Jan 2018 Issue




Ally Can Make Your Course Materials More Accessible


First of all, the eLTI team would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Fruitful 2018!


A new semester is going to start soon!  Remember that after the first class there will be some students coming forward requiring accommodation and you realize the digital content you posted on Blackboard needs to be readable on their digital devices. – No problem, you know what to do.  You spend the weekend reformatting the documents in Microsoft, converting them into PDF, running the accessibility checks. Then you go back and make the changes in Word and go through the checking process again to make the digital content AODA compliant. Good job and your students are happy J … and there are still 12 more weekends to come!  Does that sound familiar? Don’t you wish there was a Blackboard tool that would automatically check the accessibility of your uploaded documents for you? Well there is, dand it’s called Ally.


We are happy to announce that Ally will be available in all the 201702 courses in Blackboard for you on Jan 23rd, 2018.  Ally will save you time and provide multiple accessible formats to your students, immediately after you upload the document.  Sounds exciting?  Ally is a tool that works seamlessly in Bb to gauge the accessibility of your uploaded course files. It checks course materials automatically against WCAG2.0 accessibility standards.


Here are the key features of Ally:

  • Provides guidance to help you improve your document’s accessibility
  • Provides students immediate access to alternative formats for many types of uploaded documents including:

                            - HTML (For viewing in the browser and on mobile devices)

                            - ePub (For reading as an e-book on an iPad, Kindle, etc.)

                            - Electronic braille (BRF version for consumption on electronic braille displays)

                            - Audio (MP3 version for listening)


You will find an online training workshop for Ally on Cornerstone








Dear eLTI


Q: What are the changes on the crocodoc replacement?


A: If you have collected and graded assignments in-class, you will find in-line grading of assignments very beneficial. In-line assignment grading is more streamlined and easier to grade and provide student feedback. In-line grading is even faster when you attach a rubric to an online assignment. Rubrics not only provide students with a reference and standard for creating their assignment, it also provides them with grading guidelines for each criteria used to evaluate an assignment.


Online submission is very easy. Instead of collecting paper assignments and grading and entering marks, your students can submit assignments online in Blackboard. Student submitted assignments will display in the browser and can be graded in Blackboard directly. The assignments will remain stored in your Blackboard course forever. In addition, annotation tools are available with an inline viewer, provided by third party, that will allow instructors to provide comments on the document, add feedback, upload any file, and add comments to rubrics.


Supported file types that are compatible with inline grading include Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF (PDF).






Tech Tips


Digi Know


Grade Center Export


Did you know that the grade center easily exports into an Excel file? You are able to download/export your Blackboard Grade Center from Blackboard to an Excel spreadsheet for further evaluation.


To Download/Export the Grade Center:

1) From the Control Panel select Grade Center, Full Grade Center

2) Click the Work Offline button (far right)

3) Select Download

4) You are able to select what information you would like to download: Full Grade Center, Selected Columns or User Information Only.


Watch this quick how-to video: 










We Want to Hear From You!

How do you use educational technologies? If you want to be featured in an issue of our newsletter or have comments to share with us, send an email to elearning@georgebrown.ca.



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