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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 11 (UPI) — Captions in educational videos, meant for students with learning disabilities, can up test scores and comprehension for all students, a U.S. researcher says.
Robert Keith Collins, a professor of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University, said he found students’ performance on tests improved dramatically when captions were switched on during videos.
Collins developed the idea while he was a member of a faculty learning committee focused on ways to make the classroom more accessible to all students. During the first year of a two-year case study, he showed videos without captions to establish a baseline of student comprehension. Once that baseline was established, he turned captions on and began to see improvements. Those improvements continued into the second year of the study.
“Not only were students talking about how much having the captions helped them as they took notes, their test scores went up,” Collins said.
The finding suggests captions can be beneficial for all students, not just the disabled, he said.
“During the baseline year, there were a lot of Cs. In the second years, they went from Cs, Ds and Fs to As, Bs and Cs. It was really significant improvement,” he said.
That improvement didn’t just manifest itself in grades. Class discussions also became livelier and more detailed, with students recalling specific information shown in the videos such as names of people and places.
“We’re living in an age where our students are so distracted by technology that they sometimes forget where they should focus their attention when engaged with technology or media,” he said. “Turning on captions seems to enable students to focus on specific information.”
Read more about these findings on captions in educational videos: