Celebrating L&T 2019 | Post-event Wrap Up

As part of our annual line up of Celebrating Teaching events this year we took some time out to revisit the extreme importance of inclusivity across our Virtual Learning Environments. Here are some of the post-event ‘hot spots’ in case you missed it.

Jane Bringolf, Keynote Presentation, Universal Design: Joining the Dots!

“Universal Design is a thinking process, not a product!”
“Inclusion is a continuum!”

Dr Jane Bringolf, Inclusivity in the VLE, Celebrating L&T 2019, Griffith University

Founder of the Centre for Universal Design Australia Dr Jane Bringolf beamed in from sunny Sydney to give us an overview of how the Universal Design Approach needs to be a ‘joined up’ story at all levels. While we are pretty good at supporting those with visible and clearly stated issues, it is Universal Design and the associated principles of Universal Design for Learning that underpin Universal access for all.

“Many disabilities are invisible”

Dr Jane Bringolf, Inclusivity in the VLE, Celebrating L&T 2019, Griffith University

Some key Universal Design items to address and master both at an Institutional and Personal level were discussed and included:

  • Use of Social Media
  • Policy – is it integrated and visible?
  • Choice of Color and contrast
  • Use of font size and styles
  • Use of Screen Readers and Screen magnifiers
  • Accessible Graphic Design
  • Pictures and Alternative Text (ALT Text)
  • Use of full hyperlinks – no ‘click here’

Post-event Universal Design & Education Resources

A Duo-ethnographic Journey of Inclusion to Access 

 Two People, One Story

Inclusion, universal design and universal design for learning in higher education: South Africa and the United States 

Universal Design Engineering for Learners

Beyond Universal Design for Learning: Guiding Principles to Reduce Barriers to Digital & Media Literacy Competence  

We were so pleased to nab Emily Lait of Microsoft who gave us a great rundown of available productivity and learning features within the Microsoft Suite to assist both us and our Student Cohorts. You can download the full listing below to find great tools including our favourites below:

  • Immersive Reader (Office)- decodes and reads words in multiple languages, shows word types, line focus, translation and more…
  • Dictation (Office) – tell Dictation what you want to write in docs
  • Seeing AI (free app) – describes the world around you! Download on your phone.
  • Presentation Translator (Office)- Live subtitles on your PowerPoint presentation. Native to the latest PowerPoint (but can be downloaded online if needed

Post-event Resources

Visit the Microsoft Productivity Hub for more information about Microsoft at Griffith.

Visit ExLNT (Explore Learning & Teaching) to find stories and resources supporting the use of Microsoft Teams and apps in Learning & Teaching.

Charmaine Flemming and Daniell Logan

In this session we heard about the Active Learning components of Echo360ALP, and how they are strengthening support, engagement and active learning across Griffith Business School Courses. Echo360ALP affordances utilised to enhance the offerings included:

  • Note Taking – in context for students
  • Confusion Flag – Flagging content as confusing
  • Polls – Active Learning and knowledge retention checking
  • Quizzes – Active Learning
  • Activity slides – Active Learning
  • Q&A Discussion Space
Echo360ALP Active Learning features and question types

Post-event Resources

Visit ExLNT (Explore Learning & Teaching) to see the latest Echo360ALP Sparks, and learn more about Echo360ALP at Griffith.

Good design practices benefit all students so implementing changes to support students on the autism spectrum can improve the online learning environment for all students

Dr Chris Campbell (Griffith University)

An increasing number of students with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum are enrolling at University. During their study, they are at heightened risk of academic or personal failure, and compared to other disability categories have decreased graduation and employment rates. Factors that can influence this include social and sensory difficulties. 

Given this, it seems reasonable to assume that students with autism will excel in online courses. However, this assumption does not give true consideration to the complexity of the autism profile. 

Given the limited research in this area, the Team set out to explore the experiences, preferences and barriers to online learning for students on the autism spectrum who are studying at Griffith University

They contain the key “dos” and “don’ts” to enhance the online learning experience for students on the autism spectrum. Each tip sheet has a different theme, including student-instructor interactions, student-student interactions, student experiences of online tools and visual presentation of information

Top tips include:

  • Starting Small when implementing change
  • Be careful of making assumptions
  • Ensure all students in your courses are aware that student support is available and they know how they can access this support. 

Post-event Resources

Visit ExLNT (Explore Learning & Teaching) to read the full story (Faculty Spark) and download the Tip Sheets.

Rae Jobst, Griffith Online presenting Access: GO for it!

“Accessible Design is Good Design”

Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft 2000 – 2014

In this session, Rae Jobst shared quick and simple tips for implementing Universal Design for Learning approaches to improve usability and accessibility of earning materials for universal benefit. She encouraged us to use the resources to ‘self-audit’ i.e. what am I already doing in my everyday practice, and what should I be doing in my everyday practice?

Without being technical wizards, there are some simple things that we can all do to design for accessibility for all of our learners.​

Rae Jobst, Griffith Online

Getting Started – Top things to check

  • Color Contrast (All)
  • Use of Heading Styles (Docs/Tables)
  • Addition of ALT (alternative) Text (Imagery)
  • Captioning and Subtitles (video/Audio) + much more…

Post-event Resources

Visit ExLNT (Explore Learning & Teaching) to learn more about Universal Design for Learning

Visit the ‘Accessible Learning Environments’ site for help with producing accessible materials.

Accessible Learning Environments Site
Accessible learning environments site features

Michael Sankey, the Importance of Inclusion in the VLE

Professor Michael Sankey (Deputy Director, Learning Futures) introduced the Program and talked us through the importance of accessibility and inclusion at an Institutional level, delving into the specific Course Design Standards aligning with these approaches for the benefit of all of our Student Cohorts.

Post-event Resources

Getting familiar with the Griffith University Course Design Standards
Visit the Learning Futures, Course Design Standards Site to learn more about the Standards, access Fact-sheets, modules and more.

Meet your BbAlly, Sheila McCarthy

“Taking an Inclusive approach to content impacts all of your learners”

Dr John Scott, Blackboard Ally, Griffith University 2019.

Inclusivity in the VLE starts with access to, interaction with, and consumption of learning content, and now we have a tool to help.

In this session Sheila McCarthy (Learning Futures) introduced a new addition to the Griffith VLE, Blackboard Ally (BbAlly). BbAlly is fully integrated in [email protected], and provides assistance in a few highly beneficial ways:

  • Alternative Formats – Anyone accessing your files in [email protected] can select create automated alternative formats to assist their flexibility, personalisation and consumption of learning content.
  • Accessibility Builder – As you build your [email protected] Course, BbAlly will check your items and give you indicators.
  • In-context Fix and Coaching – Some items can be amended ‘on-the-go’ and BbAlly will coach you through the others.
  • Accessibility Course Reports – so, you’ve just adopted a copied-over Course…eek! Run an Accessibility Course Report to get a holistic view across all content, and indicators to assist your time management of fixes.

BbAlly in Action

BbAlly Overview

Learning Futures are currently piloting BbAlly in a number of courses across Trimester three (3) in preparation for enterprise roll out to all Course in Trimester one (1), 2020. Select the Post-event resource below to find out how you can be part of the BbAlly revolution.

Post-event Resource

ExLNT (Explore Learning & Teaching) – visit to find out more about BbAlly, the Pilot and how to get started enhancing your Course for all today.

Inclusiveness Expo Catchup

Colleagues from across the University collaborated to provide an ‘Inclusiveness’ Expo including Digital Solutions, Learning Futures, Student Life & Accessibility Services. Here are some great resources from the Expo you can use in your Learning & Teaching practice today.

Accessibility across the VLE – 5 Ways
Here are five (5) VLE Tools you can be sure are Captioning-capable.

  1. Youtube Captioning (auto)
  2. Voicethread Captioning (auto)
  3. Collaborate Ultra Captioning (Live closed captioning)
  4. Presentation Translator Online Captioning (auto)
  5. Echo360ALP (closed captioning)

Reality Check 
Steps for Identifying and Supporting Students “At Risk” or In Distress 

Practical Wisdom 
Steps for Managing Disruptive Student Behaviour 

Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies
Quick strategies you can employ to ensure you are providing a ‘Culturally Responsive’ learning environment

Catch up on all the Celebrating Learning & Teaching 2019 Action

Twitter #GriffithCLT2019