Get Ahead of the Game.

Inclusive by Design themed graphic announcing support for making accessible content.  Emphasis on getting ahead of the game (100% accessible content by Sept. 2020).

2020, kick-start the New Year with several staff development activities and resources, designed to help you make your content accessible.   

Learning Services are offering a range of sessions and resources to assist staff with issues raised by Blackboard Ally, from training sessions on making accessible documents, small steps videos that target a range of specific issues and guides that help with more complex document structures and conversions. 

Attend a Drop-in Session.

Orange filled circle containing an Accessibility figure set within a document page.

Sessions are being run from 8th Jan to 26th Feb, every Wednesday between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Catalyst Oak Room (session on Wed 12th Feb will run from 11-1pm).

No appointment necessary, drop into the Catalyst Oak Room (top floor) & get individual help with making your content accessible. Bring up issues you are having with particular documents and we will help you find a solution following best practice.

Book on a Digital Proficiency Staff Development Session. 

Grey filled circle containing an sample fonts represented by an "A" and "A underlined" .

Improve your ICT skills with software that you use frequently, sessions such as ‘PowerPoint: Get Creative with Presentations’ and ‘Microsoft Word: Making Documents Accessible’ sessions. These sessions are vital in making presentations and documents more accessible and inclusive to all users. 

View Small Steps Videos. 

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Learning Services are producing a series of short how-to videos for the most common accessibility issues found in content uploaded to Blackboard Courses.  All videos will be available by February and will walk you through a step by step approach to resolving issues such as; adding alt text to an image, using Header Styles in Word, saving a Word file to an accessible PDF and linking to 3rd party resources.

How-to Videos:

(this blog post will be updated with more links to more how-to videos).

Access Good Practice User Guides. 

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Create documents that are usable to more people, follow some key tips to make PDF files and their alternative versions accessible for all your students.

Blue filled circle containing an Accessibility figure set within a document page being converted to braille.

LinkedIn Learning – Creating Accessible PDFs

LinkedIn Learning specifically focuses on professional development. Industry experts provide insights and guidance to you on what you should know about in the production and remediation of PDFs. ‘Creating Accessible PDFs’ course is broken down into six key areas: 

  1. Understanding Accessibility.
  2. Accessibility in PDF Files.
  3. Make an existing PDF File Accessible.
  4. Create an Accessible PDF from Word.
  5. Create an Accessible PDF File from PowerPoint and Excel.
  6. Create an Accessible PDF File from Adobe InDesign.      

Each category is delivered in short manageable chunks, between 2 – 12 minutes sections, this means you can dip in and out of your learning as and when it suits you.

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Want to know more about accessibility and what the new legislation means for your modules in Blackboard?

Portrait photographs of Learning Technology Development Staff.

Contact your Learning Technology Development Officer: AskLTD or Tel. 7755

   

Panopto at your service

Panopto logo followed by text "There's nothing you can't capture".  A series of images representing situations you can capture using Panopto.

Panopto at Edge Hill University

The Panopto System at Edge Hill University is the University’s video management system for secure scalable hosting of video and audio resources.

Seamlessly integrating with Learning Edge (Blackboard), all seminar and lecture theatres are fitted with the latest recording and capture equipment, making it easy for tutors to use and access the Panopto System no matter where they are on campus.  Capturing a lecture can be as simple as pressing a record button from within your computer desktop.

There are three key reasons why lecturers say it is important to provide students with Panopto recordings. These are:

  • To enhance student satisfaction. All students experience high quality and fulfilling University education that enriches their lives and careers.
  • To offer better provision for students with disabilities, medical conditions or other commitments that sometimes make it impossible for them to attend classes physically. Accessibility and inclusivity are becoming ever more important drivers for the adoption of this technology.
  • To improve student learning outcomes. Analytics show students are using Panopto recordings as a support mechanism and revision tool, to check key terms, concepts and understanding for a topic during the assessment period.

Safe learning for complex concept rules (Transcript).

Gichuru Phillip inset image of Person work on a laptop computer, charts and graphs appear on screen.  Caption text "Panopto: Safe learning for new and complex concepts".

How-to videos or video tutorials (Transcript).

Laura Riella inset image of student studying at a desk in campus accommodation.  Caption text "Panopto: How to use and edit styles in Microsoft Word".

The use of Panopto to create how-to videos is growing on campus. These types of video fall under two categories:

1. Practical videos to build-up skills or enhance the student experience:

  • Orientation and induction for first-year students.
  • Recordings that help explain assessment criteria and rubrics.
  • Explainer videos that teach students about key university systems.

2. Tutorial videos that relate to specific elements within a course or discipline:

  • Videos of laboratory demonstrations with multiple camera angles.
  • Tutorials on musical techniques.
  • Demonstrating software packages students need to use as part of their course.

New Research: Students’ Opinions and Expectations for Lecture Capture

Student Voice: Derek, 3rd Year Marketing Student (Transcript).

Derek Henry 3rd Year Student inset, image of students entering a lecture theatre. Caption text "Panopto: My Study toolkit and freedom to participate in taught sessions.

There’s a growing movement for online video tutorials, people are using platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and Linkedin Learning and students are turning to these technologies to teach themselves new skills.  As a result, there’s an expectation that these types of resources will form part of their learning experience at University. Panopto provides staff with the tools that offer students a safe and secure way to engage with taught sessions and content.

With a simple tick of a box, Panopto will automatically generate a webcast link and stream your sessions live so that distance students can access them.

Live broadcasting (Transcript)

Person holding a mobile device to view a live broadcast of a Graduation with caption text "Panopto: Live broadcasting technology at Edge Hill University".

Opportunities for live broadcasting:

  • Streaming live lectures to overflow classrooms.
  • Sharing guest lectures with external audiences.
  • Hosting ‘live lounges’ for music performances or concerts.

Along with the latest classroom equipment, Panopto is helping to expand your reach beyond the physical campus and offers a ‘humanised’ digital experience that makes both existing and new audiences feel like they’re part of a community of learning.

If you would like to learn more about Panopto, talk to your Learning Technology Development Officer or to find out more about Panopto at Edge Hill and the level of support available, contact the panopto@edgehill.ac.uk.

Martin Baxter
Martin Baxter Learning Technology Development Officer

Digital Accessibility – Creating Accessible Content

Four images (left to right) representing hearing, braille, cognitive and visual. Image links to Wiki information pages.

New Legislation

New accessibility legislation means that Universities have to make improvements to the information on our websites and VLE.  This includes all of your uploaded documents.  The rules will apply to new online content from Sept 2019 and will be applied to existing content by Sept 2020. 

Basic process chart showing key dates for making content accessible from 2018 to 2021.

As you are setting up new modules over the summer this is a perfect time to check the accessibility of content.   For 2018/19 our content accessibility score was 64% which is a great baseline to start from.  If you would like to check how accessible a course/module is get in touch with ltdsupport and we can provide the information & a summary of the top issues.  

It is essential that all department managers ensure that accessibility is high on the agenda for any departmental meetings so that all staff are aware of their obligation to make their course materials accessible.  

With just a few quick and simple steps you can vastly improve the content you upload to Learning Edge, so that all students are able to use it in a way that suites them and their needs.  We have put together a resource kit in our wiki pages containing lots of information on how to make your content accessible. 

Image shows the different sections of information that the Wiki covers. This includes documents, PDF documents, Slides, Ally & Inclusive Practice, Websites, wikis and blogs and Multimedia.

 

 

 

 

Leah WilsonOperations Coordinator