Before moving into the features of MyCourses and starting to design your course, it’s important to take a moment to think about the accessibility of your course—the content, navigational experience, activities, and assessments.
Your courses should be designed with accessibility in mind regardless of whether you are aware of whether a student in your class has a disclosed disability or not. We should not wait until we receive an accommodation notice from Disability Services before considering how to make courses accessible.
MyCourses also provides, Ally, which evaluates the accessibility of your Word, PowerPoint, PDF, and HTML files and provides you with recommendations and instructions for remediating content. Ally also offers students the option to obtain alternate formats for content. The Microsoft Office Products include accessibility checkers that you can use prior to uploading files to MyCourses.
Videos hosted in the integrated Kaltura environment are automatically machine captioned and for cases where Disability Services requires professional captions as an accommodation, Information Technology (IT) can assist with ordering professional captions. IT can also assist with adding sign language interpreters to a course. Your Zoom sessions can also be live-captioned.Zoom recordings are automatically captioned and added to Kaltura.
Beyond accessibility, you may also want to consider using Universal Design Principles (UDL) when designing your course. These principles go beyond the mechanics of what might need to be done to make course content accessible and includes recommendations for offering content in multiple formats and multiple ways to assess student learning.
The use of UDL principles helps to ensure that our courses are ready for a diverse body of learners–not just those with a disclosed disability–English language learners, learners with temporary mobility issues, aging learners, etc.