Accessibility in Technology Enhanced Learning

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced guidelines for making web content accessible to people with disabilities.

The following accessibility standards are in place for the services Blackboard (MOLE) Turnitin and Pebblepad.

Note Blackboard Ally is a new tool, as of September 2019, that helps you assess the accessibility of your course materials, and your learners to download files in inclusive formats.

Blackboard

“Our products are designed and developed in accordance with the internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) Guidelines 2.0 Level AA as well as the Section 508 standards in the United States. A third party conducts regular audits of our software to ensure quality expectations are met and maintained”

"Blackboard Learn has created a Screen Reader Tutorial to provide users who access the application through a screen reader with information to help them use the system successfully. " - Blackboard. (2015). Accessibility at Blackboard . Last accessed 16th October 2015.

Contrast settings can be changed on Blackboard to Operating System styles by logging on to the MOLE homepage and:

  • Clicking on your name on the top right of the screen.
  • Clicking the tab marked 'Settings'
  • Clicking on 'Contrast settings'
  • Clicking on 'Yes, I will use Operating System styles to overwrite Blackboard styles'
  • Clicking 'Submit'

Further information available here

Turnitin

Turnitin does have limited support for screen reader software. Buttons and icons used in the program contain text behind them, which enables the reader to function correctly.

The Originality Report should also be compatible provided it is in “text only mode”.

In addition PDF versions of the Turnitin reports can be obtained from within the Turnitin report viewer. At present, however, not all areas of the site are compatible with screen readers. Turnitin is redeveloping the interface and any changes to the system regarding accessibility will be updated here.

Further information available here

PebblePad

"Since the release in September 2013 we have strived to consistently and regularly update our Accessibility site
to improve the user experience."Pebblepad (2015). "Accessibility Update V1 ". Last accessed 16th October 2015.

Further Information available here

Accessible Assessment

If you are a student with a specific learning difficulty the University has adopted procedures to make course instructors and external markers aware of this when you submit assignments for marking.

Submitting a MOLE assignment

When submitting an assignment via MOLE you will see a Comments box. If you have a specific learning difficulty, type 'SpLD' in this comments box. This is the electronic equivalent of placing the sticker on a paper submission.

Screenshot showing comments box when submitting an assignment

Submitting a Turnitin assignment

If you are submitting a Turnitin assignment, type ‘SpLD’ as a prefix to the title of your assignment in the Submission Title box. A submission with the title ‘Week Six assignment’ would become ‘SpLD - Week Six assignment’.

Screenshot showing submissions title box for a Turnitin assignment

Further information

Accessing CiCS Services

If you need any help regarding this topic please contact digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk