Ally instructor quick-start guide

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Ally is a tool that integrates with your Canvas course to provide you with insight into the course's accessibility.

Improve course content accessibility

Ally automatically scans your original course content, and performs a series of steps to make it more accessible. Ally does not make any changes to the original content; it works with you to create alternate, accessible course content. Ally does the following:

  • Generates alternative formats for students to download
  • Assesses courses and content, producing accessibility scores
  • Gives instructor feedback on how to improve your accessibility score

Typically, you should see your accessibility score within 15-90 seconds. This may take longer if your content is complex, or if you have a lot of course content and it is being assessed all at once.

Alternative formats

Ally creates alternative formats of your course content based on the original. These formats are made available with the original content so students can find everything in one location.

You don't need to do anything. The alternative formats are created for you. If you want, you can disable alternative formats for any individual content item for whatever reason.

Select the download alternative formats icon anywhere you see it to see the different formats available and to disable them.

Accessibility score indicators

Find a file and select the Accessibility score. Follow the steps in front of you to go step-by-step. Select All issues to see every issue in the file and decide what issues to fix first.

Scores range from "Low" to "Perfect". The higher the score, the fewer the issues.

  • Low: File is not accessible and needs immediate attention.
  • Medium: File is somewhat accessible and could use improvement.
  • High: File is accessible but could be improved.
  • Perfect: File is accessible. No improvement needed.

For files with low to high scores, Ally shows you the issues and gives a step-by-step guide on how to fix them.

Instructor feedback

To learn about accessibility issues, why they matter, and how to fix them, select the Accessibility score to open the instructor feedback. Follow the steps in front of you to go step-by-step.

Course accessibility report

The course accessibility report is an accessibility summary and overview at the course level. The report shows instructors this useful information:

  • Accessibility score for the course
  • Distribution of course content by content type
  • List of all issues identified in the course

The course content items that have issues are listed in the report; you may access feedback about these items in the report and use it to help fix the issue.

Other considerations

Content that Ally checks

Currently, Ally checks files in these formats:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft Word files
  • Microsoft PowerPoint files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files
  • Image files (JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF)
  • WYSIWYG/VTBE content (The results for WYSIWYG content only appear in the Institutional Report and Course accessibility report.)
  • YouTube videos embedded in WYSIWYG/VTBE content

Course copies

When you copy a course, all alternative formats and instructor feedback will also be available in the new course. There can be a delay before everything is moved over to the new course.

When you archive a course, only references to file accessibility are available.

Importance of course content accessibility

In many cases, improving the accessibility of course content benefits all students, as accessibility is often closely connected to the quality and usability of the course materials. Some examples include: a proper digital copy of a document, instead of a scan, makes it easier for any student to read and work with the document; several alternative formats (for example, HTML, ePub, audio) make it easier for students to access course content on the go or from mobile devices; video captions and transcripts allow students to search through videos and view them in high-noise environments; a proper heading structure makes a document more navigable for all students.

Ally and course appearance

Ally provides an accessibility score for your files (this is not visible to students), that is the only difference you will see in your course. The score is shown by a gauge icon next to your course files. By selecting the gauge you can view and improve your file accessibility.

What students see

Students see a menu to the left or right of each document. From this menu, they can select Alternative formats to access available versions they can download.

Original files

Ally doesn't delete the original, move, or store it. Your original file will stay in the LMS.

Supported browsers

Ally is supported on the same browser as the Learning Management System (LMS) it is accessed from.

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari

This is document bhdk in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-07-13 13:55:27.