Making virtual meetings accessible: The benefits of live captioning

Making Virtual Meetings Accessible: The Benefits of Live Captioning

Live captioning (an optional feature in Microsoft Office Teams) provides ‘real-time’ speech-to-text of the information being communicated. Live captioning aids learners in their comprehension, accuracy, engagement and retention of course material (Dallas, McCarthy & Long, 2016; DelloStritto & Linder, 2017). Live Captioning not only benefits learners who are deaf or hearing impaired, or learners who are impacted by challenges with auditory & visual processing, verbal comprehension and/or focus and concentration – but all learners (Matheson, n.d.). When students are able to focus on and engage in information being presented, their understanding and retention of that information greatly increases (Dallas, McCarthy & Long, 2016; DelloStritto & Linder, 2017). Live captioning may also provide a way for learners to overcome poor audio or allow for no audio if their learning environment is not conducive to a virtual meeting. 

Difficulty: 1/5


12 minutes 



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Help Guide in Microsoft Office Teams 



The Process


In Teams: In a Teams Virtual meeting, click on the three dots that appear on the menu control bar. From the menu that appears, click on “Turn on live captions (preview).” The setting takes a second to enable; you should see CC on the farleft side of the menu control bar, indicating that live captioning is enabled. Captions will appear at the bottom of the screen.


Create a reminder for all virtual meeting participants to turn on live captioning at the beginning of the meeting. Post instructions on how to do this in a place all learners can access.


Dallas, B. K., McCarthy, A. K., & Long, G. (2016). Examining the educational benefits of and attitudes toward closed captioning among undergraduate students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, 16(2), 56–65. 


DelloStritto, M.E., & Linder, K. (2017). A rising tide: How closed captions can benefit all students. Educause. 


Matheson, G. (n.d.). 5 benefits of live captioning at university. AI Media.

Ashley Burke

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