Education Technology can help make your classes more accessible and inclusive
Educators often ask themselves: how accessible and inclusive are my course materials? That question is often followed by: how do I make my course materials accessible and inclusive? May17 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD) and in support of #GAAD, eLTI dedicates this issue of its newsletter to educational technology that help offer more inclusive and accessible course information.
Tips and tools to make course materials that are inclusive and accessible
Whether you use role play, a problem or project-based approach on your courses, Blackboard (Bb) expands your options to reach students. Using Blackboard, you can present content in visual (videos), audio (lecture recordings) or electronic formats (documents and/or presentation slides) and offer students anytime, anywhere access, be it on their mobile devices or personal computer.
If you want to add audio to lecture slides, you can use Camtasia. This handy tool allows you to record your voice over any document. For tips on how to use Camtasia, see eLTI newsletter of March 2017.
The educational value of videos to support accessible and inclusive learning lies in their ability to seamlessly combine text (subtitles), audio and images. By adhering to principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), videos can help enhance the learning experience for students with diverse needs (auditory, visual and/or linguistic).
Ensuring that the documents you share on Blackboard are AODA compliant has become easier. Since January 2018, Blackboard is equipped with Ally – an assistive tool that assesses accessibility of documents and provides users with a range of corrective options and formats. For tips on how to use Ally, see eLTI newsletter from January 2018.
George Brown College, through Accessibility, offers a number of resources to ensure that the College is an accessible institution that meets the needs of its diverse population. These include: AODA guidelines, Digital Accessibility policy and tutorials on Accessible Information and Communication.
Education technology can complement in-class activities and provide multiple additional access points learners.
If you need help designing or making your course content more inclusive and accessible, come to the eLTI department or call us at 416-415-5000 ext. 4706. The instructional designers are here to help you develop a new course on Bb, and our developers can help create multimedia objects including videos, interactive activities, infographics and much more! eLTI offers one-on-one Blackboard Support to address individual needs, as well as regular group training open to everyone – see options and availability on Cornerstone Learning Calendar.