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Managing Transcriptions of Captures (Instructors)
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2019 12:00PM EDT

This article applies to:  Echo360 Instructors

Transcriptions can be auto-generated by the ASR service when the video is published, manually generated and added to a capture or video, or the automatic transcription can be edited and re-applied to the video.  

Adding and managing existing transcriptions can be done by Admins for all captures, and by Instructors who are owners of the media. Co-instructors can also add or manage transcriptions on a capture IF the co-instructor edits toggle is turned on for any section where the capture is published.

Transcription options are available in the content details page for a video/capture.

Click on a media tile from your Content Home page (if you are the owner), or select Details from the video icon in the Class List.

content details page for instructor with Transcript menu options shown as described

You can manage the transcriptions applied to your videos, by:

  • Upload new or updated transcription files (Echo360 supports the use of .VTT files for transcriptions). See also Adding/Uploading Transcriptions to Captures.
  • Download the originally applied transcription (.VTT) file. If you are using the ASR service for automated transcriptions, this is likely the one returned from that service.
  • Download the current/edited version of the transcriptions. This returns the transcription file currently applied to the video and visible in the classroom.
  • Revert to the originally applied transcription file, removing the edited/current version from access or visibility.

We imagine the typical use-case for managing transcriptions looks something like this:

  1. Receive the machine-generated automatic transcription from the ASR service after the capture is published.
  2. Download the original transcription file (described below).
  3. Edit the transcription file, either using a transcription editing program or a word processing program.
  4. Save the edited file (see the editing article linked in #3 above).
  5. Upload the edited .vtt file.

Downloading transcriptions

You have two choices for downloading transcription files:

  • Download original: this downloads a copy of the originally applied transcription file. It might be one that was manually uploaded or it might be automated transcription provided by the ASR service. If it is the ASR transcription, you will notice entries that read NOTE CONF. These are the confidence rankings for each word, based on how certain the transcription program was that the interpretation of the speech-to-text was correct.
    This file can be edited if necessary and re-uploaded to replace the original with the edited version.
  • Download edited: this downloads the currently applied version of the transcription file. This might be a manually edited version from the original. Or if the capture was edited and republished and was automatically re-transcribed, this might be the updated automatic transcription. Regardless of how it got there or how many versions may have been uploaded between the original and the current version, this option only downloads the latest, currently-applied version of the video's transcriptions.

The below figure is an example of what a downloaded transcription file looks like. It is shown here because the VTT file looks considerably different than the rendering of the transcriptions in the classroom. For more information on the entries in a downloaded transcription file, see Defining the sections of a WEBVTT file below. For detailed steps and tips for editing a transcription file, see Editing Transcriptions for Accuracy.

Example downloaded transcript file

Defining the sections of a WEBVTT file

The Echo360 transcription service only accepts VTT files that meet the WebVTT specification as outlined by the W3C: If you are using a transcription program to generate transcription files, it will likely create an acceptable VTT file for you.

If you are downloading the automated transcription, editing it, then uploading the edited version, and you are using a more generic word processing program, there are some important things you need to know. We strongly encourage you to review Editing Transcriptions for Accuracy for more detailed steps and tips.

  • You should be able to perform the edits in a simple text editor like Notepad, Notepad++, Wordpad or TextEdit.
  • You can also perform the edits in a more robust program such as Microsoft Word (allowing you to use a spell checker, or find/replace with special character capabilities, etc.).
  • When Saving the file, select All Files (*.*) or from the File Type list, and be sure the file has a ".vtt" extension.
  • If All Files is not an option (such as from MS Word) select Text Files (*.txt) as the File Type. You can add the .vtt extension but Word will add .txt after it. This is ok; you can remove it later.
  • If your saved file reads something like FileName.vtt.txt because the program added the txt extension to the file when you saved it, simply go into Windows Explorer or Mac Finder and rename the file, removing the .txt from the end.

With respect to making edits in the file:

  • DO NOT remove the "WEBVTT" title line from the top of the file. This entry is required by the WebVTT specification.
  • DO NOT remove all of the line breaks; leave them in. The specification requires breaks (at least one hard return) between the time cues and the text (cue payload) and then at least ONE BLANK LINE between each cued segment. Meaning, the time and the text cannot be on the same line, and there must be a blank line before and after each cued segment. 
    See the text in the example VTT file shown above. It shows the time-cue on a line, the cue payload on the next line, and then two line breaks (hard returns or paragraph marks) to generate a blank line before the next time cue.
  • You don't have to, but you can remove the NOTE CONF entries that will be resident in a downloaded automatic-transcription file. These indicate confidence levels of the transcription program in the accuracy of each word transcribed to match what the speaker actually said. You can also leave them right where they are, and use them as cited in the next tip, as long as there are also empty line breaks above and below them (see previous bullet).
  • Helpful Tip: Use the NOTE CONF entries and search for confidence scores of 90 and lower. These will help you more easily locate those places in the transcription where the text is most likely in need of editing. See Editing Transcriptions for Accuracy for instructions on how to do this.

The bottom line is that when making edits to an automated transcription file, stick to editing the speech text and leave the rest of the file alone if possible. Using a spell/grammar check to find garbled words and sentences can be helpful, as well as looking for low-confidence markers (as noted in the tip above), to streamline the review and editing process.

Reverting to the original transcription

The Revert option in the transcript menu is very specific: it reverts the applied transcription file to the originally applied (first applied) transcription, and removes any edited versions from access. Effectively, it restores the video transcription to its original state.

IMPORTANT: Reverting removes access to the edited version if one is applied. If you want to retain a copy of the edited version, select Download edited first, then Revert

Reverting transcriptions to the original is permanent and cannot be undone.

To revert a capture or video's transcription to the original

  1. From the Transcript menu in the content details page (shown above), select Revert.
  2. Click OK on the confirmation message.

The originally applied transcription file is now applied to the video and is the one visible in the classroom. Any edited versions that had been applied are no longer accessible.
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