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Microsoft Accessibility

When creating content for your course, whether online or face-to-face, it is important that you ensure all of your students have equal access to the material presented. We’ve referred to this concept before as universal design. Making documents accessible is very simple, because Microsoft provides tools for creating accessible content in Word, Excel, and in PowerPoint. General Tips Although there are specific do’s… Read more →

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Summer 2016 Blackboard Upgrade

This Blackboard upgrade will be a fairly minor one – many of the updates are happening on the back end, which won’t impact the student and instructor experiences at all. However, there are a few highlights we’d like to bring to your attention. Tool Changes and Improvements Announcements When creating an announcement, “Not Date Restricted” is now selected by default. This… Read more →

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Accessibility in Microsoft PowerPoint

It’s very fun to create vibrant, decorative PowerPoint presentations, but it’s important not to go overboard. Aesthetics are nice, but the end goal of your course is to teach your students. If the color contrast, images, etc. are getting in the way of the content, it’s time to rethink your design. Additionally, although slide transitions can be exciting, they can… Read more →

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Accessibility in Microsoft Word

Microsoft has published an exhaustive article pertaining to screen readers and Word, and many of the conventions content creators use can apply to Word just as they would to HTML or other documents. There are, of course, some techniques specific to Word, which will be addressed here. Microsoft has also released a short video discussing accessibility and Word: Reading Order and… Read more →

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Textbook Accessibility

Textbooks Since the development of e-readers, many major publishers will release textbooks in a digital as well as print format. Digital books are often more accessible, and even students without disabilities may prefer digital textbooks because they are less expensive and lighter than print versions (among other benefits). However, smaller publishers and independent publishers may not release digital editions. Your… Read more →

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Accessibility: Not just a civil right

A recent article published by EDUCAUSE Review makes the case that framing ‘accessibility’ as a civil right is perhaps the most effective way to gain the attention of college faculty, staff, administrators, and students. That’s because a potential civil rights violation is assumed, by many, to be a serious matter that could put the organization’s finances and reputation at risk. While… Read more →

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Time On Task Sample

The following demonstrates one way to report your Time On Task for a course that includes an online component (distance education). This sheet was attached to an E-Learning Pre-Approval Form to help demonstrate “regular and substantive interaction” as well as quality and rigor in this course. If you have questions about reporting your Time On Task, ITS Online Learning Services… Read more →

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Time On Task Guidelines for Learning Activities

So, you’re sitting in front of an E-Learning Pre-Approval Form wondering how on Earth you can accurately estimate the time your students will spend completing the tasks outlined in your syllabus. You start to make assumptions regarding the speed at which student read, write, analyze, etc. but you feel very uncertain because, after all, the time it takes you to… Read more →

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Google Docs

The Benefits of Using Google Docs Google Docs is a free online word processor available to anybody with a Gmail or Google Apps account. Since student email at Saint Rose is run through Google Apps more and more students are using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides as opposed more expensive software like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Students are also beginning to… Read more →