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Teach in a classroom with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint

Who is this for?

Academics teaching in a classroom with a miked computer linked up to a projector who wish to display live automated captions to their students.

Tsahi Levent-Levi, 4 facts about … Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), subtitles graphic added

Microsoft guide

We found Microsoft’s guide “Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint” clear and easy to follow.

Best results are to be had by using your Coventry University Office365 PowerPoint web online version. Also, make sure you have a good internet connection and bandwidth throughout your presentation.

Another hot tip is make sure you have a clear microphone for picking up your voice (testing beforehand is a good way to check how well it will perform in practice).

From the experts

Vanessa Wells, captioning specialist: “people who are hard of hearing absolutely have the right to captioning”.

Please view this article or watch the video below (please note that the link contains a transcript of the video)

“When I have captions , I feel like I can participate in society”

quotation from article

“About 10% of people have some degree of either deafness, or hearing problem, or are hard of hearing. So, if that’s 1 in 10, it’s quite commonly held, there’s 10% of the market right there”

Vanessa Wells

2022 CUG student client base profile

This academic year (2022-23) – for the first time – the proportion of international students studying at CUG is over 50%, meaning over half of our entire student cohort has English as a secondary language. It is recognised that captions benefit understanding and learning (hundreds of studies support this).

Still not convinced? take our “non plain English” captions test

Here we have a link to a video which defies Plain English. There is ‘gobbledygook, jargon and legalese’ (all that the Plain English campaign opposes). Try viewing it first as a video on its own; and then watch again with (auto generated) captions switched on to experience for yourself which viewing mode enabled greater understanding (or click below for an edited transcript of this video).

N.B. Though the video is light hearted in nature, the point is robust enough to have been incorporated into a legal studies course at CU! (as a point illustrator, not as a legal process guide).

…. and that as they sayis no cap


Contact Digital Services for assistance with hardware or network issues

A couple of examples:

Raise tickets and report faults related to Hardware, end user devices and Audio Visual Installation (new items, returns, re-Imaging etc).

Raise tickets and report faults for Product and Services related to the Network (wireless access, website access denial, connection issue, etc).

Content disclaimer

There are older articles on the knowledge Base with guides on live captioning, however this article is differentiated from those by employing the technique of ‘humour for education purposes’ (as presented in a Coventry University ‘Big’ Conference circa late 2010s); as well as principals of ‘ethical nudging’ to encourage best practice. 


  • Simon Cheung

    Simon is an Educational Technologist at CUOL - Coventry University Online Limited. I'm an active member of the 'Inclusive Curriculum - Community of Practice' group; and also a member of the 'Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity subcouncil' (HLS).

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Updated on May 10, 2023
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