Month: September 2018

Blackboard Ally Helps Make Course Content Accessible at GVSU

At GVSU over 1,600 students, faculty, and staff have registered with the Disability Support Resources office for disability related needs. Further, 11% of college students report a disability according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Blackboard Ally was implemented in the summer of 2018 to support the university’s accessibility efforts around equity and inclusion.

Ally scans files uploaded into Blackboard and evaluates the level of accessibility of content by displaying colored “dials”. These indicators are only visible to instructors of the course. Getting the dials to green is the goal!

Blackboard Ally Dashboard Indicators

After Ally automatically scans course content that has been uploaded by faculty, an indicator is displayed that estimates the level of accessibility of the file. The system also provides guidance to assist faculty in resolving common accessibility issues.

3 Steps to Improve Content Accessibilty with Blackboard Ally

“GREEN is the GOAL”

STEP 1 – Mouse over to the dial to view the “accessibility score”.

STEP 2 – Click the dial indicator to view recommendations and make the file more accessible.

STEP 3 – Follow the on screen prompts and guidance to add an alternative description to an image, or to fix the file and upload a new version to improve the accessibility score.

Sample Blackboard Content Area with Ally Indicators
Accessibility Indicators in Course Content
Sample Ally On Screen Guidance
Ally Dashboard Indicator Includes Recommended Fixes

In addition to assisting faculty, Ally automatically creates alternative files types for students, including: OCRed PDF, Tagged PDF, HTML, ePub,  Audio, and Electronic Braille.


Video Overview of File Accessibility with Blackboard Ally

“GVSU is committed inclusive education, and I am focused on ensuring my courses are accessible” said Cheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor in the School of Computing and Information Systems and 1st Place Award Winner of the Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States, “Blackboard Ally will help me ensure that my courses are as accessible as possible for my students, save me time, and most importantly help faculty at GVSU to focus on improving student success.”


GVSU 2021 Strategic Plan Connection 

Blackboard Ally supports GVSU’s 2021 Strategic Plan in the following areas:

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution.

Objective 3.B.1: All systems and policies ensure inclusiveness and accessibility.

Inclusiveness/Access – Incorporating multiple voices and experiences by valuing identities, perspectives, and backgrounds.  Strengthening and expanding possibilities through technology to increase accessibility and remove barriers.


Blackboard Ally Benefits

  • Increases capacity to support faculty in building accessible content and correcting files already in their Blackboard courses.
  • Assists in the creation of high quality levels of accessibility of content in Blackboard through the real-time conversion of files (OCRed PDF, Tagged PDF, HTML, Audio, Electronic Braille, and ePub) uploaded into Blackboard without any faculty intervention or extra work.
  • Provides additional ADA Section 508 due diligence and good faith effort of evaluating content that has been uploaded by faculty into Blackboard.
  • Responds to student needs for accessible versions of content without the extra overhead of development time for our existing staff or faculty.
  • Builds capacity to respond to increased federal and legal requirements for accessibility at GVSU.

Blackboard Ally Support

Get help and access additional support information on GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies Blackboard Ally for Faculty support page.


“Ally documents evidence of my efforts as faculty to make my teaching more accessible. Through incremental changes Ally guides me step by step to adjust course files.  As I’m learning how to use Word better, all other file formats are generated in my course automatically. Ally uses gamification to indicate my progress in making files student-friendly.  Getting to 100% is an emotional rush!”

– Szymon Machajewski, CIS Affiliate Professor, teaching CIS150 in the School of Computing and Information Systems and recipient of the Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States.

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BLACKBOARD STATS @GVSU – FALL 2018

This post features a few insights around Blackboard use at GVSU in the Fall 2018 semester. Highlights include:

  • Users Logged in in the past 30 Days
    • 1,463 Students
    • 18,949 Students
  • 10,655 Most Simultaneous Logged in Users
  • 3,592 Courses Available to Students
  • 42,020 Gradebook Columns Created
  • 169,090 Content Items Created

Infographic showing Blackboard usage that includes: 18,949 students and 1,463 faculty users having logged in in the past 30 days.

These data are gathered from the BbStats OpenSource Blackboard Building Block.

Preparing to Leverage the Blackboard LMS to Enhance Your Teaching

Blackboard is an effective enterprise learning management system platform for:

  • enhancing students success
  • increasing student engagement
  • improving instructor efficiency
  • building and sharing course content
  • establishing teaching presence
  • providing effective course design

This post provides some tips and techniques for preparing to Teach with Blackboard.

Not only can Blackboard be used to support face to face classes, it is also the “online classroom” for GVSU’s online and hybrid courses. While a variety of third party and social media tools can be valuable pedagogical resources in teaching and learning, caution should also be exercised when using these platforms to ensure campus policies as well as student confidentiality and privacy is maintained. Policies that include FERPA and web accessibility are the most directly related to using these external technology solutions.

Because Blackboard provides a framework and offers consistency, students can move from class to class at the university without having to relearn or become oriented to a variety of different technologies. While a template exists, faculty have the intellectual and academic freedom to personalize, customize, individualize, and use a variety of applications (including the embedding of third party tools and resources) to create a course that meets their needs and fits within the context of their content.

With a single username and password, students can easily access all of their classes, course content, grades, and quickly communicate with each other and their professors. Further, the GVSU IT HelpDesk provides support for Blackboard as it is an enterprise technology at the university.

Here are a 4 tips for Teaching with Blackboard:

1. ENHANCING STUDENT SUCCESS

Focus on student success and retention with Blackboard tools.

Maximize student retention by proactively monitoring and contacting inactive students, students with missing deadlines, or poor performance.

The Blackboard Grade Center shows the date of last course access for students. The Retention CenterPerformance Dashboard and Item Statistics provide faculty with information about student activity as well as the ability to monitor students at-risk. Use these tools to determine whether any students in your class are falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. Intervene early on by sending students a message, so they get back on track quickly.

Provide timely feedback on student work.

Students need (and want!) to know how they’re doing throughout the semester, so your timely feedback on assignments, discussions, and course activities is essential. And each time you provide feedback to students, you make your presence known–key to making students feel connected to your course and supported in their work.

Try audio recording feedback to students’ writing, or giving formative, brief feedback more frequently during an assignment to encourage students’ reflection and learning.

Establish a goal of responding to students’ inquiries or activities on Blackboard within 24 hours Monday – Friday, or on Mondays for activities students may complete over the weekend.

2. INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Active learning principles are valuable for increasing engagement, collaboration, and communication with students.

Discussion threads are a popular component of Blackboard courses, but an online conversation is just one of many ways you can help students demonstrate knowledge or practice skills.

Think beyond the discussion forum: given your course content, how might you build in multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge or mastery of a skill across a variety of activities? How will you reinforce skills or knowledge learned in one portion of the course in a future activity? What short assignments might you ask students to engage in and post for quick feedback?

See also “Blackboard and 7 Principles of Good Practice

3. ESTABLISHING TEACHING PRESENCE

Tips for increasing digital visibility in courses.

There are a variety of strategies to use in making yourself visible to students in your Blackboard course. Tools such as: AnnouncementsEmail, and Discussion Boards are the most common.

Live virtual office hours through Blackboard Collaborate is another effective tool to use.

Collaborate provides opportunities for:

  • Online Office Hours
  • Online Guest Speakers
  • Interviews
  • Advising
  • Study Sessions
  • Small Group Projects
  • and more!

4. IMPROVING INSTRUCTOR EFFICIENCY

Save time with grading, assessing students, managing assignments, etc.


Learn more about Teaching with Blackboard at GVSU on our website.

Enhancing Teaching with Panopto and Blackboard Ally at GVSU

With 5 weeks into the Fall semester, this post provides a few highlights around the use of Panopto and Blackboard Ally in teaching and learning at GVSU. Deployed this past summer, these technologies are available now to all faculty, staff, and students at Grand Valley State University to enhance education and support student success.


Panopto

Panopto replaced Ensemble and TechSmith Relay in the summer of 2018, with the migration of content being completed on June 30. GVSU adopted Panopto to increase the capabilities to best leverage media-rich content in teaching. In addition to more powerful tools such as searching, embedded video quizzes, and discussions, creating closed captions was made easier for faculty.

Ally connects to the GVSU 2021 Strategic Plan in the following areas:

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

Objective 3.B.1: All systems and policies ensure inclusiveness and accessibility.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution.

Inclusiveness/Access – Incorporating multiple voices and experiences by valuing identities, perspectives, and backgrounds.  Strengthening and expanding possibilities through technology to increase accessibility and remove barriers.

 

Here are a few usage stats of Panopto as of August 1, 2018:

  • 2371 videos have been created
  • Approximately 98 assignment folders have been established, allowing students the ability to easily submit a video for an assessment
  • 99 hours of video (on average) is being viewed per day
  • There has been a total of 7968 viewing / usage hours
  • 9710 total users on Panopto with 1056 faculty accounts and 8654 student accounts
  • 103 faculty and staff have installed Panopto on their Windows 10 PC or laptop
  • Training sessions: 7 sessions in the Spring, 7 sessions in the Fall, with additional support offered to faculty in Drop-Ins, eLearning Open Office Hours, Big Byte and Faculty Learning Communities as well as individual consultations.

Panopto has been a success at GVSU in providing a unique and engaging way for faculty to deliver high quality instructional content. Further, it extends the capabilities available to faculty while enabling closed captions to be added for accessibility.

“I jumped right in to using Panopto because I had a Spring online course to prep. I am thrilled to report it is easy to use. I can make videos and upload them for near immediate use – a great improvement over the old system. Editing videos is easier, and I particularly like the feature that allows me to add quiz questions. Especially, teaching online, being able to add a couple questions to incentivize students to watch the whole video, and check they understood it, is a great bonus pedagogically. I also find the viewership metrics incredibly handy. They provide real insight into students’ work habits.” – Jeff Rothstein, Sociology


Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally was put into production and made available to all students, faculty, and staff on June 21. Ally was adopted at GVSU to increase awareness of the importance of accessibility and ADA compliance, build the capacity of faculty in creating accessible content, and to offer greater insight at the institutional level.

Ally connects to the GVSU 2021 Strategic Plan in the following areas:

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution.

Objective 3.B.1: All systems and policies ensure inclusiveness and accessibility.

Inclusiveness/Access – Incorporating multiple voices and experiences by valuing identities, perspectives, and backgrounds.  Strengthening and expanding possibilities through technology to increase accessibility and remove barriers.

Since June 11, and overall, 107 faculty have fixed 406 files in 129 courses and students have downloaded 2862 alternative formats from 786 courses. Usage stats of Ally as of August 27 (semester start) to October 18, 2018 include the following:

Graphs of Total Courses (3,672), Total Content (160,344), and Overall Accessibility Score (62%) from Blackboard Ally

Since deploying Blackboard Ally, the Overall Accessibility Score reported by the institutional dashboard shows an increase of 16 percentage points.

Graph showing Blackboard Ally accessibility score increasing with 62%, up from 46% the previous semester.

For courses in the Fall 2018 (since August 27) semester:

  • 3,724 courses include content
  • There have been over 209,000 total content items created and scanned by Ally
  • 62% is the “Overall Accessibility Score” (58% without Ally) indicating improvements made through Ally’s alternative formats.
  • Top 3 most common accessibility concerns include:
    • Contrast Issues
    • Missing Document Headers
    • Images without Alternative Descriptions
  • Most severe accessibility concern:
    • Non-OCRed Documents
  • Training sessions: 1 session in Spring included UDL, 2 in Fall with additional support offered to faculty in Drop-Ins, eLearning Open Office Hours, Big Byte and Faculty Learning Communities as well as individual consultations
  • 125 files have been manually fixed by faculty in 38 courses
  • The most popular alternative format is PDF, followed by HTML

Graph of the numbers of access of alternative file types showing 1,584 accessed of PDF files, 959 accesses of HTML, 111 accesses of ePub, 108 accesses of OCR PDFs, 69 accesses of audio, and 5 of braille.

Overall, from June 11 until October 2, in Blackboard Ally:

  • 406 files have been fixed by 107 faculty in 129 courses
  • 2,862 alternative files have been downloaded by students in 786 courses (5,205 total views of the alternative file format screen)
  • 1,000 courses have 2,558 registered clicks of Ally dials by faculty

In addition, Jeff Sykes, Assistive Technology Coordinator in  Disability Support Resources, has demonstrated how to access alternate formats in Blackboard while meeting with students who use alternate format books. In the Fall 2018 semester, 40 students are using alternative format books as an accommodation.  The “Ally feature is benefiting any of those students who have a course that uses inaccessible documents posted to Blackboard.”

“Ally documents evidence of my efforts as faculty to make my teaching more accessible.

Through incremental changes Ally guides me step by step to adjust course files.  As I’m learning how to use Word better, all other file formats are generated in my course automatically.

Ally uses gamification to indicate my progress in making files student-friendly.  Getting to 100% is an emotional rush!”

– Szymon Machajewski, CIS Affiliate Professor, teaching CIS150 in the School of Computing and Information Systems and recipient of the Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States.

eLearning team attends 2018 MI OER Summit #MIOERSummit

elearnteamatoersummitf18.jpg

Vince St. Germain, Hunter Bridwell, and Eric Kunnen from the eLearning team attended the 2018 MI OER Summit that was held at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, MI on September 21. In attendance at this event also was Annie Belanger, Jeffrey Daniels, and Matt Ruen from University Libraries, and Genevieve Elrod, Karyn Butler and Susan Strouse faculty Kirkhof College of Nursing.

See also: Nursing faculty publish OER book

This event is all about bringing together open education advocates and supporters for a day of networking, sharing and learning about the uses of open educational resources (OER) at their institutions.

Here is the conference program [pdf].

The keynote address was:

3b496b2d547be3677623693624656284Interrogating Access: Privacy, Equity & Open Education

by Dr. Chris Gilliard, Professor of English and Rhetoric, Macomb Community College, Faculty, 2018 Digital Pedagogy Lab, University of Mary Washington

The advantages of Open Educational Resources often conceal risks, particularly highly consequential risks to the privacy of working class students, students of color, and others from the margins of the student population. Exposing the vulnerabilities of OER to misuse in the contemporary world of surveillance capitalism not only reshapes our understanding of the movement itself, but also serves as a case study of the larger dangers of of “Edtech.”

In addition to a keynote, there were also 18 breakout sessions, including a session by GVSU faculty and staff entitled: “Standing on the Threshold with Faculty-focused OER”.

mioersummit

Pictured left to right: Genevieve Elrod, Susan Strouse, Hunter Bridwell, and Matt Ruen

In the session by GVSU, presenters discussed their process of recently entering the OER world. Rather than a textbook, they compiled a handbook of lesson plans for faculty teaching introductory research. The presenters discussed the creation, collaboration, and dissemination involved in this project as well as their future plans. Genevieve Elrod, Susan Strouse, and Karyn Butler also presented their work at a Kirkhof College of Nursing faculty meeting.

Vince St. Germain, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist, captured the following notes from a variety of couple of sessions:

Takeaways from Running an OER Workshop for Faculty

Stephen Finlay – Indiana University-South Bend

Key Take-Aways from the session.

  1. Don’t just talk about the cost benefits.
  2. Use existing Library subscriptions and databases.
  3. The use of multiple OER sources in a course move beyond the confines of a single textbook. Create a suite of resources (there is no one perfect text).
  4. Find a faculty champion. Counter the naysayers with faculty to faculty groups and discussions.
  5. Use more technology. Flip the classroom.

Just DOER it: Designing Renewable Assessments with Open Educational Resources

Marisa Enos – Mid Michigan College

Are your assessments Renewable or landfill? Landfill or disposable assignments are those that a student throws away at the end of the semester.

Use the 5R Open Course Design Framework when thinking about and creating assessments.

  • Reuse
  • Revise
  • Remix
  • Redistribute
  • Retain

Open permits students to learn in new ways. Engage students in their work by making it more meaningful and useful (purposeful).

Hunter Bridwell, Digital Media Developer, captured the following notes during the conference:

Lessons from an OER Faculty Learning Community (305)

Northwestern Michigan College: Sarah Wangler, Mella McCormick

“In this presentation, open to all audiences, the facilitator and faculty learning community members discuss lessons learned about searching for, adopting, and implementing OERs in writing classes as both text and experiential learning as part of a FLC at Northwestern Michigan College.”

Who runs the course, you or the textbook?

  • Teaching philosophy online with OER. “Rethink the values of my discipline” what does that mean in Philosophy? Rethink discourse!
  • Asynchronistic discourse or “intellectual discourse”
  • Get rid of the textbook meant you had more resources.

FROM SESSION HANDOUT

Description: I practically tore my hair out in trying to find a way to genuinely honor the practice of the Socratic method in my online philosophy class. I soon discovered that the solution lies in viewing the values that are fundamental to your academic discipline in non-traditional ways. This presentation will share with you concrete examples and ideas for doing this in your own discipline including the non-traditional approach of teaching a course without a text hook.

My story challenge:

  • Core value in philosophy: Socratic Method
  • Traditional approach: Verbal dialogue
  • Re-thinking the meaning of dialogue for the online environment: I replaced the traditional verbal dialogue with an on-line intellectual dialogue wherein the instructor primes the “conversation by presenting the students with course content that is paired with probing questions that the student needs to think-through on her/his own first. The course content and probing questions are enriched and enhanced by custom-made video lessons that are designed to push the student’s thinking beyond its status quo by presenting alternative viewpoints, diving deeper into the content and challenging the student to ‘stretch’ her/his thinking.

Non-Traditional Teaching Opportunities: Teaching without a textbook. Replace textbooks with digital and/or audio text materials. Replace a chapter from the text book with alternative resources such as: Ted Talks, YouTube videos, case studies, Khan Academy, Problem Based Learning, Service Learning, Cross-disciplinary projects. Identify a particular topic from your course that students traditionally struggle with Create a custom-made video that explores the topic in more depth and interacts with the student on a more personal level.

Your Story/Challenge:

  • What are the core values in your academic discipline?
  • What are the “standard” or “traditional ways that these values are practiced in your discipline?
  • How can you “re-think” or “re-invent” your discipline values, especially in light of changing technology, changing student needs, and a changing environment?”

OER4Sale!

Kenda Lake and Tina Ulrich

  • Openwashing- giving something an appearance of open-source and open licensing for marketing purposes, will continuing proprietary practices
  • Derived from “Greenwashing”
  • “Inclusive Access” – co-opt the idea of a library with a fee. No access for perpetuity.
  • Guiding Principles
  • Common values
    • Adding value
    • Giving more than you take
    • Transparency about what you are using and selling
    • Attribution
    • Developing Trust
    • Not Exploiting
    • Defending the commons

 SEE LINKS  

Lisa Petrides, Toward a Sustainable OER Ecosystem

  •      Clearly shows the source authoring license
  •      Links to the CC license
  •      Proudly displays OpenStax partner status

Release! & Empower!

  • An appropriate stance for OER advocates when reviewing “OPEN” products from publishers.

FROM SESSION HANDOUT

“Questions to ask vendors who claim to be “open.”

  • Is the company or organization just using what others have created or are they somehow contributing back to the content provider? Is the company giving more than they take? Contribute
  • Does the average end-user (students & faculty members) know where the content came from? (Attribute)
  • Could the average end user (students & faculty members) easily download and retain the content? (Release)
  • Is the company or organization making it easy for others to expand upon the work to make it available to more learners? (Empower)

Kendra & Tina’s Questions:

  • Do students know they are paying for it and are they given a choice to opt out?
  • Is their marketing in any way exaggerating or obscuring proprietary practices?
  • What value are they claiming to add to the original material?
  • Is the company participating in good faith with the OER community?

Learn more about OER (open educational resources) and the support offered by the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU.


The event was organized and facilitated through Michigan Colleges Online.

3bbe514b71fd6cdcbd865cd0d3ecf09c_630x260

Technology Showcase Celebrates 5 Years of Emerging Technology at GVSU

REFLECT | REMEMBER | CELEBRATE | INNOVATE

On Friday, September 14, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team in Information Technology, along with staff from the University Libraries celebrated the opening of the Atomic Object Technology Showcase 5 years ago.  The event provided an opportunity to reflect back, remember the past, and to celebrate achievements and success, while also allowing room to innovate and to pioneer the future together!

See also: 

Photo of an empty room with no chairs, tables, and white walls.The journey began on August 1, 2013 in a small empty room in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.  This empty room quickly became a distinctive initiative of the Information Technology department, University Libraries, and GVSU itself. Transitioning from an empty room into an exciting space, the showcase is full of over 35+ emerging and innovative technologies that intersect with teaching and learning. Since being open, over 62,000 visitors (and counting) have experienced the mission of the showcase which is:

“To provide faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to:  interact, discover, learn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.”

Over 250 visits were tracked during the 3 hour 5 Year Celebration Open House and attendees experimented with emerging technologies, entered a prize drawing, and enjoyed snacks and conversations.

Here are a few highlights of the celebration!

  • Atomic Object Visit – Staff from Atomic Object, a software design and development company in Grand Rapids, visited the showcase.
Photo of staff from Atomic Object and eLearning and Emerging Technologies

Mike Marsiglia and Jeff Williams from Atomic Object are pictured with Eric Kunnen and Hunter Bridwell from eLearning and Emerging Technologies

  • Photos from Event – Visitors and guests enjoyed an open house full of emerging technology, prizes, #edtech conversations, and refreshments. Visitors could also view our birthday cake in augmented reality through the Microsoft HoloLens which was baked, 3D scanned, and placed into a hologram by our own and very skilled digital media developer, Hunter Bridwell!

A Technology Showcase thank you to all of the students, faculty, and staff
that celebrated our 5 year open house with us!

Photo of the room of the technology showcase with 3 banners hanging in the window saying technology, innovation, education.

Helping ALL STUDENTS be SUCCESSFUL #Accessibility

Working to ensure ALL STUDENTS are SUCCESSFUL is a Grand Valley State University (GVSU) commitment. In fact, GVSU’s vision demonstrates this commitment to providing an inclusive learning environment where all students can explore new directions, find their niches, and develop skills for life and productive careers.  

In addition, one of GVSU’s value statements is “Inclusiveness”, whereby:

Inclusiveness – Incorporating multiple voices and experiences by valuing identities, perspectives, and backgrounds.  Strengthening and expanding possibilities through technology to increase accessibility and remove barriers.

Accessibility is not new. In fact, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and an amendment to this act in 1998 (Section 508) provides basic rights for people with disabilities along with specific requirements for electronic communication and information technologies. Further, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990.  In the past 28 years, there have been many advancements in technology and education has largely become digitized. The rapid growth of online learning and greater use of digital materials by faculty creates a unique challenge in the support of the accessibility of electronic documents, software, and web-based services.

This challenge is further strengthened by 11% of college students reporting a disability, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Here at GVSU, over 1,600 students, faculty, and staff have registered with the DSR office for disability related needs as of 2017. 

A few important questions to ask are:

  1. Can all of my students access and review my course content?
  2. To what degree is my course content accessible?
  3. How can I improve the accessibility of my courses?

The importance of these questions is underscored by this video (“To Care & Comply Accessibility of Online Content”) from Portland Community College.

GVSU’s accessibility efforts are facilitated through a campus wide approach that includes a wide array of departments, faculty, and staff. The Division of Inclusion and Equity leads the university’s work in providing a campus wide framework for equity and inclusion. 

Focusing on teaching and learning, GVSU’s eLearning team, along with the Disability Support Resources (DSR) office provide accessibility awareness and training for faculty, and accommodation support for students. DSR focuses support on resources and accommodations that enhance the academic environment for persons with disabilities and to help educate the university community on disability issues. While DSR works more directly with students, GVSU’s eLearning team provides services to faculty, supporting their efforts to leverage technology in teaching, and to most effectively and efficiently use technology in an accessible way.

Specifically, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team supports the use of Panopto and Blackboard Ally to assist faculty in opening the door to education for all students by providing captioning and enhancing course content. In addition, the eLearning team has created a series of “Accessibility Tips for Faculty” to help support faculty.

  • Learn more about using Panopto to increase the accessibility of your videos with captioning.
  • Learn more about using Blackboard Ally to review your course content for accessibility, and to learn how to increase the compliance of  your files.

If you are a faculty member at GVSU, please know that we are here for you. eLearning and Emerging Technologies offers key support and services such as: