Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Real-time captioning in classrooms

Skip Navigation LinksVictorian Deaf Education Institute > Innovation and Technology > Real-time captioning in classrooms

Evaluation of the Victorian Deaf Education Institute C-Print Trial and Comparison of the C-Print and Real-time Captioning Trial | Thursday, September 7, 2017

Evaluation of the Victorian Deaf Education Institute C-Print Trial

C-Print is a speech-to-text captioning technology and service developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. The system provides communication access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) in educational and other environments. Trained C-Print captionists, present in the classroom or at another location, type a meaning-for-meaning transcription of what is said by teachers and students during a class. The captioned text is available within a few seconds for students to read on their iPad or computer screens, and as a transcript to be accessed after the lesson.

The VDEI C-Print trial aimed to investigate the impact of using C-Print on students' access to curriculum, students' inclusion in the learning process, and communication and participation with peers and educators in Victorian classrooms.

The Evaluation of the Victorian Deaf Education Institute C-Print Trial was completed by Dr Renée Punch in May 2016. The evaluation, based on a framework developed for the evaluation of the Real-time Captioning project employed a mixed-methods approach combining the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. The data sources included a school data audit of students' progress in achievement, behaviour, and attitude; a student survey; literacy assessments; a teacher survey, and interviews with captionists and coordinators of the C-Print program.

Results of the evaluation indicated that the trial of C-Print, while brief and involving only a small number of students, was well-received by all stakeholders. Teachers, coordinators, and captionists found its implementation straightforward, involving minimal technical or other difficulties. There is some evidence that the program benefitted participating students in the three areas that were the goals of the trial, with enhancement of students' access to class content, academic engagement, and class participation. In general, the qualitative data from the student and teacher survey open-ended responses and the interviews with program staff reinforced and extended the findings from the quantitative data. Teachers indicated a particularly positive response to the program and strong perceptions of benefit to students. Students indicated a less enthusiastic but nevertheless generally positive response to the program, and all of them reported satisfaction at their involvement in the program.

Access the Executive Summary of the Evaluation of the VDEI C-Print Trial here (pdf - 103.47kb)


Comparison of the C-Print and Real-time Captioning Trial

A comparison of the VDEI Real-time Captioning and C-Print Projects, was completed by Dr Renée Punch in May 2016. 

Overall, the evaluation trials found that both programs offered benefits to students in terms of enhanced access to curriculum material, inclusion in the learning process, and communication and participation in the classroom. Both programs appeared to be well-received by teaching staff and the majority of the students involved. Although there were some differences involved in the implementation of the programs, neither program seemed to present major difficulties or challenges that could not be overcome.

In both program evaluations, teachers reported that captioning was more effective for some students than others. In general, students with high levels of academic motivation and, in particular, literacy skills appeared likely to benefit the most from captioning.

Access the Comparison of the Evaluation of the Victorian Deaf Education Institute Real-time Captioning and C-Print Projects here (pdf - 90.57kb)

Evaluation of the real time captioning program | Friday, August 21, 2015


Background Information

Real-time captioning (RTC) uses technology to translate the verbal presentation of lessons and classroom discussion into text and display it on an electronic device within seven seconds, providing students with an immediate translation of speech into written text.

RTC was trialled by VDEI in three pilot programs April 2011-December 2014. The second and third pilot programs were funded by the More Support for Students with a Disabilities National Partnership initiative.  All pilot programs utilised voice-to-text technology. RTC was provided as an additional support for senior secondary students who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH), to ensure full access to curriculum information and class discussions.


Over fifty secondary school students who are D/HH, from across Victoria, participated in the RTC pilot programs. The students accessing the program attended specialist schools, specialist deaf facilities within a mainstream school, and a mainstream school. The pilot programs provided captioning for each student in two subjects for periods from six months to two years six months.


VDEI contracted the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at The University of Melbourne to evaluate the effects of providing RTC for students who are D/HH. This study provides a foundation on which to base further research into the use of RTC in schools.

The evaluation methodology was developed in collaboration with sector stakeholders in 2011. The evaluation focused on outcomes relating to: access to curriculum materials, inclusion in the learning process through enhanced access to communication, and home-based learning and literacy levels.

The major finding from the Evaluation of the Victorian Deaf Education Institute Real-Time Captioning Pilot Program 2013 completed by MGSE was that RTC facilitates access to instruction and classroom discourse; which may increase student motivation, facilitate interactions with hearing peers, and support participation in classroom discussion.

Click here to view the executive summary of the RTC evaluation (PDF)   (Word - Docx)


Real-time captioning expands to more schools | Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Providing curriculum and classroom communication access to students through real time captioning is delivering benefits to students and teachers.  In 2013 the real-time captioning project has expanded to new sites, with funding from the More Support for Students with Disabilities National Partnerships.  There are currently eight school sites receiving real-time captioning services. 

For more information or if your wish to provide feedback or ideas on this project please contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at



Real-time captioning delivers benefits | Friday, December 21, 2012

VDEI engaged The University of Melbourne to conduct an independent evaluation of the impact of the real-time captioning pilot on deaf students’ learning, inclusion and engagement in classroom activities and curriculum.
Some of the preliminary findings include the following:
  • ‘The vast majority of students reported that their confidence and motivation to learn, and their academic work had improved as a consequence of their involvement with captioning’.
  • ‘Reported increases in student’s access to an comprehension of curriculum material’.
  • ‘There are some early indications that real-time captioning may have a (positive) impact on inclusion.   Parents thought captions were beneficial in their child’s inclusion and participation.’
  • All stakeholders reported that the transcripts were a useful learning aid.  ‘Teachers without exception explained the benefits and said they wished it (captioning) could continue.’
Evaluation of the captioning pilot has concluded and the report will be finalised in the next two weeks. With the new captioning pilot due in 2013, it is hoped that the evaluation of the new project will use the framework developed in the evaluation of the first captioning pilot and build on the information that has already been gathered. 
This type of technology - and engagement with it from a teaching and learning perspective - has the prospect of bringing benefit to many students – not only deaf students. The relevance of application to students with autism and auditory processing challenges could be explored in future.

Real-time captioning evaluation | Monday, October 1, 2012

realtimecaptioning.pngA final workshop for the real-time captioning pilot program evaluation project was recently held at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. 

At the workshop the key emergent findings from the evaluation of the VDEI real-time captioning pilot program were presented.  Participants were later invited to provide feedback and interpretation of these findings, to provide further context for the final evaluation report and to identify future directions for real-time captioning within educational settings. The completed report on the evaluation of this program will be available from our website soon.

Classroom access and inclusion | Thursday, March 1, 2012

Congratulations to the nominated program coordinators for their tireless work in ensuring that VDEI's third real-time captioning in classrooms pilot began in the first full school week. Coordinating timetables, subjects, room allocations and other information was a stellar effort!
VDEI launched the project this term, providing real-time captioning in four secondary settings in metropolitan and regional areas over Terms 1 and 2.
Before captioning began, staff from all four settings attended a short professional learning program presented by Leonie Jackson and Steve Baldwin from AI-Live - the provider of real-time captioning services for this pilot program. Program coordinators received an invaluable opportunity to experience real-time captioning first hand and ask all the burning questions that could best be answered by the service providers. They were then able to walk away feeling confident about applying the technology within their own classrooms, training their deaf and hard of hearing students and troubleshooting when necessary.
The University of Melbourne's evaluation of the real-time captioning project for VDEI is steadily progressing. The first stage of the evaluation - a review of the literature - is now nearing completion. The University's program logic workshop has identified many significant points to be explored through a series of online surveys, interviews and focus groups to be conducted in the near future. Information will be gathered from various groups including students, parents, teachers, teachers of the deaf and interpreters during the evaluation process.
For more information, please contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at

Captioning in classrooms roll out | Thursday, December 1, 2011

The second part of the pilot real time captioning in classrooms project is quickly nearing completion, with formal lessons for senior students drawing to a close over the next few weeks. The November edition of Inspire, the DEECD monthly magazine, ran an article on the pilot including reflections by students, teachers and the principal of one of the schools using real time captioning and provides a valuable insight into the process. Read the full feature on page 40 of Inspire magazine. See: Inspire
The third stage of the real time captioning project will commence early in term 1, 2012 and run until the end of term 2. There will be four secondary settings invited to join this third stage of the pilot program.
In association with the pilot program, VDEI has engaged The University of Melbourne to undertake an evaluation of the real time captioning project. To ensure the evaluation is effective and captures the needs of all involved in the real time captioning process, staff from The University of Melbourne ran a workshop on Friday 11 November to help define the evaluation process. A number of groups were involved in the process including students, parents, class teachers, teachers of the deaf, principals, interpreters, technical staff, Ai Live staff and other groups who have expressed interest in real time captioning.
For more information, contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at

Real time captioning in classrooms pilot Stage 2 | Thursday, September 1, 2011

A second stage of the VDEI pilot project enabling the use of captioning in classrooms has involved three more secondary school facilities, Shepparton High School deaf facility, Mount Erin deaf education centre and Sunshine College deaf facility, in terms 3 and 4.
Stage 1 of the project commenced in Term 2, with Ai-Media providing a live captioning service to middle and senior secondary students at the Victorian College for the Deaf and Forest Hill College deaf facility until the end of the year.
Captioning will continue at these settings until the end of term 4. This pilot will be extended to all other government secondary facilities in terms 1 and 2, 2012. For more information, contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at

Real time captioning in classrooms pilot | Friday, April 1, 2011

A key strategy of VDEI is to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students can access classroom curriculum using various technologies.
VDEI is pleased to announce the undertaking of a real-time captioning in classrooms pilot with the aim of improving secondary deaf students' access to learning material, classroom dialogue and activities, thereby promoting full inclusion and enhancing student outcomes.

Stage 1 of the project commenced in Term 2, with Ai-Media providing a live captioning service to middle and senior secondary students at the Victorian College for the Deaf and Forest Hills Deaf Facility until the end of the year.
A second stage of the pilot will commence with other government secondary deaf facilities in terms 3 to 4 in 2011 and Terms 1 and 2 in 2012.
How does live captioning work? A teacher in a classroom wears a lapel microphone. Through the microphone, the teacher's speech is relayed over the internet to a remote captioner. The captioner respeaks what the teacher says into software that instantaneously translates it into text. The captions are then transmitted over the internet back to the classroom to the deaf student's laptop. The student receives the text as captions on their laptop within seconds.
If you are interested in participating in the live captioning program, please contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at