- Welcome back and a spring term update,
- And finally, how can we help you to become more digitally accessible?
Welcome back and a spring term update,
One small change is that the Ally tool is now called Anthology Ally, previously it was called Blackboard Ally.
This post is for staff designing and refreshing their Moodle modules, readying for the new academic year and new term. It has been compiled by the Digital Accessibility Project team in LEaD and links out to our guidance and training information which is open to all. City staff can also log in to access our Digital Accessibility Sharepoint Site.
Use Ally to check your docs
Ally is a handy tool built into City Moodle since July 2022. When logged in as a Lecturer in to your Moodle modules, some of your files will have an accessibility indicator score.
- Click on the indicator to learn how to make the file accessible
- Generate an accessibility report for the module. This details the quick and easy fixes you can make, and what will take more time to resolve.
- LEaD have written guidance to help staff use Anthology Ally.
“Ally made it easy for me to work out how I might attempt to fix issues with any of the documents”
Professor Rachael-Anne Knight was one of the staff who piloted the tool last year. In the post Ally Pilot May 2020, she explains how she approached and improved her score on one of her modules.
Ponder your PDFs and get to know the Alternative Formats tool
If your module has a lot of PDFs, then your accessibility score may suffer. PDFs need to be carefully created or they will be hard to use with assistive technologies. One key habit to build: think about whether you need to provide a PDF instead of the original file, or whether you can provide both the PDF and original file video to students.
If you need expert help to find digital readings from books or papers, or need to have a key paper document scanned and made accessible, look no further than the Library’s Digital Course Readings Service, accessed via your subject librarian.
However, if your students love PDFs to use on their mobile devices, they can use Ally’s Alternative Formats tool. This tool can convert documents to a range of formats PDF, HTML, ePub, Electronic Braille, Audio, Beeline Reader; many are great for mobile learning.
For this academic year, we recommend that captions are corrected on pre recorded materials. The good news is that we have a service for academic staff to request caption correction. Now in its 2nd year and well used by many regular screen-casters at City, it is easy to use and the recording does not move anywhere, we just need the link from MediaSpace.
Hook up your Echo Lecture Recordings to Moodle and do the same for Zoom and Teams
Lecture recordings in Echo 360, Teams and Zoom are all proving popular and are an important part of an inclusive learning environment. One task to remember is to connect echo recordings to your module. There is also a way to integrate Zoom to echo and therefore direct to Moodle and for Teams there is guidance on mapping to Moodle.
Tell your students about accessibility in your module
- Alert students to any tricky documents or media that can’t be made accessible within the module
- Introduce students to the Alternative Formats tool
- For recordings, let students know what captions are corrected and what are not
- Let students know when to expect lecture recordings to appear and how find the captions and transcripts for them and about the echo 360 app
- Make sure students know where to find further support for study, the Neurodiversity Team contact details are on the Student Hub
And finally, how can we help you to become more digitally accessible?
LEaD offer support, training and guidance to help us all become as accessible as possible.
- You can request support on ServiceNow for:
- help with complex documents or media
- to ask for captions to be corrected
- to request bespoke training e.g. for a team
- Pop along to our regular Digital Education Workshops and Drop-ins
- Consult the Digital Accessibility Staff Guide
- Link to theDigital accessibility Student Guide
- Join our Digital Accessibility Teams channel
- Subscribe to the Learning at City blog
- Follow LEaD on Twitter @CityUniLEaD