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Blackboard Ally staff guide

This help guide will explain:
  • the purpose of the Ally tool on HYMS Blackboard
  • Ally scoring of content
  • Ally guidance on improving content : the feedback panel
  • how to improve original content outside of Blackboard and upload again
  • Ally student view: alternative formats
  • Ally course accessibility report

Please note, Blackboard Ally is currently only available as part of a pilot on the PGT course Health Professions Education Assessment and Feedback 2019/20

The purpose of the Ally tool on Blackboard

Ally is a tool on Blackboard that helps improve how accessible certain types of content are by providing tips and step-by-step guidance for improvement.

In addition to providing you with an accessibility report, Ally automatically, where possible, provides alternative formats for certain types of files. Please see the Blackboard help page: alternative formats.This explains the types of files that are reported on and what alternative formats are generated. *Please note, Translated Version and BeeLine Reader are not available on the HYMS Blackboard.

Ally scoring of content

HYMS staff with Blackboard instructor or course builder roles will see coloured dials called accessibility scores on the left side of certain types of content items.screenshot of Ally scoring dial

Students will not see the accessibility score

Please see the Blackboard help page regarding what the coloured scoring means:  Ally accessibility scoring.

Ally guidance on improving content : the feedback panel

On an individual content item, select the accessibility score dial icon to open the feedback panel. This will provide you with helpful guidance on improving your content and the scoring. Please see the Blackboard help page regarding the feedback panel: Ally feedback panel.

Improve original content outside of Blackboard and upload to the feedback panel

We recommend improving the original version of an item of content outside of Blackboard and the Ally tool. For example, it is best to edit an original Word document in Office Word, original PowerPoint slides in PowerPoint etc. We also recommend uploading the improved resource into the Ally tool feedback panel. This will replace the other version and generate a new rating.screenshot of field to upload content in Ally

You will then see a success message if this has uploaded successfully.

screenshot of success message in Ally tool upload field

Please see further guidance on improving content on the following help pages:

Blackboard help page on improving accessibility of content

Howto help page on improving accessibility of content

Ally student view: alternative formats

For an overview of the types of formats of content that Ally will generate for students, please see our help page; Blackboard Ally: student guide

Ally course accessibility report

The Ally tool can also report on all items in a Blackboard course. The report generates:

  • overall course accessibility score
  • the distribution of course content by content type
  • the list of all issues that have been identified in the course

screenshot of accessibility report linkTo generate a report, navigate to control panel in a course menu/course tools/ accessibility report.

 

 

 

The report presents content that’s easiest to fix or content with most severe issues, and the ability to sort by severity, issue name, number of issues identified and accessibility score.  It is easy to navigate to content items that have been flagged with an issue. This should make working through the remediation of multiple items faster.

screenshot of Ally accessibility report

 

 

 

 

 

Further guidance

Find out what content Ally checks.

Updated on 01/03/2020

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