This page will cover digital inclusion in three key areas:
Digital inclusion takes into account the variety of learning styles and contexts in which students may be studying – whether this is full-time, part-time, blended learning or distance learning.
Assistive technologies are often referred to as productivity tools as their use is not restricted to those with a disability.
Staff should be aware that the university Disability Support Service recommends a number of different technologies to support students. These include the mind-mapping software Inspiration, screen reader and magnifier Superova, RNIB Bookshare, Class Notes apps, screen reader Window Eyes, and the AMIS DAISY format reader.
Learning takes place within a learning space. These learning spaces can include
Using the university’ lecture capture tool you can record lectures while you are giving them. You can also use the desktop recorder to make videos or narrated presentations any time that suits you. The software will also allow you to stream yourself live. Using Panopto means that:
FindaRoom can help students to locate the teaching room that they need to be in on each of the university’s campuses. You can provide links to teaching rooms in your announcements.
Audience response tools allow students to contribute anonymously and silently, and when used within a learning space can widen student participation. The university’s supported audience response tool is Vevox.
Using Vevox students can
Blackboard has a number of collaboration tools that can allow you to communicate and collaborate with your students online. The in-built Blackboard Collaborate tool can enable you to
Additionally Blackboard discussion forums and blogs can help students to work together online.
Digitally inclusive materials meet accessibility needs through their design and the mode of delivery.
Students access learning materials for courses and modules through Blackboard. Using the university’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) you can produce digitally accessible course content.
SensusAccess provides Inclusion Technology that allows students and staff to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books, e-books and digital braille. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG picture and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible and less tricky formats.
There are useful guides on how to create accessible documents produced by Microsoft.
On all Office 365 programs you can use the Accessibility Checker to find accessibility issues.
Digital tools can increase student access to formative and summative assessment, and to important feedback.
The Disability Service provide information for staff on how to make reasonable adjustments / facilitate access arrangements for in year in class tests.
You can use the functions available within Blackboard to set up assessments in the form of:
Students submit audio and video assignments to the Panopto cloud. To be able to accept student assignments you need to set up an assignments folder within your module on Panopto. Students can then upload recordings made on any device to this folder using the Panopto app or direct to the cloud using a PC/Mac. Students have free access to the Panopto recorder, which they can use to create their assignments if they choose.
Microsoft PowerPoint can be used to record narrated presentations for formative or summative assessment. To use this function install PowerPoint onto your PC or device (it is not currently available through the online version of Office365). Presentations with narrations can be saved as a video file and then uploaded to Panopto.
You can use the Peer Review feature within Turnitin for formative and summative assessment tasks.