Digital Teaching & Learning Blog

Seven Week Courses - End of Semester Notes

If you are teaching a seven week course that started at the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester, there are a few things you should be aware of as the seven week term winds down:

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Core Skills: Color and Contrast

Using color in documents and web pages requires careful consideration.  Color and contrast can help you communicate more effectively, as well as providing visual organization for content.  However, not everyone sees things the same way you do. Some users might magnify text, which can change the way that colors look, while others might have older computer monitors with different color calibration settings.  

The most important things to keep in mind when using color are

Never use color alone to show emphasis

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Core Skills: Bullets and Numbered Lists

Bullet points and lists are a great way to organize content.  Lists condense large blocks of text and organize content in a meaningful way.  Lists are easy to find for visual users, and assistive technology users can identify lists in documents, but only when the lists are created properly.

How to turn on the New Canvas Gradebook

If you would like to see what the new gradebook looks like without committing to using it for your course, you can set up a development site or contact TEL for help.  If you want to use the new gradebook, follow the steps below to get started.

The New Canvas Gradebook

Canvas has introduced a new gradebook option that will eventually replace the current gradebook.  The new gradebook has a number of exciting new features, including:

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Core Skill: Alternative Text for Images

Alternative text (alt text) describes the content of graphics, images, and charts.  It is important to add alt text to all images that contribute meaning and context relating to the rest of the content on the page.  Assistive technologies read alt text, which allows for a greater audience for your content.

Good alt text answers the following question: What is the content conveyed by the image?  

Use the Libraries eReserves

Have you ever wanted a better solution than files and folders of PDFs for your student readings?

Best practice for providing readings to students is to use the Libraries eReserves service. And, great news: there's a new Canvas integration (Leganto) that makes it easier than ever to do!

AT iCoP: Proctorio Information

From Jeff Weber, Academic Technology Tools, OIT, and Bob Rubinyi, Center for Educational Innovation, EVPP:

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Core Skills: Video Captions

As video and audio content is being used more frequently to deliver course content, it is important to caption your audio/video content.  A wide audience uses captions, including users who are learning a new language or are listening to a video that is not in their native language, users with learning disabilities, users who are in environments not conducive to listening out loud (libraries or loud environments) or do not have headphones, or users who are looking for information that can be found in the transcript.

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Core Skills: Hyperlinks

The second best practice for making accessible content is properly using hyperlinks.  To improve accessibility and usability, embed hyperlinks in the text and make them clear and meaningful out of context.  Having hyperlinks color coded helps sighted users visually scan for links, and people using screen readers can pull up a list of links of the page.  

To learn more about Hyperlinks, visit Accessible U.


About the Blog

The Digital Teaching & Learning Blog is your resource for updates on Canvas and other useful academic technology tools. This is LATIS' way to provide you with news updates, how-to articles and much more! You will soon be able to subscribe to our e-newletter so you can stay up to date on teaching/learning with technology.