Guidelines and Tips for Instructional Videos at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

This article includes guidelines for Instructors to choose appropriate external videos and to create their own videos.
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is committed to making every attempt to comply with the requirements of Sections 504 & 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
In accordance with federal law it is the responsibility of all departments, administrators, faculty, and staff (whether shown in or outside of class) to utilize only video with closed-captioning, or subtitles, and/or provide an alternate format, such as a script.

Guidelines for using External Videos

Any Instructional video used in a Southwest Wisconsin Technical College course (whether shown in class or online) is required to have closed captioning. It is very important to take this into consideration when choosing videos created by external sources.
Youtube is great resource, although videos often contain auto-generated captions, please note these captions are not accurate and therefore do not meet the standards needed for an accommodation for a student with a disability. Southwest Tech encourages you to find videos that meet this standard. These captions would be synchronized with the video, contain accurate spelling, capitalization and punctuation, identify speakers if there are multiple speakers, and contain non-speech sounds like [music] and [laughter]. Click on the “CC” closed captioning icon on the bottom bar of the video to observe the captions and determine if they meet the standard. If the “CC” icon is not present, the video does not contain any captions.

Closed Caption location in Youtube

Guidelines for Creating Videos

All Instructional videos created by Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Faculty/Staff are required to be closed captioned. The directions for submitting a video for closed captioning can be found at the link below.

Note: IAL (Innovative and Alternative Learning) will make every effort to have videos closed captioned within 7 business days of their submission.

Helpful Tips 

Tip #1 Do a quick test recording to ensure that audio/video are working prior to your full recording.

Nothing is worse than recording a full lecture only to find out there was a technical issue and it needs to be redone

Tip #2 Ensure that the light source in the room is between you and the camera.

A light source behind you will cast a shadow over your face

Tip #3 “Chunk” Lessons into more manageable pieces 

There are different theories of what an appropriate length of a lecture video should be, the literature ranges from 20 minutes (3b) to 10 minutes (3c) but the overall consensus is that long videos can trigger cognitive overload in Online Learners (3a)
a.Long eLearning videos often lead to cognitive overload, as online learners don’t know which data ties into their challenges or learning objectives. (
b.Instructional videos should be 20 minutes or less to keep students engaged. If 20 minutes is not enough time to cover the content, try breaking up the content into smaller segmented videos. (

Tip #4 Avoid references that may become outdated, like Page Numbers, Textbooks or events. 

You can maximize the shelf life of your presentation by avoiding mention of items that might not be current a year or two from now.(

KeywordsVideo, closed, captioning   Doc ID85055
OwnerJosh K.GroupSWTC
Created2018-08-20 15:25:09Updated2021-02-23 13:52:12
SitesSouthwest Wisconsin Technical College
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