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White Papers and Books

White Papers

Student Uses and Perceptions of Closed Captions and Transcripts
This PDF document contains the results from the largest IRB-approved study on student usage and perceptions of closed captions and transcripts, conducted in 2016 by the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit in collaboration with 3Play Media. Using data collected from 2,124 student participants from across 15 public and private colleges and universities, the results are analyzed and broken down by different student subgroups. Among the questions addressed by the study are the following:

  • Why do students use captions/transcripts and how do they support learning?
  • Why and how often do students who are not deaf or hard of hearing use captions/transcripts?
  • Which subgroups of students use captions/transcripts and how much do they rely on them?
  • Are there common hindrances that can be mitigated?

Implementation of and Solutions for Closed Captioning in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education (Oregon State University eCampus)
In 2016, the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit conducted two nationwide research projects on closed captioning in higher education. In this document, Dr. Katie Linder, the head researcher on the project, presents the findings of the institutional survey by closely examining the results from over 50 colleges and universities nationwide, focusing on the challenges of and solutions for captioning.

Opening Doors or Slamming Them Shut? Online Learning Practices and Students with Disabilities (PDF; Sheryl Burgstahler, Accessible Technology Services, University of Washington, USA)
ABSTRACT: Online learning has the potential to open doors to education for everyone who has access to the technology required to participate. Or does it? When it comes to social inclusion in online learning, who are the “haves” and who are the “have-nots?” Some online learning practices erect barriers to individuals with disabilities—uncaptioned videos are not accessible to students who are deaf, content presented only within graphic images is not accessible to individuals who are blind, unorganized content cluttered on a page creates barriers to some students with learning disabilities and attention deficits, web pages that require the use of a mouse are inaccessible to those who cannot operate a mouse. This article explores the question, “What online learning practices make social inclusion possible for individuals with disabilities?” The author answers this question with lessons learned from her own teaching experiences as well as those presented in research and practice literature. She also shares overall characteristics of distance learning programs that promote the social inclusion of students with disabilities in their courses. The author points out how making courses welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by individuals with disabilities may promote the social inclusion of other students as well. She recommends further dissemination and future research regarding inclusive practices in online learning.

2016 Roadmap to Web Accessibility in Higher Education (3Play Media)
Web accessibility is one of the most critical issues facing higher education. New web technologies have been a boon for distance and online education, yet 11% of undergraduates have a disability that impairs access to websites and online content. When creating an accessible infrastructure, many questions abound:

  • How can universities align departments to make accessibility a priority?
  • What are the applicable laws?
  • Where will the budget come from?

This white paper delves into these questions and provides guidance for making online university content accessible to as many stakeholders as possible.

8 Benefits of Transcribing and Captioning Online Video (3Play Media)
Why should I transcribe and caption my videos? It’s a simple question with so many answers. Here are the top 8 reasons why video transcription and captioning are beneficial for both the university and our students.

Solving Web Accessibility: Leaving No One Behind (3Play Media)
Worldwide, more than one billion people have a disability. Disability affects one in three families in North America, and if it doesn’t affect yours, it is almost a certainty that it affects someone close to you. These numbers reflect a critical need to improve accessibility measures to accommodate the growing population of individuals with disabilities. This white paper covers the following topics:

  • the benefits of making your web content accessible
  • types of disabilities and online challenges
  • assistive technologies for different types of disabilities
  • what is necessary in creating an accessible digital experience
  • the legal landscape of accessibility
  • tips for improving your web accessibility
  • conforming with WCAG 2.0 and ADA
  • resources for accessibility compliance


Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice
In the 1990s, Anne Meyer, David Rose, and their colleagues at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) introduced universal design for learning (UDL), a framework to improve teaching and learning. Universal Design for Learning: Theory & Practice includes the following:

  • New insights from research on learner differences and how human variability plays out in learning environments
  • Research-based discussions of what it means to become expert at learning
  • First-hand accounts and exemplars of how to implement UDL at all levels and across subjects using the UDL Guidelines
  • “Dig Deeper” segments that enrich the main content
  • Dozens of original illustrations and access to videos and other online features on the CAST web site
  • Opportunities to participate in a UDL community

Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices
Examples of applications of universal design in postsecondary education, compiled and edited by Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D., the founder and director of the DO-IT Center and author of Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice (Harvard Education Press, 2015. Second edition).