Skillshare leaned on Verbit to strengthen its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility through captions and interactive transcripts that improved the learning experience for teachers and students.
In a Nutshell
Skillshare has been working with Verbit since 2018, but has now doubled down on its commitments to inclusivity and accessibility, shifting its captioning business to Verbit in full. Skillshare has implemented Verbit as an integral part of its platform to provide better usability capabilities to its teachers and students, while offering additional tools that help international learners. Providing captions and an interactive transcript widget for every class is improving the student experience and adoption of the Skillshare platform, as well as ensuring courses meet ADA regulations.
“I truly believe we have the best- in-class transcription experience right now when I look across the board to all of our competitors. It’s clean. It’s visually user- friendly. It’s responsive, having the ability to search for content within a video or click to the place. We were able to build pop- over videos so you could read the transcriptions and watch our content at the same time. It just works really well.”
At the beginning of the year, a small percentage of Skillshare’s content had captions, which limited the amount of classes certain individuals could take. Skillshare’s team wanted to place accessibility at the forefront of its initiatives and culture and ensure its platform was built to encourage the success of individuals who learn in different ways. Skillshare needed an efficient solution to caption all of its existing content without the need for manual effort. Additionally, the company was focusing more on internationalization, with almost half of its students being based outside of the US. Skillshare needed a trusted partner to help quickly caption more materials and provide a written source to be used to generate translations from in order to help non-native English speakers.
Verbit provided Skillshare with an automated process built on its automatic speech recognition technology, which is then edited by professional transcribers. Verbit built out an operations process to help Skillshare scale with a clear timeline for transcription to meet its quality needs and SLA. The hallmark of the whole experience was the visuals provided to users when Verbit customized a pre-built widget to meet Skillshare’s needs and incorporated it into its site, Threadgill said. Skillshare’s teachers are excited to unlock these capabilities for their students and said they’re expecting the captions and transcripts provided by Verbit to lead to more video and class completions long term. The partnership is helping Skillshare meet compliance, but also is fulfilling its leadership’s stance of considering inclusivity as a moral obligation to all users.
- Accessibility expertise: Accurate captions and transcripts to make the platform not only compliant, but more inclusive to all learners’ needs from the get-go
- Automation: An API to remove manual tasks and ease the process of captioning thousands of Skillshare’s videos
- Improved engagement tools: A combat to video fatigue by providing interactive transcription tools to help learners focus and succeed
- Customization & guidance: A dedicated team to address Skillshare’s unique needs
Accessibility For All Learners
“Our main focus this year is around making sure that the learning experience is accessible to everybody.
We really wanted to ensure that all of our content
had captions. So if you’re hard of hearing or deaf, or
if English is your second language, or maybe you just learn better by reading along vs. listening, you’re able to use captions and transcripts.”
Meeting International Student Needs
“We have a global audience… With everything captioned, we can now offer translations of that content as well. We don’t really have a lot of courses today that are taught in a language other than English, so now that’s kind of opened up the door.”
Captioning Content Bulks Quickly
“We have 25,000+ classes. We’re continuously adding more all the time. [The process] had to be automated. We’re really excited to know that Verbit had an API that we could actually use so that we could really kind of build out this automation pipeline for us.”
Increased Engagement & User Satisfaction
“We learned really early on that adding transcripts is a really big value add to increase engagement and overall user satisfaction. So it just became a win-win no-brainer there when we learned that.”
“Online learning and remote education is going to be much more visually heavy, but that doesn’t always work for everybody’s learning styles. You really unlocked this new learning area for our students so that we can just be a more inclusive and accessible platform.”
Skillshare is the world’s largest online learning community for creativity. It has more than 12 million registered members and over 30,000 video-based classes in a wide range of creative disciplines from graphic design to photography and taught by industry experts. Skillshare’s mission is to support professional and personal growth through creativity. Skillshare recently raised a $66 million Series D funding round to help the company meet the international demand for its enterprise offerings.