Enable Real-Time Transcriptioning in Your Zoom Meetings!

Did you know that you can add closed captioning or transcriptioning to a Zoom meeting?

Zoom provides free, AI-powered live transcription. Transcription is the process in which speech or audio is converted into a written, plain text document. 

Live transcription only supports English and you must you speak clearly for best results. Unfortunately, live transcription is NOT supported in breakout rooms.

NOTE: The accuracy of Zoom’s live transcription feature depends on many variables, such as, but not limited to:

  • Background noise
  • Volume and clarity of the speaker’s voice
  • Speaker’s proficiency with the English language
  • Lexicons and dialects specific to a geography or community

OK, here’s how!

Before your Zoom meeting:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal with your W&L credentials.
  2. In the navigation panel, click Settings.
  3. Click the Meeting tab.
  4. Scroll down to Closed captioning.
  5. Click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, click Turn On to verify the change.
    Enabling Closed Caption in Zoom settings
  6. With Closed Captioning enabled, the option to enable live transcription should appear directly below as Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting. Check this to enable live transcription.
  7. Click the toggle for Save Captions if you want to enable the ability for meeting participants to save closed captions or transcripts.

During your Zoom meeting:

  1. In a Zoom meeting you are hosting, click the Live Transcript button: Zoom meeting tools with Live Transcript button highlighted
  2. Click on Enable Auto-Transcription: options for Live Transcript in Zoom
    You also have the option to assign a participant to type, manually type closed captions yourself, or copy the URL that you’d provide to a third-party closed captioning service.

As a Zoom Meeting Participant

  1. When enabled by the host, you will see a notification above Live Transcript in the meeting controls, informing you that the service is available.
  2. Click Live Transcript, and then select Show Subtitle. The provided subtitles can be clicked and dragged to move their position in the meeting window.

To adjust the caption size:

  1. Click the up ^ next to Start Video / Stop Video
  2. Click Video Settings then Accessibility.
  3. Move the slider to adjust the caption size. 

See Zoom’s guide to closed captioning and live transcription for more information!

Need help? Have questions? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or email help@wlu.edu

P.S. You can also enable live captions in a Teams meeting, too!

NYTimes: I Actually Like Teaching on Zoom

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times and the author of “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.”

Nguyen is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. @viet_t_nguyen

Here’s an unpopular opinion: I like teaching on Zoom.

Many accounts of teaching on Zoom or other online platforms recount its horrors. And much is horrible: teachers and students without stable internet connections or adequate technology; too much intimacy, with overcrowded homes that teachers or students might find embarrassing for others to see; and not enough intimacy, with the human connection attenuated online.

As a college professor, I, too, miss some of the elements of teaching in a classroom, including the intellectual energy that can flow around a seminar table, the performative aspect of lecturing to a large audience and the little chats that take place by happenstance during breaks or after class with students.

What I don’t miss is my 10-mile drive to campus and back. I don’t miss pondering my wardrobe choices in the morning. The relative informality of the Zoom era means that I would feel overdressed if I wore a blazer to teach. And if I don’t wear a blazer, I don’t have to wear slacks. Or put on shoes. Why would I wear shoes inside my house, anyway?

Continue reading “NYTimes: I Actually Like Teaching on Zoom”

Inspiration from the IQ Center

Just because the IQ Center is located in the Science Building doesn’t mean it’s only mean for STEM projects.

One tool in particular has found remarkably broad use across many disciplines – the laser cutter.

The following recent projects highlight its uses in the area of print making.

sample woodblock with koi and text created in the IQ Center In traditional woodblock printing, artists create designs by removing wood from a block of wood with metal carving tools. The wood is then coated with ink and used to make a print. The laser cutter in the IQ Center can be used in place of the carving tools to remove wood more quickly and more precisely than traditional methods.

sample made from Leigh Ann Beavers’ printmaking class

This semester in Leigh Ann Beavers’ printmaking class, the IQ Center is collaborating on such a project. Students will create designs either digitally or by scanning paper drawings. The edited graphics will be laser engraved in the IQ Center and printed in the print studio using the same techniques as hand carved wood blocks. This process allows students to create a greater number of woodblocks with more detail than would normally be possible in a semester.

A similar technique is used to create rubber stamps which can be used for a number of practical and class-related projects.

white Japanese hachimaki with rubber stamped text in blue

Recently, Janet Ikeda, associate professor of Japanese, inquired about printing on fabric. She was interested in creating a custom Japanese headband called a hachimaki as part of a Lunar New Year video performance. Using the laser cutter, we created a rubber stamp that was able to print directly on fabric and the result looked fabulous.

Dancers wearing the hachimaki (custom headband) for a Lunar New Year video performance.

Regardless of your discipline, please contact Dave Pfaff with any creative technology needs.

NEW! Allow Zoom meeting participants to choose their own breakout rooms!

Self-select breakout rooms is a new Zoom feature that require both the meeting host and participants to be using Zoom 5.3.0 or later. Participants who aren’t using Zoom 5.3.0 or later will have to be manually moved to a breakout room by the meeting host.

Before scheduling your Zoom meeting, do the following:

  1. Update your Zoom client.
  2. Enable breakout rooms:

Instructions for the meeting host:

  1. After you’ve begun the Zoom meeting, click Breakout Rooms in the Zoom tool bar.
  2.  If you have the latest version of Zoom, you should see the option Let participants choose room.

Clicking on Breakout Rooms in Zoom

You can then rename the rooms (A), edit Breakout Room settings (B), add additional rooms (C), and Open all the Rooms (D).

If you click on Breakout Room settings (B), you’ll see:

breakout room settings in Zoom


  • The Recreate button allows you to start from scratch by manually recreate the Breakout Room OR randomly recreating your Breakout Rooms and placing participants into rooms automatically.
  • If the meeting is being recorded to the cloud, it will only record the main room, regardless of what room the meeting host is in.  If local recording is being used, it will record the room the participant who is recording is in. Multiple participants can record locally.

Instructions for participants:


Self-selecting a breakout room

If the host has allowed participants to self-select and join breakout rooms of their choosing, participants will be able to view and select from a list of breakout rooms the host has created. They will be able to enter and leave breakout rooms freely. 

Note: Participants not joined with the desktop or mobile app (version 5.3.0 or higher) will not be able to self-select a breakout room. The host will need to facilitate moving these participants manually.  

  1. Click the Breakout Rooms option in your meeting controls. This will display the list of open breakout rooms created by the host. 
  2. Click Join next to the Breakout Room you wish to participant in, then confirm by clicking Join again. 
  3. Repeat as necessary to join other breakout rooms, or click Leave Room to return to the main session. 

Need help with Zoom? Contact the ITS Information Desk at help@wlu.edu, 540.458.4357  (HELP), or stop by Leyburn Library.

How to Record a Presentation with Multiple Speakers in Zoom

Need to record a group presentation? Here are some tips to create a polished recording!

Working assumption:

  • The meeting host should think of themselves as the producer of the recording. 
  • There is one PowerPoint (.ppt file) that will shared by the meeting host.

Before you begin …

  • IMPORTANT! The meeting host and all speakers should update their Zoom client to the latest version.
  • Everyone should plan to use a headset or clip-on microphone, if possible.
    • Need to borrow a headset or clip-on microphone? Contact the ITS Information Desk at help@wlu.edu, 540.458.4357 (HELP), or stop by Leyburn Library.
    • Why? The kind of microphone you use will affect the other participants’ ability to hear you. 
  • The meeting host should check their Zoom Recording settings:
    • Enable “Cloud Recording”.
    • Enable “Record active speaker with shared screen”.
    • Enable “Record thumbnails when sharing”.
    • Enable “Optimize the recording for 3rd party video editor”.
    • Click the Save button.

Five minutes before the meeting begins ….

  • Restart your computer/laptop and close any applications you don’t need to use for the meeting itself.
    • Why? Other applications have a way of intruding and asking for attention from your CPU and broadband connection. 
  • Set up your head set or clip-on microphone.
    • Headset microphones should sit an inch or so away from your face and a few centimeters away from the corner of your lips. Clip-on microphones should sit at the upper side of the chest.

OK, it’s time!

  • The host signs into Zoom with their W&L credentials (either at wlu.zoom.us or within the Zoom client) and starts the meeting. 
  • Do an audio/video check for each speaker, i.e. make sure everyone can start/stop their camera and mute/unmute their microphone.
  • All speakers start their cameras.
  • The meeting host shares screen.
    • Share only the PowerPoint application, not the entire desktop.
  • The meeting host spotlights speaker #1.
  • All other speakers should stop their video and mute themselves.
  • The meeting host turns on “Hide non-video participants“.
  • The meeting host starts a cloud recording.
  • When the speaker #1 is finished, the speaker #2 should start video and unmute audio. Then speaker #1 stops video and mutes audio while the meeting host spotlights speaker #2.
  • Repeat for all speakers.
  • Stop the cloud recording when finished!

Don’t panic if there’s a goof or mistake! After the recording has processed so you can download it, the mp4 file can be edited in Camtasia (Windows or Mac) or QuickTime (Mac). Contact the ITS Information Desk you need access to either of those applications!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! “OK Zoomer: Going Beyond the Basics (Repurposing Zoom Tools for Increased Student Engagement)”

Designed and led by Doug Shaw, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa, and Leigh Zeitz, Associate Professor, Instructional Technology at University of Northern Iowa, this workshop builds on techniques developed by the Applied Improvisation Network to do things with Zoom that you have NEVER seen before!

Doug will show you how to use features of Zoom in ways that they were not originally intended to be used while having a good time. You will leave with new ideas you can use right away, feeling energized, excited about using what you’ve learned, and confident in developing your own new techniques.

Faculty and staff are invited to join us on Friday, February 19, 2021 at 12 pm EST (our presenters are in the CST time zone) and learn how to make Zoom class meetings more effective and engaging.

Visit go.wlu.edu/okzoomer to register. Space is limited!

NOTE: Registration is a two part process. You will receive a link to sign up for the actual Zoom meeting AFTER signing up in Event Manager.

An example pulse survey/check-in poll for the end of the first week of classes

Pulse surveys — a short, 5-10 question survey that’s conducted weekly or monthly — are an easy way to quickly gather feedback.

In our virtual learning environment where valuable face-to-face time is lost, holding a pulse survey is a great way to check-in on your students’ well-being and collect feedback that could help you adapt your classroom to their needs.

Below is an example 3 question pulse survey that allows for anonymous participation:

Once students have the response link (which you can share in the Chat at the end of a Zoom class meeting or post in Announcements in Canvas), they’ll be able to take the survey until you lock it. Then, clear and archive the existing results before you distribute it again to start over with a clean slate.

Ready to try this out? If you have a PollEverywhere account, go ahead and log in at polleverywhere.com first, THEN click first week of class pulse survey to download it to your account.

Need a Poll Everywhere account? Or have a Poll Everywhere account and need help creating a poll or survey? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or email help@wlu.edu.

How to copy videos in one YuJa course channel to another YuJa course channel

Do you have videos already published to a Fall term YuJa course channel in Canvas that you want to make available to a Winter term Canvas course?

Just follow these steps!

  1. First, enable YuJa in your Winter term Canvas course.
      • Log in to Canvas by going to myapps.wlu.edu, enter your W&L credentials, and click on the Canvas tile.
      • Go to the desired course and click on the Settings link in the course navigation.
      • Click on the Navigation tab.
      • Drag and drop YuJa from the bottom group of tools to the top list of tools.
      • Click the “Save” button.


  2. Next, create a new YuJa course channel.
      • Click on the YuJa link in the course navigation. 


  3. Last, publish videos from an existing YuJa course channel to the newly created YuJa course channel.
    • Click on My Media (on the left side of the page).
    • Hover over any video you want to share.
    • Click on Publish.
    • Click on the newly created course channel (and any other course channels, if desired).
    • Click the “Select” button.
    • Pat yourself on the back.


See https://support.yuja.com/hc/en-us/articles/360049114773-Using-Multi-channel-Publishing for more information.

Have questions? Need further assistance? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or email help@wlu.edu.


Dance in the IQ Center

This past Fall, the The Integrative and Quantitative (IQ) Center collaborated with the Dance department on two interesting projects.

Since the fall recital, W&L Dancers Create, was going virtual, DANC 110 (University Dance) wanted to create a video to be used in the program. The class created an original music score and choreographed a dance that utilized outdoor spaces around campus.

They worked with the IQ Center to shoot and edit the dance using equipment from the Center, including video cameras and a drone. The entire piece was shot and edited in 4K resolution and the 5 minute final version was included as part of the Fall program:

Another dance class, DANC 223 (Intermediate Contemporary Dance), experimented with the IQ Center’s motion capture system.

This system allows dancers wearing a special suit covered with reflective markers to capture the full range of their motion to a computer system. This is the same technique used in movies and video games to capture realistic movements that can be transferred to computer generated characters.

The IQ Center motion capture system was set up in the dance studio and projected on the wall, so the dancers could see the capture data in real time. The recorded output was then applied to computer generated characters and rendered as video clips.

Here the four dancers in the class were inserted on a computer generated stage together performing a similar dance routine: 

We then did some experiments in the IQ Center applying some more abstract shapes to the motion capture data. We hope these experiments will inform future motion capture projects.

Interested in learning more? Contact David Pfaff, IQ Center Academic Technologist at 540.458.8044.