Accessibility in 2 Minutes

Improve the accessibility of course content with the Brightspace HTML templates

Photograph of a person's hands above a laptop keyboard.
Business photo created by katemangostar – www.freepik.com

What are the HTML templates?

  • Preformatted course pages that help you to style course content pages without having to write code. What are the benefits of using the templates?
  • The templates are designed to meet web accessibility standards (WCAG), including formatting styles, such as heading levels, that help create content that is accessible for assistive technologies.

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Save the date! Join Dr. Tom Tobin for a UDL webinar on February 4, 2022

Dr. Thomas J. Tobin

Following the success and positive reception for Dr. Tom Tobin’s UDL webinar in 2021, he is returning to deliver a 90-minute online workshop to the Langara community on Friday, February 4, 2022. This time, his focus for us will be Universal Design for Learning Secrets for Creating Expert Learners. Sign up now at the TCDC iweb calendar. 

In this workshop session, we will examine the linked concepts of learner variability and construct relevance—two of the foundations of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). From cultural and linguistic proficiences, to enthusiasm for study, to anxiety about the challenges ahead, students vary. Reducing cognitive, linguistic, executive, and affective barriers is of vital importance as students negotiate university expectations differently, according to their widely ranging background experiences. This creates more equitable and inclusive learning spaces and interactions that recognize and value diversity and variability among learners. 

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2-Minute Read: Tips for Creating an Inclusive and Welcoming Classroom Climate

The Universal Design for Learning Working Group (UDL WG) at Langara has invited contributions to a series called 2-minute Reads. The first selection comes from Shawna Williams, Curriculum Consultant at TCDC.

“The first day of class sets the tone for the rest of the term. It is natural for both students and instructors to feel anticipation, excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty.”

Barbara Gross Davis, 2009

Image by Freepik at Freepik.com

In an effort to put students at ease and to create a welcoming environment from the start, here are four simple and implementable suggestions to ensure your classroom is inclusive and welcoming for all students right from day one.

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TCDC’s Summer Book Club: Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead)

Ungrading by Susan D. Blum

The summer semester book club selection, Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead), edited by Susan D. Blum, promises to give us much food for thought as we contemplate the idea of ungrading and critique the entire notion of grading students.

Join us via Zoom every Wednesday, May 12 to June 23, from 4:30pm to 5:45pm as we unpack two chapters at a time and delve into discussion and conversation. Save your spot and register now!

Note: While we encourage participants to sign up for the duration, if you wish to attend only one or two sessions, please contact us at tcdc@langara.ca to get the Zoom link and meeting details.

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TCDC’s Online Course Design and Delivery Sprint

Student guy studying on internet, watching online lecture on computer, talking to math tutor through video call. Vector illustration for knowledge, distance education, learning from home concept
Image by pch.vector at Freepik.com

Last summer, TCDC worked at record speed to design and deliver an intensive workshop, Online Course Design and Delivery, now affectionately known as OCDD. In this workshop (initially three days, now extended to five), participants take on the role of student to experience a well-designed online course that uses both synchronous and asynchronous modes of facilitation and participant engagement.

The next sessions will be May 3 to May 7, 2021 and May 31 to June 4, 2021, so be sure to sign up via the TCDC/EdTech calendar if you haven’t participated yet!

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Perspectives X: Using UDL to Overcome Personal Bias in Curriculum Design

By Emma Courtney, Instructional Assistant, Recreation Studies
Image by picjumbo_com at Pixabay
Early in 2020, students all over the world experienced a sudden, dramatic, and unprecedented shift in their academic world. Now, one year later, we continue to teach and learn in the virtual environment, and now contemplating a return to in-person instruction for the fall semester. Over this past year, some Langara instructors have shared their perspectives on the impact of moving to online teaching and learning.

Our tenth contribution comes from Emma Courtney. Emma has been a part of the Recreation Studies team as an Instructional Assistant for the past two and a half years, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Royal Roads University. These two experiences—working in higher education and a student navigating the online landscape of learning—provide her with rich educational opportunities.

We look forward to bringing you more perspectives. If you would like to contribute, please contact Jessica Kalra at jkalra@langara.ca.

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Perspectives VIII: A Zoom with a View

By Dr. Catherine Glass, Instructor, Health Sciences & Biology
Image by Hatice EROL from Pixabay.
Early in 2020, students all over the world experienced a sudden, dramatic, and unprecedented shift in their academic world. Nearly a year later, we find ourselves preparing for more semesters teaching and learning in the virtual environment. Some instructors at Langara are taking the opportunity to share their perspectives on the impact of moving to online teaching and learning.

Our eighth contribution brings us full circle to our very first author Catherine Glass. Catherine initially shared student responses to a midterm question she asked about coping with the dramatic shift in the last two weeks of March 2020. In this follow-up, Catherine shares some observations of her experience being online, with both students and colleagues in her article, “A Zoom with a View.”

This post will help us to switch gears for our next set of perspectives which will focus our attention on the student point of view.  If you have students that would like to share their experiences in writing or another format (audio, video, meme, etc.), please contact Jessica Kalra at jkalra@langara.ca.

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