captions were provided/manually created and uploaded on Kaltura or YouTube content by its creator (as they often are with promotional materials like movie trailers, certain broadcasts, and other professional or promotional media), or if the creator edited the machine-generated captions to make them more accurate, then these captions are sufficient. Beware, however: Kaltura and YouTube's machine-generated captions, while they've come a long way, are NOT a replacement for true captions. If you are the owner of a YouTube video or own the rights to the media, it can be ingested into Kaltura and captions can be requested. Machine-generated captions in Kaltura can be generated and edited with the service's caption editor.

Can I proactively caption the content in my course?

Yes! Machine-generated captions can be easily and freely ordered within the Kaltura My Media service. Please see Kaltura (Captioning) - Adding and Editing Captions for more information. Machine-generated captions are typically not accurate enough for a formal Student Accessibility Services request, but they can be edited to improve their accuracy to achieve compliance for a student who requires an accommodation. Captions may already be available elsewhere for your media (e.g. the video exists on Kanopy, it's a Ted talk, etc.). There is a cost associated with having videos accurately captioned by a human-sourced captioning service, so contact Student Accessibility Services or the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning for more information. 

Can I add subtitles to my own videos?

An instructor or student can caption any video they own in Kaltura by uploading an SRT file (a specially formatted text file which includes the subtitle text and timing information) or by requesting machine generated captions in Kaltura My Media and then editing them. Generating an SRT file can be done using a service such as or a software like Aegisub. An SRT file can also be manually typed out using Notepad or similar text-editing software. The easiest path to captioning your videos yourself may be to upload your videos to Kaltura My Media, order free machine-generated captions within My Media, and then edit those captions for accuracy via the Kaltura caption editor.

I show films in class and I'm moving my class online - can I caption these videos?

Cases which deal with copyright concerns are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact CATL for more information. 

I have ownership of a video and Student Accessibility Services tells me I need it captioned. Now what?

Upload your video content to Kaltura (if you have not already done so). Then submit a request for captioning by forwarding the notice for required captioning from Student Accessibility Services to along with information about the content you need captioned (their titles in Kaltura, a copy of your syllabus which includes the titles of the videos embedded on the course site, etc.). You may also submit links to public YouTube videos. Please submit your media captioning requests well in advance of when you need to use the media in class. You should expect a 1-2 week turnaround time for the return of ordered captions. Alternatively, you may wish to caption the videos yourself using the methods described above or seek out a third party captioning service.