Creating Transcripts

When adding your own video and audio recordings to your course, it is important to include a transcript for your students to ensure they are accessible and adhere to good universal design principles.

If you didn’t write a script prior to recording (which is recommended when possible), here are some options for creating transcripts:

Watch this video for an overview of the options presented below:


oTranscribe is a simple web application that allows you to upload video or audio files to the site. Once uploaded, you can play the video/audio file while at the same time typing into a text document.

The media player can be controlled with key strokes to start/stop/rewind/etc. Once finished, the document can be exported to a Google Drive account and then downloaded as a .pdf or .docx. If you don’t have a Google Drive account, you can copy and paste the text into a document on your personal computer.

Pros: 100% accurate; no cost; simple to use.
Cons: Time-consuming; requires good typing skills.


If you have a YouTube account, you can upload your video to YouTube and a closed-caption file will be generated automatically. This is not done instantly and in some cases it may take as long as 12 hours or more.

Once the CC transcript is available, you can download the text file. The simplest way to do this is to use this YouTube subtitles downloader tool, where, after copying and pasting the URL of the YouTube video, a text file of the closed-captioning can be downloaded.*

You then have the option of choosing timestamps within the script; 2-minute intervals are industry standard. Editing and formatting is required, including the addition of punctuation. The best approach to editing the transcript is to select “Copy to Clipboard” and then paste the text into a document on your personal computer.

Pros: No cost; most work done for you.
Cons: Video only; requires a YouTube account; generated text does not include punctuation or breaks, so editing is required; accuracy varies; agreement to YouTube’s terms of service, including granting YouTube a "worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license” for the content uploaded to the service.

*Note: Once the transcript has been downloaded, you can delete the video from YouTube.

Auto-generated, pay-per-use

There are many companies providing auto-generated speech-to-text transcription. Some are better than others. Temi is a simple tool that does everything you need. The cost is $0.25 USD per minute of video or audio, meaning that a 5-minute video will cost $1.25 USD. You will need to create an account and add a credit card but there are no subscription fees or additional costs. Receipts are provided.

The transcript is generated very quickly (within minutes for a 5-minute clip), and when ready, an email is sent to you. When you choose to view transcript, the program opens in editor mode where you can playback your video/audio file while reviewing (and editing) the transcript. Once done, you can download the transcript directly to your computer.

Pros: Easy to use; offers a one-time free trial before signing up; 90-95% accuracy; accepts most file types.
Cons: Pay-per-use service; requires an account; payment is USD; transcript may require minor editing.

Third party

There are many companies and individuals offering ‘human’ transcription services. Cost usually begins around $1.50 per minute but can be significantly higher*. Cost also depends on turnaround time. This can vary from 1-10 days.

Pros: 100% accurate; no editing required; professional layout; convenient.
Cons: Can be costly.



*Rates current as-of April 14, 2020.


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