As the COVID19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, many researchers had to find new ways of working in order to gather their data. Our use of software such as Zoom sky-rocketed, thanks in no small part to our amazing IT industry in the UK and as the shockwaves settled, the new way of conducting interviews and focus groups online have become integral to the way we work.
Credible UK transcription services agencies have a well-established model of working online since the early 2000s and so were well placed to hit the ground running, in order to provide audio transcripts from Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype.
Here are 5 tips to conducting successful focus groups and interviews in Zoom, in order to send on for transcription:
- How Do I Record The Audio From a Zoom Interview or Focus Group?
When you start a Zoom focus group or interview, click the Record button and select Record to the Cloud, and Zoom will generate a transcript for the recording, as well as separate audio and video files.
Although Zoom has an automated transcription service running via artificial intelligence using a web service Otter.ai, the accuracy level is only 89% and does not cope well with strong accents or background noise. The gold standard is to use human transcription services.
- What format does the audio need to be in?
Zoom automatically saves recordings in MP4 (video), M4A (audio). High-quality transcription services providers can transcribe these with no problem.
- What does a successful online focus group look like?
Online focus groups can be a dynamic and interactive tool. Establish the goals of the discussion and do a visual ice-breaker, for example, ask respondents to choose an animal they identify with from a set of drawings. Integrate different media into your focus group, videos, slides, cartoons. Encourage respondents to engage by using their names and asking them to speak, avoiding awkward silences or overtalking. Keep to time.
- How do I get the files from Zoom to the transcription agency?
Go to a secure UK transcription service’s website, they will ensure that their portal is protected with the most up to date, data encryption protocols. If you notice that the full address starts with “HTTPS”, the “S” stands for “secure”, it offers much better security than the old “HTTP” system. Look for SSL encryption, 256 Bit should be the minimum. It ensures that your data is encrypted when it is uploaded to the website. You will have to register and get a password and log in. The uploading process is as simple as pressing Upload and locating your file.
- What happens then?
Choose the transcription level that you require:
- Intelligent Verbatim
This is the most popular style of transcription service that turns speech into text, editing out the fillers and repetitions that may distract from getting at the actual content of the interview.
“I did a degree in criminal justice and psychology and then after that, got a job working for a drug and alcohol charity and I was based in a Probation Service. I was a caseworker for people who are on probation and needed support with their drug and alcohol use.”
- Strict Verbatim
Strict verbatim transcription is a style of transcription that captures everything a speaker has said and how they said it. Verbatim transcripts include Stutters, filler speech, including “um,” “uh,” etc., repetitions and non-speech sounds including laughter and pauses and interruptions.
“I-I did a degree in criminal justice and psychology and then erm, after that, after that I g-got a job working for a, a drug and alcohol charity and I-I was based in a Probation Service. [Pause] I was a, a caseworker – for um, people who are on probation and need- needed support with their er, drug and alcohol use.”
Summary transcription reflects the colour and tone of a discussion but produces a more condense read, by using the interviewer’s questions from the discussion guide and transcribing within the section headings. Dialogue is still transcribed and some verbatim quotes included, but repetition and non-relevant discussion is omitted and some sentences edited.
“I did a degree in criminal justice and psychology and got a job working for a drug and alcohol charity based in a Probation Service. I was a caseworker for people on probation, who needed support with their drug and alcohol use.”
Transcribe It is the UK’s longest established transcription services provider. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your transcription requirements …
Please give us a call on 01992 445411 and we’ll discuss how we can help you with your UK transcription needs. Alternatively, you can email us your audio transcription enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch with a quote!