This checklist is designed to help staff who are preparing and refreshing their Moodle modules for the new academic year. It has been compiled by colleagues in LEaD and links to our Digital Accessibility guide and support offer. City staff can also log in to access our Digital Accessibility Sharepoint Site.
About Digital Accessibility at City
Since 2020, City’s Digital Accessibility Project has championed an ‘accessibility-first’ approach. Through collaborative working with schools, professional services and students, we’ve made a demonstrable difference. Our automated captioning and caption correction service have ensured accurate captions for students, saving academics time while meeting accessibility legislation. Our Moodle materials’ accessibility score jumped from 57% to 75% in 2020-21. Automated lecture recording has made an institution wide contribution to accessible and inclusive learning.
The Digital Accessibility web page is aimed at prospective staff and students and signposts support services and outlines what we are doing to improve our digital accessibility
Preparing your Moodle module
Design for accessibility
Feedback from students on what makes a good Moodle page highlighted the importance of clearly labelled content. Students appreciate modules which are easy to navigate and organised so that resources were easy to find. Check the Module design tips and see if you can make any improvements in structure, headers and naming files.
Use Ally to find and fix accessibility issues
Ally is a handy tool built into City Moodle since July 2022. When logged into your Moodle modules as a Lecturer, some of your files will have an accessibility indicator score.
- Select 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 Ally.
Recommended reading: Can you find and fix severe issues, e.g those that could cause seizures or be unreadable to screen readers? The blog post Reaching “Net-zero” severe issues tells you how.
Digital Readings and Scanned Documents
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.
Use built-in checkers when creating new documents
Microsoft and Adobe provide built-in accessibility checking tools. Using these as you create your documents can help you build good accessibility habits, such as using headers, adding alternative text to images, getting the slide order correct in PowerPoint and making sure your tables are well designed.
- LEaD have written guidance to help staff create accessible documents.
Think twice about of making a PDF
If your module has a lot of PDFs, your accessibility score may suffer. PDFs need to be carefully created or they will be hard to use with assistive technologies. Think about whether you need to provide a PDF instead of the original file e.g. in Word or PowerPoint, or can you provide both the PDF and the original file to students.
Lecture Capture and Screencasts
Request Caption Correction via Service Now
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 third year and well used by many regular screencasters at City, it is easy to use. The recording does not move anywhere, we just need the link from MediaSpace.
Lecture capture 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 360 recordings to your module. There is also a way to integrate Zoom to Echo and therefore direct to Moodle. For Teams, there is guidance on mapping to Moodle. To fid out about what can be recorded please consult City’s Online Teaching Materials and Lecture Recording Policy.
Accessible lecture recordings do make a difference for many students, please record what you can and where you can and take steps to make your recordings easy to find and study from.
Inducting and supporting your students
Let your students know about accessibility tools and features
- Alert students to any tricky documents or media that can’t be made accessible within the module
- Introduce students to the Student Guide on using the Alternative Formats Tool , which makes digital reading easier and faster. It can create PDF, HTML and EPub versions, which are great for use on mobile devices. Electronic Braille, Audio mp3, Beeline Reader and Immersive Reader are tools that help some students with reading and notetaking
- For screencast recordings, let students know which captions are corrected and which are not
- Let students know when to expect lecture recordings to be available and point them to the Student Guide on Lecture Capture where there are tips on studying from recordings, i.e.using captions and transcripts and the echo 360 app for offline viewing
- When using Teams or Zoom, let students know how to turn on live captions and where to find the recordings
- Signpost where to find further support for study. The Student Health and Wellbeing team offer a range of services to meet diverse, individual needs
- The Student Educational Technology Guidance site has practical step-by-step guides and includes a Student Guide to Digital Accessibility
Have you received a Student Support Plan?
If you have a student support plan and would like advice on making your module content accessible, then you can book a consultation with a member of LEaD’s Digital Education Team, via Service Now, Digital Accessibility.
Support and guidance for you
LEaD’s award winning Digital Education team ( ALT awards 2023) are here to help you. We want to make an accessible and inclusive learning environment for you and your students to enjoy.
- You can request support on ServiceNow, Digital Accessibility for:
- help to make complex documents or media accessible e.g. for a student support plan
- 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
Online Guides for Staff and Students
- Sharepoint Site for Digital Accessibility
- Join our Digital Accessibility Teams channel
- Subscribe to the Learning at City blog
- Follow LEaD on Twitter @CityUniLEaD