Otter is a cloud-based, live transcription and captioning service that integrates with Zoom. Its artificial intelligence is highly advanced and provides surprisingly accurate results in real time. Otter can also be used to transcribe live dictation or create standardized captioning files from previously recorded audio and video content.
The purpose of Otter is to improve accessibility for students in the remote classroom, and the benefits of captioning extend beyond accommodations for students with disabilities. ESL (English as a second language) students also benefit from access to captions, and captioning helps others overcome situational or temporarily unavailable audio. Captioning increases content retention for learners.
More information about Otter is available in the following help articles:
Account SetupOtter licenses are available to faculty from campus academic programs. Please review this article for more information about access and setup.
Transcription with Zoom Transcribe live Zoom meetings during remote instruction then share transcripts with students in the CLE after the meeting has ended.
Editing Transcripts Improve the accuracy of your meeting transcriptions by editing text, tagging speaker names and adding new vocabulary on the Otter website.
Sharing Transcripts Share transcripts with your students by uploading transcript files to the CLE, adding closed captions to videos or sharing directly from the Otter website.
Transcribe Video/Audio FilesGenerate transcripts and closed captions for video or audio files that were previously recorded.
Otter for Students Learn more about accessing Otter live transcription as a student during class and discover features available with the Basic (free) Otter account.
Zoom Live Transcription vs Otter (New April 2021!) Compare Zoom's built-in transcription features with Otter and choose the best solution for your audience.
Contact your program’s Otter License Manager to request an account.
- UCSF IT: Zoom Live Transcription
- UCOP Transcripts and Captioning
TERMINOLOGY: Captions are the text version of speech, displayed within a video, and often superimposed over the video as it plays. Closed captions are captions that can be toggled on/off by the viewer. Subtitles are captions that have been translated into another language. Transcripts are the same text as captions, but displayed in a separate document or webpage. Additional info can be found here, and here.
Otter can be used to transcribe live Zoom meetings, or to generate transcripts and closed captioning of previously recorded content. There are also multiple options for sharing that information with an audience. The most common workflows for academic program faculty and staff are presented below.
For more information, please refer to the help articles (orange buttons) listed on the Overview tab of this help article.
Please review these important notes about privacy and using Otter:
- Otter is only approved for P1 and P2 data usage (more details below).
- It is the Zoom meeting host’s responsibility to turn off the transcription stream for other uses.
- Inform your Zoom meeting participants that Otter is transcribing and recording audio.
- Basic analytics data is visible to the UCSF Otter admin, including number of meetings and meeting duration.
- Students are able to capture screenshots or copy the transcript text before the meeting ends, and participants who leave a meeting can still view the transcript until the meeting has been ended by the host.
- Transcript text and audio recordings are encrypted and not visible to UCSF admins or Otter company admins unless the content owner explicitly shares the content or grants permission to an admin for troubleshooting purposes.
P1 and P2 refers to levels of data "protection," of which there are four levels. Levels P3 and P4 are of increasing sensitivity and require additional protections. For example, P1 data is attainable by the general public, like a map of the campus or academic course catalogs. At the other end of the spectrum is P4 data, which is of the highest sensitivity and includes HIPPA and PHI data. For a full description of P1, P2, P3 and P4, please refer to the UCSF IT Standards and Guidelines website.