When most people think about transcription services, the first thoughts that spring to mind are often medical offices or court rooms. But transcription services can be useful in numerous, diverse fields and settings, including business meetings, marketing campaigns, news outlets and more.
One area where transcription can be particularly beneficial is in academics. Instructors can improve their effectiveness by providing students written transcripts of their lectures, and students who take advantage of professional transcription services have the opportunity to develop better study habits, manage their time more effectively, and, ultimately, earn better grades.
Professors may be surprised to find that providing written transcripts of their lectures can be an effective way to improve student comprehension and appreciation. When students do have valid reasons for showing up late or failing to attend a class, knowing that they’ll later be able to review a complete, unabridged written transcript of the lecture could help alleviate any anxiety they may have about staying caught up and maintaining their grades. While some professors may worry that providing this type of tool could encourage students to skip class, they could easily circumvent such abuse of the system by imposing strict attendance requirements.
And students need not be the sole beneficiaries of classroom transcription. Professors who embrace transcription can also profit from its use. Transcripts will allow them to review their own lectures in written form, providing them an opportunity to look for spots where they can improve their explanations or expand upon certain ideas in future classes. Such evaluation can help professors consistently improve their teaching methods and contribute to their continued success as educators.
Even if professors do not choose to provide fully transcribed lectures notes, students can benefit from using a transcription service to create their own notes. If you’ve ever sat in on a class or a seminar where attendees have shown up with handheld recorders – or broken out the recording features on their tablets or smartphones – it’s likely you’ve already encountered students who have discovered the benefits of transcription.
Taking notes during a lecture can be difficult and stressful for even the most dedicated student. Students can become so focused on getting every relevant point written down – often trying to capture the professor’s exact words to ensure they don’t miss critical fine points – that they can’t keep up. Within minutes, these students find themselves leaving sentences half-finished in order to jump ahead to the next key point, assuming that later, when they review their notes, they’ll remember how those partial sentences ended. But by the time that class has ended and they’ve attended other classes, socialized, eaten a meal or two, and finally found time to sit down and review their earlier notes, they often find that many of their hastily scribbled phrases are unintelligible.
Now, imagine, instead, how much easier this process would be for a student who arrived armed with a digital recorder. That student could simply sit and listen to the lecture, taking in both fine points and the big picture, focusing solely on the ideas being conveyed; perhaps the student could even ask a question or two. There would be no scrambling to scrawl salient points, or abandoning half-finished thoughts whose meaning would be forgotten by dinnertime.
Once the lecture was over, the student could submit the day’s recording to a professional transcriptionist who would return a written copy of every word the professor said, every question asked, and every answer given, presented in an easy-to-read, typed format. The student could then create his or her own ideal study guide by highlighting important concepts and making additional notes in the margins. Most importantly, the student could study confidently, without the fear that he or she had missed something.
Finally, transcription can make a world of difference to students who use primary research in papers, theses, and dissertations. Although secondary research, which consists of others’ accounts of events and experiment results, has typically already been written down by authors or previous researchers, the same is not true of primary research. Primary research consists of information gathered directly by the researcher or student, and it is generally in the form of questionnaires, observations, and/or interviews.
Often, in order to compile enough information to develop a strong thesis, the student may end up with hours of recorded interviews to sift through. Transcribing these interviews can be a tedious, extremely time-consuming task, especially for someone who is not trained in transcription. The more time the student spends transcribing interviews, the less time the student has to analyze and use that information to support a strong argument. Handing off the transcribing to a professional transcriptionist frees up the student’s time – and mind – to focus on the more important task: composing his or her paper.
Today’s students face many hurdles as they work through their degree programs; many also work part- or full-time jobs and have families and other responsibilities. Transcription, whether used by professors or the students themselves, is an effective, smart tool to help manage time, keep focus where it needs to be, and, as a result, improve academic performance.
Ready to boost your academic performance with transcription?