Today there are all kinds of ways to create an online course.
I’ve seen text heavy courses, infographic based course content, videos, audio, and so on.
The medium of content delivery is often dependent on the content. In general, the most popular method for delivering course content is a combination of video and some text.
In most cases I believe that video is a suitable form of media for online courses. Many people prefer to watch videos as it frees up their hands to take notes if they want to.
Videos also require less “work” on the side of the learner. They can relax, sip a cup of coffee, and learn something new. If the video is well-made then it can actually be quite entertaining.
Given the popularity of using videos in online courses I am always surprised that these courses often contain a crucial mistake – they don’t include a transcript.
Why Transcripts Matter
At first this may seem pretty obvious but video courses lacking a transcript are actually quite common.
Sometimes it is intentionally neglected, especially if the course is for sale.
For people selling courses they are afraid the transcript will circulate and therefore no one will purchase the course.
This really couldn’t be further from the truth. People who are interested in purchasing an online course will often pay for it even if they do happen to find the transcripts.
The transcripts aren’t what’s valuable but rather it’s the entire course offering (downloads, videos, networking opportunities, transcripts, etc.). If they happen to stumble upon your transcript outside of your main offering, then in a way it acts as a marketing technique.
There are multiple benefits to including transcripts for your videos. First, it allows anyone who may have a hearing disability to still access and enjoy your content (this alone is reason enough to include a transcript).
Making a transcript available for learners also improves the overall user experience. They can return to the content at a later date to pick reference content they may have missed previously. Sometimes learners even like to read the transcript as they listen to the video in order to better absorb the content.
If you have courses that include videos, then you should really look at including a transcript for them. Besides being the responsible thing to do, your learners will appreciate the extra value you are providing them.