Introducing ALLY: Accessible Blackboard course content

The ALLY Technology

Available in all Blackboard Courses 2018-19 from August, ALLY is an innovative technology (short video) that can help with the accessibility of your Blackboard course content:

  • Automatically checks course materials against WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards
  • Provides students with accessible alternative formats such as audio and electronic braille
  • Delivers step-by-step guidance to instructors to improve the accessibility of their course content
  • Integrates seamlessly with Blackboard Learn

We are inviting all staff and students to look at this new tool.

Find out how it works!  Watch these short videos: ALLY for staff Video | ALLY for students Video

TEL Support 

To find out more about ALLY and to get started,  access our resources  and participate in the staff development sessions during the Autumn term as part of our TEL programme.

Book on to these now:

TEL: ACCESSIBILITY: ACCESSIBLE BLACKBOARD CONTENT 13/09/2018 10:00 11:30
TEL: ACCESSIBILITY: ACCESSIBLE BLACKBOARD CONTENT 18/09/2018 10:00 11:30
TEL: ACCESSIBILITY: ACCESSIBLE BLACKBOARD CONTENT (RETREAT) 17/10/2018 15:00 16:30
TEL: ACCESSIBILITY: ACCESSIBLE BLACKBOARD CONTENT 09/11/2018 15:00 16:30
TEL: ACCESSIBILITY: ACCESSIBLE BLACKBOARD CONTENT (RETREAT) 19/11/2018 10:00 11:30
TEL: ACCESSIBILITY: ACCESSIBLE BLACKBOARD CONTENT (RETREAT) 05/12/2018 15:00 16:30

The Evaluation

Within the context of  the University’s Policy in Inclusive T&L, during 2018-19, we will assess the benefits of using Ally to improve the accessibility of digital course materials for both students and staff. We hope Ally will help our institution with providing: 

  • students with a choice of accessible formats to meet their needs and
  • staff with the knowledge and skills on how to author more accessible course content

We will be collecting feedback from staff and students during the Spring term.

The University’s Policy on Inclusive T&L , Free Webinars on Accessibility and Global Accessibility Day

17 May 2018 will see the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

A number of events (f2f and online) are being scheduled for the day, including Free webinars by Blackboard. These will inform our practice, so that it aligns with the University’s Policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching and Learning.

Further resources and information:
1. JISC: https://accessibility.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2017/05/11/global-accessibility-awareness-day-matters-everyone/
2. Blackboard: Free webinars

TEL Consultations

Would you like specific advice on your teaching practice using technology? Are you interested in finding out how you could:

  • Engage and support your students?Discussion
  • Enhance your teaching practice
  • Overview your module/course?

The TEL team are available to meet with you individually for an in-depth discussion and advice on your specific needs. The consultations are 30 min 1-to-1 sessions with a member of the team and are designed to provide you with advice and support on the effective use of technology in your teaching.

What topics can we advise on?

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Copying and moving content in Blackboard

Have you ever wondered how if you could copy or move content items within a Blackboard course or between courses? The answer is YES and it is straight forward.

Use the Copy/Move action and then select the destination.

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Our step-by-step guide shows how you can copy or move an individual content item or an entire content folder, and everything within it to another location in the same course, or to a different course on which you are enrolled. It is also possible to request for your entire course, or large chunks of it, to be copied to another course by filling in this request form.

What’s new in Blackboard

Over the bank holiday we successfully upgraded Blackboard, which now includes a number of long-awaited new enhancements. We are very excited that Blackboard has had a make-over and now includes a new look, easier navigation and quick access to courses, fully automated anonymous and delegated marking, a student preview and two brand new tools, tracking students’ online performance and creating sign up lists.

Experience the new features by watching the screencast (4 min) below. For detailed overviews and video tutorials of the new features please read on and access the links below the screencast. Do not forget to visit the ‘Support for Staff’ tab to find our step-by-step guides!

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