D2L Brightspace Community Website has great resources to offer. This link offers tips on web content accessibility. I am listing some important recommendations below:
- When possible, use HTML topics to create your course content. D2L provides accessible HTML templates to streamline the content creation process. If you need to use other file formats, such as video files, choose formats that are recognized by most browsers or offer the material in multiple formats.
- Use a simple layout that does not use tables or columns to organize information. When information is organized simply, it is easier for students to read and understand. Simple layout is also easier for assistive technology devices to interpret and present, and for mobile and handheld devices to resize.
- Do not use color to convey meaning. If you want to show how concepts relate to each other, use a combination of size, color, and text labels.
- Use headings to communicate the relationships between sections. Use Heading 1 for the title, Heading 2 for major sections, Heading 3 for subsections, and so on. If headings are used correctly, screen reader users can quickly search a page by heading and participants with cognitive disabilities can understand how sections and content relate easier.
- Make sure each heading, item, and file name are unique.
- Include alternative text descriptions (alt text) for all graphics. Use double quotes (null) as the alt text if the object is a decorative element that does not add meaning to the topic. If the graphic is a link, begin the alt text with “Link to”. The HTML Editor in Brightspace Learning Environment automatically prompts you to include alt text when you insert an image.
- Ensure that there is a strong contrast between the text and the background colors in your course materials.
- If you create PDF files from Microsoft Word or another word processor, format titles and sections using heading so they are correctly tagged in the PDF.
The Minnesota Online Quality Initiative team has updated their list of video resources from the past webinars hosted by the Special Interest Group.
You will find the recording link along with the presenter and webinar description. This is a great opportunity in case you have missed a live webinar but are still interested in the topic. Here are some of the archived recordings:
- Self-Assessment of Discussions
- Ten Steps Closer to an Accessible Course
- Time-Saving Tips for Stressed Out Instructors
- Just-in-Time Teaching
Just click on the link provided above and choose the title of your interest. Majority of the recordings are about 45 minutes long.
Don’t forget, there is also a Google drive folder with various resources (in Word, PDF, or PPT).
Finally, you can always register for the upcoming webinars here.
Mark your calendars! Every Tuesday, starting next week, D2L Brighspace experts and users will share their stories on various topics, ranging from accessibility, to gamifying your course, to Quality Matters.
Below is the list of upcoming webinars (click here to register):
- Sep 27, 3:00 PM ET : York Technical College and Accessibility: The How and the Why of It
- Oct 4, 3:00 PM ET : Jazzing Up Online Assessments
- Oct 11, 3:00 PM ET : Maximizing Brightspace Tools to Create a Gamified Online Learning Environment
- Oct 18, 3:00 PM ET : What’s Your Story(line)? Developing Engaging Learning Experiences by Extending the Content Tool
- Oct 25, 1:00 PM ET : Setting The Tone In A Brightspace Course With QM Standard One
However, you can always explore past webinars as well, since there is pool of recorded webinars on D2L Brighspace Resources page.
Both online and on ground classes can always use more tips on how to make them more accessible. 3Play Media, a leader in captioning and accessibility support, provides complimentary webinars that can help institutions with accessibility requirements. Below is a list of the upcoming webinars:
September 15, 2016 at 2pm – 3pm ET
In this webinar, Dr. Katie Linder, the head researcher on the project, will present for the first time on the findings of a national study of over 2,500 students. She will take a close look at how students use and perceive captioning and transcription at their institutions (beyond the need for accommodation).
September 20, 2016 at 2pm – 2:30pm ET
Join us to learn more about 3Play Media’s closed captioning process, services, tools, and standards. In this webinar, Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder Josh Miller will address how 3Play Media can help make your videos fully accessible, searchable, and more engaging for all viewers.
September 29, 2016 at 2pm – 3pm ET
This webinar will be presented by Lainey Feingold, a nationally recognized disability rights lawyer and pioneer of Structured Negotiation known for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements. In the Fall of 2016 the American Bar Association is publishing Lainey’s book, Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits. Her presentation will analyze key cases, government agency activity, settlements, and other developments in digital accessibility through September 2016.
October 6, 2016 at 2pm – 3pm ET
You recognize the need for an electronic information technology (EIT) policy at your college or university, but now what? In this webinar, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) EIT Accessibility Team reveals how they successfully went about planning, designing, and implementing an accessibility policy at their institution.
October 12, 2016 at 2pm – 3pm ET
Earlier this year, the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit conducted two nationwide research projects on closed captioning in higher education. In this webinar, Dr. Katie Linder, the head researcher on the project, will present for the first time on the findings of the institutional survey. Katie will take a close look at the results from over 50 colleges and universities nationwide, focusing on the challenges of and solutions for captioning.
October 20, 2016 at 2pm – 3pm ET
In this webinar, one of the architects of the ADA, Bobby Silverstein, will discuss his perspective on the development of the ADA, as well as on its application to modern technology, the Internet, and accessible workplace technology.
December 8, 2016 at 2pm – 2:30pm ET
Watch this webinar to learn the basics of how to add closed captions to online video to make it fully accessible, searchable, and SEO-friendly. This webinar covers Section 508 and ADA accessibility compliance, creation of closed captions, explanation of caption formats and video player compatibility, as well as an overview of automated workflows and integration with lecture capture and video platforms.
A team of students at Tulane university have developed a very helpful website about creating accessible syllabi. The website is very easy to navigate and provides direct information. Spread the word! 🙂
Photo credit: www.brightspace.com
As promised, we are giving the highlights from the Brightspace Minnesota Connection conference two weeks ago. You can find the links to presentations, photos, and videos from various breakout sessions here. Topics varied from D2L Brightspace tools and pedagogical applications, to flipped classrooms, widgets, accessibility, and many more! Enjoy!
Friday, April 15, 2016
8am-4pm (Central Time)
Normandale Community College
9700 France Ave S
Brightspace Minnesota Connection is your opportunity to connect with your peers and D2L staff, exchange product feedback, share effective practices, and network with other Brightspace users. Connection will showcase teaching and learning within Brightspace, and sessions will feature topics such as effective practices in instructional design, technology integration, and administrative management. This event is sponsored by D2L, along with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and St. Catherine University.
Register for Brightspace MN Connection Conference
Registration Rate: $95 USD
Presenters Rate: $50 USD
Group* Discount Rate: $75
*For groups of 5 or more, use discount code: GROUP20
Special Guest Keynote
Kenneth Chapman is the Vice President of Market Strategy for Desire2Learn (D2L), creator of the Brightspace learning management system. He and his team work closely with information management system groups and EDUCAUSE to research grant opportunities and explore new learning innovations. In one such project, Mr. Chapman helped design a gaming and simulation builder that lets instructors easily create engaging learning activities using online course content. Mr. Chapman has held a number of roles within D2L since 2002, including head of Research and Development. Several D2L patents are attributed to him. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Guelph: one in Mathematics and Statistics; the other in Computing with a marketing specialization.
The Instructional Technologies and Learning Spaces Special Interest Group (SIG) is offering a number of free webinars in March, April and May.
March 30 from noon to 1pm:
Dynamic Discussion Artifacts: Moving Beyond Threaded Discussion in an Online Course.
Michael Manderfeld, Senior Instructional Designer at Minnesota State University Mankato.
April 6 from noon to 1pm:
Just in Time Teaching.
Wes Boberg, Earth Science Education at Ridgewater College.
April 13 from noon to 1pm:
Why do you need so much space to teach one class?
Hennepin Technical College.
May 4 from noon to 1pm:
Ten Steps Closer to an Accessible Course.
Catherine Artac, Instructional Designer, Minnesota State University Moorhead.
You can register for these free events here: http://mnquality.eventbrite.com
For more information: March-May SIG Webinars
A free captioning symposium “Closed Captioning Requirements for Institutions of Higher Education: It Takes a Village” will be offered on Friday, April 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Participants can attend either in person at Anoka-Ramsey Community College or remotely via webinar. Please see the attached document for more details and registration information.
Join many of your MnSCU colleagues for an exciting day that promises to be a significant first-attempted cross- institution, cross-role discussion on this important and complex topic related to captioning course videos.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system has a current project underway to explore options used by MnSCU institutions for the provision of transcription and captioning services for teaching and instructional purposes. The ad hoc group working on this project, facilitated under the Academic and Student Affairs Technology Council, includes faculty, IT and design staff, disability services staff, and support staff from 17 MnSCU campuses.
One of the work group’s objectives was to make available a clear understanding about the statutes that guide captioning requirements to assist MnSCU institutions understand their obligations and responsibilities with regard to course-based captions. Several resources including MnSCU General Counsel, will be addressing this topic and available for questions.
Equally as important, you will hear from MnSCU and other higher education colleagues who are already making successful headway in captioning course videos. The theme for the day “It Takes a Village to Caption Videos” implies that effective campus collaboration and strategy is at the core of successful captioning practices. This day offers the opportunity for campuses to begin a dialogue with others throughout the state and share resources in a forum dedicated specifically to the topic of captioning.
Captioning Symposium Invitation