Top 7 reasons you should transcribe your lectures

When you want to teach, you don’t do it for the money or for the basic need of having a job. Instead, you do it because you want to share your knowledge and passion for whatever it is that you teach. As a teacher, you need to ensure that each student connects with the material, understands it, and meets your expectations (and their own).

Research has shown that a traditional classroom setting has presented challenges for professors and students alike – no matter their size or the students inside of them. When your classroom has different kinds of learners, whether they are international students, have learning limitations, or need special types of instruction, there is often a need for additional support.

Technology can help with these classroom challenges. When used properly, it can improve your teaching style, ensure students get the most out of your lectures, and keep people engaged. One of the simplest ways to do this is by transcribing your lectures. By transcribing your lectures with software like Sonix, you will be able to support different learning styles.

Reason #1: Transcribing lectures is easy and affordable

Modern technology gives you unprecedented opportunities to reach your students both inside and outside of the classroom. Whether you use videos and podcasts to help visual learners and to break up class time or give virtual tours of important locations with Google Cardboard, sometimes showing rather than telling is much easier.

When compared to other pieces of technology that help in the classroom, transcribing lectures is one of the simplest, but most effective ways to have an impact on your students. No matter if you are teaching in a traditional classroom or you provide video lectures, transcription is something that you should consider.

Reason #2: Transcribed lectures are better than student note-taking

Many students learn when they can interact with the material in a different way. Transcriptions can help with note taking, studying for exams, and being more attentive in class. They will be able to highlight or underline important parts and add their own information. 

When they interact more closely with the material, students learn better. They are able to fill in knowledge gaps and have all of the information without missing something as they scramble to take their own notes. Even better, it will help make meetings with you and classroom discussions more effective.

Reason #3: Transcripts provide a full summary of the lecture

Attention spans are just different today, which is why we need to change how we teach. Most fully-grown adults can only focus on something for 20 minutes. Think about how long your class is – most are 50 minutes or 90 minutes, making it difficult for people to focus. Transcription can help to keep students more attentive.

In addition, it can help them to read over material that they may have missed when their minds wandered. This will help their grades and keep those questions that were already covered to a minimum. 

Reason #4: Increase student accessibility

Hard of hearing students are making up a larger portion of the post-secondary student body every year. Transcribing your lectures can help to keep higher education accessible for these students. It can also help those teachers who do not have a voice that projects easily or those who teach in larger classrooms.

Additionally, it can help with international students who may not speak English as their first language. Foreign language students can use the transcription to translate the lecture, take notes, and even improve their English understanding.

For more information on accessibility you can go here:

Reason #5: Create alternative learning options

For too long, we’ve been teaching to the middle and hoping that all of our students meet us in the middle. The truth is that they haven’t been doing that. Not every student learns the same way, and we’ve been penalizing them for not meeting us when we need to meet them.

Lecture transcriptions can help students who are of different learning styles. Additionally, it can help to provide new ways to study or collect information, which can help those students who may not come from traditional learning backgrounds.

Reason #6: Save time and use extra time more effectively

Let’s be honest, you don’t get paid enough for the hours that you put into your work. How many times have you had to repeat yourself in a lecture? How about stopping to let people catch up to you in your notes? How many times have you had people come to office hours, only to repeat yourself?

By offering a transcription, you can save time on all of these fronts. You won’t have to spend your own time after class typing up an outline to give to students who weren’t there or who need additional support. This will make your interactions with students more effective.

Additionally, you can save these transcriptions so that you can improve your lectures, make quizzes and tests, and track how far you’ve gotten on a specific topic.

Reason #7: Use lecture transcripts to identify areas of improvement

We all want to be better at our jobs. Transcription can help you do that – once you’ve looked at the transcription, look for areas where you can improve. When you see the words you speak, you will notice areas where you stumble, provide too much information, provide not enough information, and when you repeat yourself. 

Students do not want bad teachers, and they will flock to those that they think are better. This will help you on your journey to tenure, make your lessons more popular, and ensure you continued employment. 

Even better, you will benefit your school. Transcriptions can improve class performance, which makes a school more appealing to future students. By providing your transcriptions online, you may attract potential students to your school.

There you have it. The top 7 reasons why you should transcribe your lectures. If this article has helped you understand why it’s worthwhile, the following will help you understand the how to create lecture transcripts in two easy steps.

How do I transcribe my lectures?

STEP 1: Capture recordings of your lectures

The first thing you need to do is find a way to get a good audio recording of your lecture. There are many different ways to do this and plenty of tools available. Most people will use a stationary recorder, but there are some limits here. You can use your phone, but you will need to stay close enough to it that it will pick up your words. If you tend to move, you may want to use a headset or a small lapel recorder that will stay with you. You will probably have some difficulties at first, so you may want to try before you are in front of a class.

Some colleges and universities have equipment that you can rent or use. You can talk to your tech department to see what they can help you with. You want to reduce background noise, position the equipment in the proper place, and stay hydrated. The recordings will pick up on any noises that you make like sniffing, coughing, or chewing gum. 

STEP 2: Create lecture transcripts

You need to create the transcription. There are several options for this as well. You can use a teaching assistant or hire a student to transcribe the lecture – but you will need to check their quality. Another option is to use automated transcription software like Sonix. This is often faster and makes it easy to get your lecture up before your next class. Another option is to outsource the task.

Transcription can change the way that you teach and the way your students learn. It takes some effort at the start, but eventually will become an easy step in your day.

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