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Transcribers "check in" on training anniversaries

In January 2014, I sent out an email message to a special group of transcribers: 

This month marks the anniversary of your TypeWell training. Are you still transcribing? (Yes/No)

Each month, I send the out the same message to a cohort of transcribers whose training anniversaries fall during that month. We're almost halfway through the year now, and we've had a tremendous response! Not only do transcribers update their work status with a click of a button, but most of them also complete an optional 1-minute survey.

These anniversary updates produce accurate, aggregate data about:

  • how TypeWell is being used: on-site and remote transcribing, post-production video captioning, meeting minutes 
  • where TypeWell is used: universities, community colleges, trade/technical schools, K-12 schools, businesses, places of worship
  • transcribers' participation in continuing education activities: conferences, workshops, online courses
  • how transcribers are networking with one another: teamed class assignments, staff development meetings, social media

We're learning that although many transcribers still work in relative isolation, many do benefit from regular interaction with colleagues. Their employers are offering mentoring, workshops, skill consultations, and travel assistance for transcribers to attend conferences. Some even set aside regular time during staff meetings to focus on professional development. 

How can we reward employers who demonstrate a commitment to transcribers' professional development?

The most interesting survey responses, of course, are fill-in-the-blank answers that can't be tallied. TypeWell is no longer just an educational tool. It's used to provide communication access in all types of settings.

Word Cloud

TypeWell is used to provide communication access in all types of settings.

We also collect information from those who no longer transcribe, including :

  • why they left the profession
  • what they loved most and least about being a TypeWell transcriber 
  • whether they're interested in returning to the profession

A surprising number of former transcribers are interested in refreshing their skills and starting work again, suggesting an untapped market of potential candidates for the Refresher Course (which is about half the cost of the Basic Skills Course). 

Candidates in the Refresher Course usually complete training in less time and with higher passing grades than those in the Basic Skills Course.

Because they already have classroom experience, transcribers who complete the Refresher Course can begin taking remote assignments right away. If your organization is recruiting new transcribers, let us know! We can put you in touch with some of these former transcribers to see if they're a good fit.

We really appreciate those employers who are committed to providing professional development opportunities for their TypeWell transcribers. What suggestions do you have for how to reward those employers — or how to motivate other employers to do the same? Leave a comment below.


Kate Ervin

Kate became a TypeWell transcriber in 2004 and began training new transcribers in 2009. She has served as TypeWell's Executive Director since 2011.

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