Teaching and Learning for All – Symposium – 12 July 2018

Technology as a Springboard to Inclusive Practice

Technology, Accessibility and the University of Reading

The effective use of technology can play a key role in reducing the barriers to student participation and success. Knowing how and in what ways current technologies can make learning accessible can act as a springboard to inclusive practice that can benefit all students.

Within the context of the Curriculum Framework, and the Teaching and Learning Strategy, this one-day event aims to raise awareness about accessibility and inclusivity in T&L and to provide practical advice and ideas on how technology can enhance teaching and make it more inclusive.

Programme and Booking             Speakers

The Symposium

The event brings together expert external speakers in the field of accessibility and inclusion, alongside internal University specialists who are addressing the issue of inclusive practice at the University. The interactive sessions are designed to stimulate discussion and provide advice, and ideas on how available technologies can help you to make the leap to inclusive teaching, ranging from Blackboard to Microsoft Office 365 and beyond. During the expert panel session, you can have your questions answered, while the TEL team and other University Support Services will be available during the day to get you started.

Sessions Highlights

  • Shapeshifting and invisibility – alternative approaches to inclusive practice,
    Alistair McNaught, JISC
  • Practical adjustments to make teaching more inclusive,
    Annabel Avery, DAS, University of Reading
  • Panel Discussion,
    Experts from the University of Reading, JISC, Microsoft, Blackboard
  • Microsoft built-in Accessibility Tools,
    Hector Minto, Microsoft
  • Accessibility and Beyond: Let’s play with ALLY,
    Gillian Fielding Blackboard and TEL team

    This fun workshop/competition will introduce you to the Blackboard ALLY tool which automatically creates alternative formats of your Blackboard course content to benefit all students and assists you in creating accessible documents in a step-by-step approach.

Symposium Programme and Booking             Symposium Speakers

The TEL Team

Turnitin does not support Final Marks with Decimal Places

Users grading Assignments using Turnitin, where an Assignment’s rubric will allow for a non-integer (not a whole number) final grade, should be aware that Turnitin does not support non-integer final grades.

Non-integer scores produced in a rubric or grading form are rounded to the nearest integer when “Apply to Grade” is pressed.

Turnitin only passes integer grades to the Blackboard Grade Centre.

Users wishing to apply non-integer marks can do so by either Manually Overriding the grade in the Full Grade Centre at the end of the marking process, or by using Blackboard Assignments, which will allow non-integer final grades. Alternatively, Users might wish to edit their rubric to contain only integer scores when grading.

Turnitin High Resolution

Turnitin are now publishing papers in a higher resolution in the Feedback Studio.

At the bottom of the document viewer, you’ll now find a High Resolution toggle which can be switched On and Off at your own convenience. It will save this preference for any future visits you make to Feedback Studio, too.  If you do experience slowness loading papers, switch this feature off.

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

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Uploading assignment file(s) via Safari & iOS

There is currently an issue with the latest version of Safari on Mac and all iOS browsers.

You cannot upload files to a Blackboard Assignment using the above as it will result in an error:

If you are on a Mac, please use a different browser like Firefox or Chrome.

If you’re on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) please switch to a PC and try again.

Blackboard downtime for essential system maintenance: overnight Sun 8th – Mon 9th April

Blackboard maintenance image

Our Blackboard VLE requires an important system update to be applied. This update will be carried out overnight Sunday 8th – Monday 9th April.

As a result, Blackboard and Turnitin will be unavailable 

  • from Sunday 8th April 22:00 BST (time in Malaysia: 05:00 MYT on 9th April)
  • to Monday 9th April 12:00 BST (time in Malaysia: 19:00 MYT on 9th April)

Please note: TEL staff in IT and CQSD will endeavour to complete post-upgrade checks as quickly as possible, and will aim to make the system available to users well before midday on Monday 9th.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.