Blackboard Ally Quick-start

Revision for “Blackboard Ally Quick-start” created on April 8, 2021 @ 08:53:29

Blackboard Ally Quick-start
<a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-2132" src="" alt="Blackboard Ally logo which is the words Blackboard Ally but kind of funky and cool looking." width="300" height="144" /></a> <h1>Everything you need to get started with Blackboard Ally</h1> [toc] <h2>1. What is Blackboard Ally?</h2> <h3><span style="font-family: 'Arial', sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Blackboard Ally is an accessibility tool built into My Studies. It launched Summer 2020. </span></h3> <ul style="margin-top: 0cm;"> <li><span style="font-size: medium;"><b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Students can use Ally</span></b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"> to access content on My Studies in their preferred alternative format. For example, a student could download a module handbook as ePub format to adjust the font and page colour. As another example, a student could download text-based content as an audio file. </span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: medium;"><b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Academic, administrative and professional staff can use Ally</span></b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"> as a diagnostic tool. Ally analyses content on My Studies and provides suggestions and instructions to improve accessibility. Staff also have access to the alternative formats that are available to students.</span></span></li> </ul> <a href=""><img class="alignleft wp-image-2133 size-full" src="" alt="screencapture of the alternative formats button (A with a downward facing arrow)" width="737" height="113" /></a><i> </i> &nbsp; &nbsp; <a href="#top">Back to top</a> <h2>2. How will my students find out about Blackboard Ally?</h2> <p id="students" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Separate communications will go out to students as part of their induction checklist. We do recommend that you remind students about Ally during inductions and inform returning students that the tool is available. All students can potentially benefit from the flexibility that Ally provides, but Ally adds additional value for: students with different learning needs and specific formatting needs (e.g. large print, braille, audio); neurodiverse students; students who commute; and students who speak English as an additional language.</span> </span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;">We recommend the following materials for students:</span></span></p> <ul> <li style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Ally Quick Start Guide page on Blackboard Help Site" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Ally Quick Start Guide for Students</a> </span></span></li> <li style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Link to Alternative Formats guide on the Blackboard Help site" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Alternative formats</a> - includes <a title="Link to &quot;Which format should I use?&quot; comparison chart on the Blackboard help site" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">a comparison chart (Which format should I use?)</a> explaining the benefits of different format types</span></span></li> <li style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><a title="Student FAQs at the Blackboard help site" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Student FAQs</span></span></a></li> <li style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Link to YouTube Video" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">[Video] Ally for Students in Blackboard Learn</a> - 45 second video explaining how students can use Ally</span></span><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></li> </ul> <a href="#top">Back to top</a> <h2> 3. The 3 things you need to know about Blackboard Ally</h2> <!-- x-tinymce/html-mce_84795458811617803194921 --> <ol id="threethings" style="margin-top: 0cm;" start="1"> <li style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Ally saves time by automatically creating alternative document formats </span></b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">You no longer need to upload multiple versions of a document. So no more having to upload a PDF copy of lecture slides that you created in PowerPoint.</span></span></li> <li style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Ally supports the access needs of all students </span></b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Ally allows students to download your content in the format that they need. It also provides students with the means to adjust the display of your content to meet their individual needs.</span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: medium;"><b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Ally provides feedback which is only visible to instructors to help improve the accessibility of content in My Studies </span></b><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">Ally provides clear feedback, and instructions, to explain how to improve accessibility in documents and My Studies content. This feedback is only shown to instructors and can be worked on incrementally over time. <b>The Digital Learning, Portal and Intranet Services (DLPIS) team recommend prioritising lecture slides and newly uploaded/added content.</b> This process may take some time and there is no expectation that all content will be 100% accessible according to Ally's rating scale by term start 2021/22.</span></span></li> </ol> <a href="#top">Back to top</a> <h2>4. How can I learn more about Blackboard Ally?</h2> <p id="learn"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', sans-serif; font-size: medium;">We are currently writing the support documentation for Blackboard Ally. As the materials become available they will be added to this page. Refer to the <a title="Link to table of contents" href=";course_id=_115277_1#toc">table of contents</a> at the top of the page to see what is coming soon. </span></p> <span style="font-family: 'Arial', sans-serif; font-size: medium;">We are also offering:</span> <ul> <li><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a title="Link to workshop information" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><b>Short workshop sessions for Blackboard Ally</b></a> that will be held weekly on Microsoft Teams from 17<sup>th </sup>August until the first week of October.</span></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a title="Link to the Creating Accessibility Digital Documents workshop list" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><strong> Creating Accessible Digital Documents workshops</strong></a> will also be offered on Microsoft Teams. This workshop is to help support more in-depth work on specific types of documents (e.g. Word and PowerPoint files). This workshop is 2hrs: the first half explains the key principles, the second half is hands-on practice. </span></li> </ul> <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">All sessions will be advertised on the <a href="">Teaching Contingency website</a> and on the <a title="Link to the Learning and Development page on staffcentral" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Learning and Development page</a> on staffcentral. <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Additional sessions will be arranged during the term for staff who teach on semester 2 modules.</span> </span> <span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;"> I<span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif;">f you have questions about Ally, please contact your <a title="Link to eLearning team contact details" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Learning Technologist</a>.</span> </span></span> <a href="#top">Back to top</a> <!-- x-tinymce/html-mce_11060674711617803814986 -->

OldNewDate CreatedAuthorActions
April 8, 2021 @ 08:53:29 Fiona MacNeill
April 7, 2021 @ 14:56:49 Tucker MacNeill
April 7, 2021 @ 14:10:50 Tucker MacNeill

I have been working in the Educational Technology field within Higher Education for eleven years. A big part of my job is finding new and innovative ways of integrating technology into current teaching and learning methodology. This can include assisting academic staff with Virtual Learning Environments/Learning Management Systems (Blackboard), implementing specific software packages, maximising current technologies and championing new ones. I find this profession both riveting and rewarding. I really enjoy life on the cutting edge, but I also enjoy being able to help staff achieve small and meaningful efficiencies; sometimes that makes all the difference.

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