Celia Child '22 Co-Authors Article on Captioning Best Practices

November 2, 2020

This summer, Celia Child '22 was able to work with University of Massachusetts-Amherst Professor of Geology Michele L. Cooke and several others on an article for the American Geophysical Union about tools and techniques for captioning of jargon-rich content like geoscience presentations. 

The article demonstrates the effectiveness and accuracy of captioning software on commonly used platforms (Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides) and how they can benefit a wide range of audience members: reducing listening fatigue, allowing non-native English speakers to better participate in scientific conferences, helping students stay engaged during a lesson, etc. 

The article includes five best practices and key takeaways:

  • Implement AI-based auto-captioning directly within the presentation software.
  • Use an external microphone.
  • Speak deliberately and clearly.
  • Practice with the presentation software beforehand and add to text of the slides words that are typically missed with your accent.
  • Always accommodate requests for human captionists.

“When following these best practices, a geologic-jargon rich text produced as low as a five percent error rate," says Celia.

A geology major, Celia is taking this semester off to work with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, building and maintaining trails in northern Vermont. She plans to return to her studies at Bryn Mawr this spring and move on to thesis research in the summer and the following year.

Department of Geology

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