Classes in which teachers talk a lot, such as lecture classes, are ideal for transcription services. Classes with a lot of discussion are also good candidates if the transcriber can sit where he or she can easily hear students speaking, and if the students are encouraged to speak clearly and individually.
Math and science classes can be more of a challenge to transcribe and often require additional techniques and training to capture formulas (such as handwritten adjuncts to the typed transcript, or training in the use of TypeWell's Math Mode features). Certain high-level classes, such as post-secondary Law and Medicine, often require near-verbatim access rather than a meaning-for-meaning style, and therefore should only be transcribed by very advanced TypeWell providers or, alternatively, qualified CART providers.
The TypeWell system is a meaning-for-meaning system. This means the transcriber does not always type every word that is said, but rather focuses on capturing the full meaning intended by the speaker. A TypeWell transcriber typically condenses and rewords, resulting in fewer words overall. In some instances, a TypeWell transcriber may expand rather than condense the language, if additional words are needed to convey the auditory or nonverbal communication. Many TypeWell transcribers who are very fast typists do transcribe nearly verbatim what is said by teachers and students. However, false starts, immediate repetitions, etc. are usually left out.
High-level college classes—and some students—might be better served by a word-for-word transcription service, such as that provided by commercial stenographic services (i.e., CART). The downside of transcriptions from stenographic services is their sheer length and level of detail. A verbatim captioning of an hour-long class can generate as many as 20 pages of notes. All spoken information is included, regardless of its educational relevance. Many students are overwhelmed by the sheer number of words to comb through, while other students prefer to read every utterance. Still other students use a combination of both, requesting TypeWell services for some classes and CART or sign language services for other classes.