As you prepare for a more digital Fall 2020 term, wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that was always on hand to help make to your online course materials more accessible?
We are happy to share some welcome and exciting news with you, in the form of a new tool we will be launching in D2L on Monday, June 29. The name of this tool is ALLY, which is entirely appropriate because it’s going to be one of our new best friends.
Here’s a snapshot of why we are excited about ALLY:
- Support for all students.
Many students actually need or prefer to access their text-based content on different devices or using assistive technology. ALLY makes it possible for students to download alternative formats to the Word, PowerPoint, PDF, and HTML files you added to the course site.
ALLY generates the alternative formats as soon as students select the option they need; alternative formats include such options as HTML (web page), MP3 (audio file), ePub (for e-readers), Electronic braille, or Tagged (formatted) PDFs. Any student in a D2L-based course can access these alternative options in Course Content.
- Support for all instructors.
ALLY provides instructors with immediate feedback and guidance on how to improve the accessibility of their course content. By extension, this improves the quality of the alternative formats students access through ALLY.
Note that you can gradually work on improving the accessibility of your content; you do not have to do everything ALLY recommends all at once.
- General institutional support.
ALLY also provides in-depth feedback through its administrator tools (Course Reports and an Institutional Report). These reports provide data on how technically accessible course content is across all courses in D2L and what we could be doing better as a whole.
When will you be able to meet this new Ally?
- You can email the Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning [CETL@camosun.bc.ca] to request a copy of the recording from the 1-hour information session Thursday, June 11.
ALLY tutorials and tips will be added to the eLearning Tutorials site over the summer.
- ALLY will be enabled across D2L on Monday, June 29.