Accessibility at Langara College

Empowering Accessibility: Register to Join Our Upcoming Workshops

EdTech is excited to announce a series of upcoming workshops dedicated to improving the accessibility of Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations.

Why Accessibility Matters

In today’s digital age, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and understand information is crucial. This is where accessibility comes in. It’s about making sure that everyone has equal access to information and functionality.

What Our Workshops Offer

Our workshops are designed to provide you with the tools and knowledge to create accessible Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. We believe that with a little effort and the right guidance, we can make a significant difference in making information more accessible to all.

Who Should Attend

These workshops are for everyone! Whether you’re a content creator, an educator, or just someone looking to learn, these workshops are for you. No prior experience is required.

Let’s Make a Difference Together

By participating in these workshops, not only will you enhance your skills, but you’ll also contribute to a more inclusive and accessible digital world. So why wait? Join us to learn how to make information accessible to all.

Learning Lab: Create an Accessible Word Document

Date: January 19

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: C202

How to Create Accessible PowerPoint Slide Presentations

Date: January 26

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Zoom

Learning Lab: Improve the Accessibility of Existing PowerPoint Slides

Date: February 16

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Location: C202

Learning Lab: Improve the Accessibility of Existing PowerPoint Slides Drop-In

Date: February 20

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: C203

Learning Lab: Create an Accessible Word Document

Date: April 5

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: C202

EdTech Monthly Tip

The New Quiz Experience

Brightspace has released a New Quiz Creation Experience, a similar appearance to what you find in the Assignment tool. Over the coming weeks, we’ll highlight a couple changes that you should be aware of.

Changes to Timing & Display View

By default, no time limit is set on new quizzes. Use Time Limit to set the amount of time students are given to complete the quiz once they have started it.

To set a time limit:

  • Click Set Time Limit to add a countdown clock to the quiz. If this box is left unchecked, no time limit will be set. Be aware that setting a time limit does not, on its own, enforce the time limit — it only shows a countdown clock for the student.

Timer Settings

Timer settings are made once “Set Time Limit” is checked. Click on Timer Settings to control how a quiz behave once students exceed the time limit.

Timer setting options include:

  • Automatically submit the quiz attempt
    • This is the default on all new quizzes if the “Set Time Limit” box is checked. Quiz auto-submission automatically hands in quizzes on enforced time limit quizzes at the end of the set time.
  • Flag as “exceeded time limit” and allow the learner to continue working
    • This option allows the student to continue working but adds an “exceeded time limit” notation to the quiz when submitted.
  • Do nothing: the time limit is not enforced
    • The countdown clock is made available to students, but no time limit is enforced.

Old and New Experience Comparison

Previously Available OptionNew Behaviour
Prevent the student from making further changesAutomatically submit the quiz attempt
Allow students to continue working but automatically score zeroAutomatically submit the quiz attempt  
Allow the student to continue workingFlag the attempt as exceeded time limit and allow the learner to continue working
A quiz that has a grace periodGrace period no longer available. Quiz now uses only the time limit set

Adding Time to a Quiz in Progress

Changes to the timer may result in the need to add time to a Brightspace quiz in progress. Adding time is done through the Special Access feature and requires students refresh their browsers for the new time setting to take effect.

To add time to a Quiz in progress:

  • Navigate to the Brightspace Manage Quizzes tab and click on the quiz name to edit.
  • Select Availability Dates & Conditions.
  • Click on the Manage Special Access link.
  • Ensure “Allow selected users special access to this quiz” is selected.
  • Click on Add Users to Special Access.
  • Scroll down to the Timing sections and check the box for “Override time limit.”
  • Enter the new time limit in the minutes field.
  • Scroll down to the Users section and check all the students’ names.
  • Click Save.
  • Click Save and Close.
  • Tell your students to refresh their browsers.

Watch Changes to the Brightspace Quiz Experience (video, 8:56) to learn more about the recent tool updates.

EdTech Tools and Privacy

Generative AI Tools & Privacy

Generative AI applications generate new content, such as text, images, videos, music, and other forms of media, based on user inputs. These systems learn from vast datasets containing millions of examples to recognize patterns and structures, without needing explicit programming for each task. This learning enables them to produce new content that mirrors the style and characteristics of the data they trained on.

AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT can replicate human conversation. Specifically, ChatGPT is a sophisticated language model that understands and generates language by identifying patterns of word usage. It predicts the next words in a sequence, which proves useful for tasks ranging from writing emails and blogs to creating essays and programming code. Its adaptability to different writing and coding styles makes it a powerful and versatile tool. Major tech companies, such as Microsoft, are integrating ChatGPT into applications like MS Teams, Word, and PowerPoint, indicating a trend that other companies are likely to follow.

Despite their utility, these generative AI tools come with privacy risks for students. As these tools learn from the data they process, any personal information included in student assignments could be retained and used indefinitely. This poses several privacy issues: students may lose control over their personal data, face exposure to data breaches, and have their information used in ways they did not anticipate, especially when data is transferred across countries with varying privacy protections. To maintain privacy, it is crucial to handle student data transparently and with clear consent.

Detection tools like Turnitin now include features to identify content generated by AI, but these tools also collect and potentially store personal data for extended periods. While Turnitin has undergone privacy and risk evaluations, other emerging tools have not been similarly vetted, leaving their privacy implications unclear.

The ethical landscape of generative AI is complex, encompassing data bias concerns that can result in discriminatory outputs, and intellectual property issues, as these models often train on content without the original creators’ consent. Labour practices also present concerns: for example, OpenAI has faced criticism for the conditions of the workers it employs to filter out harmful content from its training data. Furthermore, the significant environmental impact of running large AI models, due to the energy required for training and data storage, raises sustainability questions. Users must stay well-informed and critical of AI platform outputs to ensure responsible and ethical use.

This article is part of a collaborative Data Privacy series by Langara’s Privacy Office and EdTech. If you have data privacy questions or would like to suggest a topic for the series, contact Joanne Rajotte (, Manager of Records Management and Privacy, or Briana Fraser, Learning Technologist & Department Chair of EdTech

Getting Started with ChatGPT

Tips for writing effective prompts

Prompt-crafting takes practice:

  • Focus on tasks where you are an expert & get GPT to help.
  • Give the AI context.
  • Give it step-by-step directions.
  • Get an initial answer. Ask for changes and edits.

Provide as much context as possible and use specific and detailed language. You can include information about:

  • Your desired focus, format, style, intended audience and text length.
  • A list of points you want addressed.
  • What perspective you want the text written from, if applicable.
  • Specific requirements, such as no jargon.

Try an iterative approach

Ethan Mollick offers the following:

  • The best way to use AI systems is not to craft the perfect prompt, but rather to use it interactively. Try asking for something. Then ask the AI to modify or adjust its output. Work with the AI, rather than trying to issue a single command that does everything you want. The more you experiment, the better off you are. Just use the AI a lot, and it will make a big difference – a lesson my class learned as they worked with the AI to create essays.
  • More elaborate and specific prompts work better.
  • Don’t ask it to write an essay about how human error causes catastrophes. The AI will come up with a boring and straightforward piece that does the minimum possible to satisfy your simple demand. Instead, remember you are the expert, and the AI is a tool to help you write. You should push it in the direction you want. For example, provide clear bullet points to your argument: write an essay with the following points: -Humans are prone to error -Most errors are not that important -In complex systems, some errors are catastrophic -Catastrophes cannot be avoided.
  • But even these results are much less interesting than a more complicated prompt: write an essay with the following points. use an academic tone. use at least one clear example. make it concise. write for a well-informed audience. use a style like the New Yorker. make it at least 7 paragraphs. vary the language in each one. end with an ominous note. -Humans are prone to error -Most errors are not that important -In complex systems, some errors are catastrophic -Catastrophes cannot be avoided
  • Try asking for it to be conciseor wordy or detailed, or ask it to be specific or to give examples. Ask it to write in a tone (ominous, academic, straightforward) or to a particular audience (professional, student) or in the style of a particular author or publication (New York Times, tabloid news, academic journal). You are not going to get perfect results, so experimenting (and using the little “regenerate response” button) will help you get to the right place. Over time, you will start to learn the “language” that ChatGPT is using.

Get ChatGPT to ask you questions

Instead of coming up with your own prompts, try getting the AI to ask you questions to get the information it needs. In a recent Twitter post, Ethan Mollick notes that this approach produced surprisingly good results.

Ideas for using ChatGPT with students

For lots of great ideas and advice, watch Unlocking the Power of AI: How Tools Like ChatGPT Can Make Teaching Easier and More Effective.

  • Use it to create counterarguments to students work. Students can use the AI output to further refine their arguments and help them clarify their positions.
  • Use it to write something for different audiences and have students compare the output and identify how writing changes for a general versus expert audience.
  • Use ChatGPT for a first draft and then have students edit a second draft with critiques, corrections, and additions.
  • Use it to start a discussion. For example, ask ChatGPT why one theory is better than another. Then, ask again why the second theory is better.
  • Use it to generate a list of common misconceptions and then have students address them.
  • Ask students to generate a ChatGPT response to a question of their own choosing, and then write an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the ChatGPT response.

Some ways you can use ChatGPT

  • Use it to create a bank of multiple choice and short-answer questions for formative assessment. It can also pre-generate sample responses and feedback.
  • Use it to create examples.
  • Use it to generate ten prompts for a class discussion.

Further reading and resources

Heaven, W.D. (2023, April 6). ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it. MIT Technology Review.

Liu, D. et al (2023). How AI can be used meaningfully by teachers and students in 2023. Teaching@Sydney.

Mollick, E. R., & Mollick, L. (2022). New modes of learning enabled by AI Chatbots: Three methods and assignments. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Rudolph, J. et al (2023). ChatGPT: Bullshit spewer or the end of traditional assessments in higher education? Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching. Vol. 6, No. 1.