Academic Outreach

Faculty Focused

Tech Tips: Adding Captions to A YouTube Video

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by annek

Many online instructors want to add a link to YouTube video into their class. Which is fine as long as(1) the instructor is reasonably sure that the video has been posted by the copyright owner or the instructor has completed a fair use evaluation, AND (2) the video has accurate captions.

Amara screen shot

The instructor can usually meet the first criteria, but all too often the video has no captions or captions that aren’t accurate. What can you do? You need to add captions using a 3rd party system. As an online or hybrid instructor at the University of Mississippi you can request the the Office of Online Design and eLearning create captions for you, OR you can create captions yourself using a web-based captioning system like Amara.

Using Amara the instructor can quickly create their own captions for a video, and then embed the link provided by Amara into the class which will allow your students to see the video posted on YouTube AND read the captions created by you. For UM Instructors who want to embed the link into Blackboard, you will need to take one additional step and create a BB friendly link.  Go to and enter the link you received from Amara. Click on CREATE LINK and then use the new link in Blackboard.

My quick guide to using Amara is available online.