Distance Learning: Top Transcription and Captioning Services for Online Educators

Educators want to do their best for their students with online learning, and there are a lot of competitors to choose from. Services have variations on: How will lectures be recorded? Where will they be hosted? And how can you quickly make them accessible to all students with closed captions, transcripts, and subtitles in another language?

Accessible lecture content has quickly become a requirement rather than a nice to have. Online educators looking for a solution to closed captions and transcription tell us that there are six main drivers behind determining the best speech-to-text service for their needs.

  1. Meeting compliance standards
  2. Compatibility with learning management systems (LMS), video storage systems, and video conferencing tools
  3. Reliable accuracy
  4. Affordable pricing that aligns with billing systems
  5. Fast turnaround times
  6. Ease of use

Comparison of Services for Online Educators

Today, the biggest online transcription competitors in the education space are IncrediScribe, Cielo24, 3PlayMedia, and Verbit. To give educators an overview of the competitor landscape, we took a deep dive into all four of these services to see how they stack up against one another in each driving category. Compliance — The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. All four services provide closed captions that help educators meet ADA compliance standards for their online content. Compatibility with current tools — 3PlayMedia offers the largest selection of integrations with 35 to choose from. However, both IncrediScribe and 3Play offer integrations with core video platforms used for higher education such as Kaltura, Panopto, and Brightcove. Instructional design professionals use a combination of learning management, video storage, and video conferencing tools to enable online courses. Most online video platforms require an SRT or SCC caption file to enable captioning, which IncrediScribe provides. Reliable accuracy — Among competitors, IncrediScribe produces the highest quality transcripts and closed captions with a 99% accuracy guarantee, high-quality assurance standards, and custom glossaries for course-specific jargon. Depending on the type of educational video, audio quality can vary and IncrediScribe also has safeguards to ensure these files maintain quality standards. Affordable pricing — IncrediScribe offers the most affordable, straightforward, and flexible pricing model of any online transcription service. With no minimums and no hidden fees for things like multiple speakers or difficult audio, IncrediScribe’s pricing is consistent and allows for easy budget planning and use. On the other hand, 3PlayMedia and Cielo24 charge a base rate plus add-on fees for faster turnaround, multiple speakers, and difficult audio. Price per audio minute with a 24-hour turnaround time: IncrediScribe: $1.50 per audio minute Verbit: $1.83 per audio minute Cielo24: $3.50 per audio minute 3PlayMedia: $4.15 per audio minute Fast turnaround times — IncrediScribe guarantees the fastest turnaround time of all four competitors at standard pricing. Verbit, Cielo24, and 3PlayMedia make you pay extra for a speedier turnaround time, whereas IncrediScribe provides consistent, fast delivery for any file type at any volume. IncrediScribe standard turnaround: 24 hours, 7 days a week Verbit standard turnaround: 3 business days Cielo24 standard turnaround: 5 business days 3PlayMedia standard turnaround: 4 business days Ease of use — While there are differences in the experience between IncrediScribe, Verbit, Cielo24, and 3Play, IncrediScribe customers consistently rave about how easily IncrediScribe fits into their current workflow. For educators looking to adopt a solution quickly, signing up and uploading coursework can take only a few minutes. And you’ll get accurate captions and transcripts back in less than 24 hours, 7 days a week. For schools that don’t currently have any system in place, IncrediScribe can get online classrooms up and running quickly with an upfront service, around-the-clock order fulfillment, and no contract requirements.

Making Lecture Content Accessible for All

In higher education, online accessibility benefits all students. IncrediScribe works with leading video platforms and learning management systems to provide high-quality captions and transcripts that help educators engage students. Compared to other leading transcript services competitors, IncrediScribe can help colleges and universities get the compliant distribution of digital courses for distance learning quicker and at a more competitive price point. By combining leading AI with a team of over 50,000 professionals, IncrediScribe is able to provide unmatchable quality and turnaround at scale.