Changing the focus: Accessibility in Blackboard

When thinking about accessibility and inclusive teaching practice, technology is often cited as a solution. Technology can certainly assist students with disabilities but well designed online learning provision can benefit all learners.

Central to this is a shift in focus away from the ‘deficit’ model of perceiving disability, where Universities respond to a ‘need’ and adopting a ‘social’ model that addresses the structural barriers to students’ ability to participate, and succeed in learning. This is where technology can play a key role in levelling the learning playing field by designing systems that optimise access for all (JISC Quick Guide, Getting started with accessibility and inclusion).

The University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard, is fully compatible with internationally recognised accessibility standards and has in-built features that allow students with different impairments to engage with digital content.

Turnitin is working towards full compliance. A text based PDF version of students’ work can be downloaded to work with screen-readers.

There are also things you can do to when producing your learning materials to ensure students have the best experience.

Find out how to make the most of the accessibility features in Blackboard and Turnitin.

Find advice on making your documents and screencasts accessible in the Creating accessible teaching and learning resources blackboard course. (Log-in and click the +Enrol button.)

The Library guide to Inclusive Technology provides advice on accessibility features that students can use including Windows, Microsoft and Office365.

 

 

Happy new year – Burning of the Apps TEL Showcase videos

Happy new year!

Photo of the burning of the apps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you missed Brighton University’s excellent online Burning of the Apps TEL showcase just before the festive break, you can access the videos of the 1 hour sessions here (or individually below):

New Learning Spaces at the University of Brighton (video)

From Lecture to Lego: Innovative teaching and technology (video)
Tricking out your Blackboard module areas (video)
Twine – Choose your own ad-learn-ture… (video)
The Student Nursing Affirmation ‘app’ (video)
Technology Showcase (video)

#brightlearn

Inaugural TEL Fest – a success!

TEL Fest logo

“Really liked the event – thought there was lots of opportunity to chat with colleagues (both TEL and outside TEL) informally and share best practice. I learned a lot that will help me make my module better with relatively little effort. You should definitely do it again next year!” [TEL Fest delegate]

The university’s first TEL Fest, held 11-13 July 2017, has been hailed a great success with lots of positive feedback from staff who attended the 3 day event. Our festival of Technology Enhanced Learning comprised a range of 11 staff development sessions aimed at helping staff develop their awareness and use of technology to engage students and enrich their learning experience here at the university.

Staff from Blackboard and UCL joined TEL and CQSD staff along with colleagues from across the university to network, present and share TEL and Blackboard ideas and expertise to help enhance teaching, learning and assessment here at Reading. From tasty ‘TEL tapas’ and Blackboard Bootcamp, UCL’s ABC rapid design curriculum design workshop, TEL tools for teaching large classes, using video from Box of Broadcasts and sharing apps for teaching and learning, it was a varied programme with something for everyone!

Image of TEL Roadshow event

We also launched the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool (live online classroom) for use in modules in the new academic year. Staff from UoR Malaysia and Blackboard joined us remotely along with early adopters to help launch the tool and, yes, there were party poppers! You can find out more information about this new tool and access self-help materials on the TEL Blog.

TEL Fest in numbers

Around 130 staff attended one or more of the sessions with Henley Business School, International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) then Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy being the top three schools in terms of staff attendance.

TEL Fest in tweets

View an account of TEL Fest in the tweets posted during the event at this TEL Fest Storify.

Thanks to all involved. TEL Fest 18 is already in the diary – watch this space for more info!

TEL Fest – Places still available! Bookings close on Friday (30 June)!

TEL Fest logo

There are still places available for TEL Fest sessions (Tues 11 – Thus 13 July, UoR staff only.) Bookings close on Friday (30 June). 

*Please see the link in the Details & Booking section at the end of this email for full descriptions of the ‘gigs’ (sessions) and booking information.*

TEL Fest

TEL Fest is designed in large part (though not exclusively) to help academic staff make the most of technology to enhance teaching and learning. (Administrative staff may also be interested in some of the sessions.) A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it draws on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and comprises a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival has been developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

The Programme

Here’s how the final festival programme (and catered lunchtime ‘fringe) shapes up:

  • Tuesday 11 July

Telling TEL Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)

Mixing it up with an OOC: Lessons from our Open Online Courses for designing blended learning and maximising student engagement (the OOC team)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: TEL Roadshow (light lunch, drop-in)

Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard) 

  • Wednesday 12 July

Electronic Management of Assessment – Programme overview, progress and initial deliverables! (Emma Mayhew & EMA team)

1. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. A rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: Show and TEL – Teaching Large Classes. A forum for academics to share how they’ve approached teaching large classes and technologies that can help. A look at the new Large Class Toolkit too!

2. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. Repeat of morning’s rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (ADE/TEL staff along with Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

  • Thursday 13 July

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Live Online Classroom): Launch & Early Adopters Showcase– Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from our early adopters (Lauren McCann, Adam Bailey & early adopters)

An introduction to using webinars for teaching and Learning using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Angela Buckingham, Pete Andrews & Adam Bailey)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: APPetite – Sharing apps for teaching & learning

Play a video and BoB’s your uncle! Using TV and radio programmes from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) to enhance teaching and learning (Markeda Cole, Learning on Screen)

Details & Booking

Book to come along to one, a few or all of the ‘gigs’ – whatever best suits you!

For full details of each of the sessions (in chronological order) and to book, please visit: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/TandLEvents/CQSD-TELEvents.aspx

All sessions are capped at 40 participants, except for Blackboard Collaborate: Using webinars for teaching & Learning (Thurs 13 July) which, for logistical reasons, is capped at 20 on this occasion. The TEl Roadshow event is a drop-in session. If the session you require is full and you are unable to book a place, feel free to email cqsd-tandl@reading.ac.uk to be added to a waiting list.

Please feel free to get in touch directly with me (email: l.j.mccann@reading.ac.uk) if you have any questions about this event – I’ll be happy to advise.  

Countdown: Less than 2 weeks ’til TEL Fest – TEL your colleagues!  

TEL Fest 2017 – Booking is now open!

TEL Fest logo

 

Bookings for TEL Fest sessions are now open! (This event is for University of Reading staff only.) 

*Please see the link in the Details & Booking section at the end of this email for full descriptions of the ‘gigs’ (sessions) and booking information.*

TEL Fest

TEL Fest is designed in large part (though not exclusively) to help academic staff make the most of technology to enrich teaching and learning. (Administrative staff may also be interested in some of the sessions.) A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it draws on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and comprises a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival has been developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

The Programme

Here’s how the final festival programme (and catered lunchtime ‘fringe’) shapes up:

  • Tuesday 11 July

Telling TEL Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)

Mixing it up with an OOC: Lessons from our Open Online Courses for designing blended learning and maximising student engagement (the OOC team)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: TEL Roadshow

Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard) 

  • Wednesday 12 July

Electronic Management of Assessment – Programme overview, progress and initial deliverables! (Emma Mayhew & EMA team)

1. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. A rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: Show and TEL –  A forum for academics to share how they’ve used an aspect of technology enhanced learning in their teaching

2. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. Repeat of morning’s rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (ADE/TEL staff along with Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

  • Thursday 13 July

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Live Online Classroom): Launch & Early Adopters Showcase– Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from our early adopters (Lauren McCann, Adam Bailey & early adopters)

An introduction to using webinars for teaching and Learning using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Adam Bailey & Angela Buckingham)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: APPetite – Sharing apps for teaching & learning

Play a video and BoB’s your uncle! Using TV and radio programmes from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) to enhance teaching and learning (Markeda Cole, Learning on Screen)

Details & Booking

Book to come along to one, a few or all of the ‘gigs’ – whatever best suits you!

For full details of each of the sessions (in chronological order) and to book, please visit: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/TandLEvents/CQSD-TELEvents.aspx

All sessions are capped at 40 participants, except for Blackboard Collaborate: Using webinars for teaching & Learning (Thurs 13 July) which, for logistical reasons, is capped at 20 on this occasion. If the session you require is full and you are unable to book a place, feel free to email cqsd-tandl@reading.ac.uk to be added to a waiting list.

Please feel free to get in touch directly with me if you have any questions about this event – I’ll be happy to advise.  

Countdown: 5 weeks ’til TEL Fest – TEL your colleagues!  

Image of spaceship countdown

TEL FEST: 11 – 13 July 2017 (Save the date!)

TEL Fest, 11-13 July 2017

SAVE THE DATE!  

Image of festival flags

As the festival season approaches, we thought we’d host a festival of our own this summer: TEL Fest – A festival of Technology Enhanced Learning. TEL Fest is designed to help academic and teaching staff make the most of technology to enrich teaching and learning. A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it will draw on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and will comprise a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival is being developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

To whet your palate, here’s a taste of the current programme:

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/flags-pennants-red-yellow-blue-425046/ [19/5/17]
  • Telling ‘TEL’ Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)
  • Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)
  • Open Online Courses (OOCs): Lessons from UoR’s successful OOC team for designing blended learning/Blackboard courses and promoting participation and engagement (OOC team)
  • ABC Curriculum Design workshop With links to the Curriculum Framework initiative, a rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)
  • Blackboard Collaborate: Live Classroom – Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from the pilot case studies
  • Box of Broadcasts: Demonstration of this on-demand TV and radio service for education (Library/Learning on Screen)

 

We’re also planning a series of bookable lunchtime festival ‘fringe’ events (possibly catered), including:

  • TEL Roadshow – Come, meet & talk to staff from TEL-related teams including Blackboard, TEL CQSD, OOCs, TEL/AV Support, IT, ISLI TEL & more…
  • Show and TEL – find out how colleagues are using different aspects of TEL to enrich teaching and learning
  • APPetite – sharing apps to help promote active learning and student engagement

With a raffle and festival freebies too, it promises to be a great event! More information and booking details to follow shortly but be sure to SAVE THE DATE and ‘tel’ your colleagues!

#uortelfest17

Image of technology

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/technology-information-digital-2082642/ [19/5/17]