Otter for Students

Zoom Class Meetings Audio Dictation Privacy

Otter is a live transcription and captioning tool used by UCSF academic faculty to provide live transcription during Zoom sessions. Students can follow a transcript of meetings in real time, which can help improve knowledge retention and understanding of conversations when Zooming from a noisy environment, and provide aide to students with disabilities and ESL students. In this article we will demonstrate how students can use Otter to improve the learning process!

Using Otter during lecture

When your instructor has Otter enabled within Zoom, you will see a “Live on Otter.ai” icon in the top left corner of the screen. Clicking the Live button and selecting View Stream on Otter.ai will open a new window displaying the live transcript from the Otter website.

screenshot of View Stream on Otter.ai button on Zoom

You and other meeting participants can resize the Otter transcription and Zoom meeting windows to position them side-by-side.

screenshot of Zoom and otter transcription window placed side by side

In addition to viewing the transcript, you can copy words or sentences into your personal notes, or request access to review the transcript after the Zoom session has ended.

Once the meeting ends, you will no longer be able to view the transcript unless your instructor chooses to share it with you. A popup message will appear on the screen stating that the Live event has ended.

Instructors may also choose to upload transcripts as a document to the CLE after the Zoom session is over, or create closed captions for recorded Zoom sessions and video files.

Screenshot showing the live event has ended popup on Otter transcription window

Otter accounts:

Students without Otter accounts: Students, and all Zoom meeting participants, can view the live transcript without an Otter account. It is not necessary for students to create an Otter account.

Students with Otter accounts: Students can choose to sign up for a free, "Basic" Otter account on the Otter website. This will not change the experience when participating in an Otter-enabled Zoom session hosted by an instructor, but it does provide access to free tools for dictating audio.

Instructors with licensed Otter accounts: Otter licenses, or "Business" accounts, are paid accounts that are reserved for academic faculty and support staff, and include integration with Zoom. This integration allows instructors to host remote teaching sessions with live transcription. Instructors can also edit and share transcripts after the Zoom sessions is over.

Next: Dictating Audio

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