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Adding Multimedia to the Online Classroom

Welcome Videos: A basic way to introduce students to your course is with a welcome page that includes text. A more advanced way to introduce your course is through a welcome video. This can include a short introduction, your educational and teaching background, why you are a teacher, what you hope students gain from your course, and any interesting facts. A short video gives students a more interactive welcome.

  • When using videos or other multimedia forms like podcasts, whether your own or links from sources like YouTube, you should make sure you include transcriptions and captions. These ensure that media is available in more than one format.

    • Transcripts: If a video includes sound, it should have a transcript available with text, for those with hearing impairments or for those who are visual learners. It’s also best if videos have captions on the screen that explain what sound is on screen.
      TIP: If your video does not include instruction that must be followed along with (i.e. lab videos, math explanations, etc.), a transcript will work. For example, most lecture videos only need a transcript.
    • Caption: However, if your video does require students to follow along with you, you should caption your video (i.e. words follow along with visual on screen). There are several captioning and transcription resources available, both for free and for a cost. Be sure to check with your university’s library or disability services to see if they offer free transcription or captioning services.

See an example Welcome video: Course Intro

Screen recordings: Screencast-o-matic is a free screen reading tool that helps you record parts of your screen, if you want to make a video showing a specific skill from your computer. You can also record videos from your webcam or Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to export to YouTube, which has captioning capabilities. You can even export PowerPoints as videos and upload them to YouTube. 

Interactive PowerPoint Presentations: PowerPoints can be useful in an online course. To add captions or annotate your PowerPoints, see these resources:

Adding Captions, Annotations, and/or Subtitles to Presentations

Creating Captions and Subtitles in PowerPoint

Adding narration and more interactive multimedia elements through programs like Adobe Presenter (1:33 video) and Articulate Storyline (1:46 video)

Caption and Transcription Services that Cost: If your institution does not offer captioning service, there are paid tools available online.


Caption Colorado


National Captioning Institute

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