Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Author: Carrie Levin

Turnitin Feedback Studio Instructor Guide

In August of 2017, Turnitin will be moving to an updated user interface called “Feedback Studio.”

Turnitin Feedback Studio is designed around empowering you and your students by giving you the information and the tools needed for an efficient submission and marking process. Turnitin has made improvements to accessibility, responsiveness, and navigation, all designed to help instructors build better writers, with an emphasis on integrity.

This Instructor Guide offers video tutorials as well as written guidance for using Feedback Studio.

Excel Accessibility Cheat Sheet

MS Excel: Accessibility Best Practices

Tables: Use Tables Titles and Avoid Blank Rows and Columns

  1. One very common mistake is leaving column A blank (because it makes it look like a margin).
  2. Place table titles in the first column (A) so screen readers can find them easily.
  3. If the table does not display the full text, merge cells and center them by selecting the Home tab, then clicking on Merge & Center. Be sure to keep the original text in the first column.
  4. It’s OK to have merged cells in titles, but do not merge cells in the data part of the table.
  5. Resize your rows and columns to provide spacing that makes the table readable (rather than using

blanks to create your spacing).

  1. If you have two or more tables on the same worksheet, leave a single blank row between each

table. You can resize the blank row to create a space that is visually appealing.

  1. Add an “End of Table” message in the row after the last row of a data table row. The text can be in white against a white background.

Table Cell Range and Header Cells: Define the Regions

  1. You can use the Names feature to name a range of cells so that screen readers voice the names of header cells along with the value of each cell.
  2. Select the top-left cell in your table. Don’t count the titles, but do count all row and column headers as part of your table.
  3. Go to the Formulas tab in the Ribbon, and choose Name Manager in the Defined Names Choose New in the top left corner.
  4. A new dialog box opens. In the Name field, type TitleRegion then put a 1 if this is the first table on your worksheet, then a period, then the range of cells in your table from top left to bottom right (with a period in between), then another period, then the worksheet number. For example, your Title code might look like this:

TitleRegion1.a2.g7.2

  1. Click OK and Close.

Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images

  1. Insert the image, then right-click and choose Size and Properties.
  2. In the Size and Properties dialog box, choose the Alt Text Type in a brief description with

enough detail to explain the picture, then Close the dialog box.

Charts: Use Alt Text Descriptions

1.       Right-click on the chart, select Format Chart, then Alt Text.

  1. Complete the Description field (not the Title field).

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/excel_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

HTML Accessibility Cheat Sheet

HTML: Accessibility Best Practices

Headings: Use Properly Formatted Headings to Structure Page Content

Rationale: Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text.

Lists: Use Ordered/Unordered Lists to Group Related Items

Rationale: Logical organization of content is conveyed to all users, along with other useful information for assistive technology users about the number of items listed. Mobile users also benefit as information is presented as it is meant to be presented.

Tables: Use Tables for Tabular Data and Provide Column and/or Row Headers

Rationale: Screen readers linearize content and read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time. If cells are split or merged, it can throw the reading order off and make the table difficult to comprehend by users who are blind and using a screen reader to navigate.

Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images

Rationale: Alt text is read by a screen reader. It should adequately describe what is displayed and its purpose. This allows screen reader users to benefit from information conveyed by the image, even if they cannot see it.

Links: Use Meaningful Text for Links

Rationale: Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text.

Keyboard: Check Keyboard Access

Rationale: Users with visual and mobility impairments rely on the keyboard, rather than a mouse, to access and navigate online content. If content is not keyboard accessible, it restricts who can learn from that content.

Color: Use Sufficient Color Contrast

Rationale: Without sufficient color contrast between font and background, people who are color blind and low vision may not perceive the content. Additionally, using color alone to convey meaning (e.g., items in red indicate a deficit) excludes color blind or blind users. To check color contrast, use the Paciello Group’s Color Contrast Analyzer:  https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/

Video/Audio: Provide Captioning for Video and Text Transcripts for Audio

Rationale: Captions are essential for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, but they also benefit non-native speakers, those unfamiliar with the vocabulary, and viewers with some learning disabilities or in a noisy environment. Audio transcripts are essential for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also assist others who can easily read or search the transcripts.

Math: Write Math and Science Equations Accessibly

Rationale: For web pages, use an equation editor that outputs MathML, a markup language that allows equations to be stored as structured text that is compatible with many assistive technologies. With screen readers, for example, blind users can navigate and review parts of an equation, such as the top portion of a complex fraction. For more information on MathML, see the W3C Math guide: https://www.w3.org/Math/.

Resources

http://webaim.org/intro/#principles

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

PowerPoint Accessibility Cheat Sheet

MS PowerPoint: Accessibility Best Practices

Use Default Slide Layouts

  1. From the Home tab, choose the New Slide dropdown menu.
  2. Select a slide template (do not use Blank slide template).
  3. Avoid using Text Boxes to create or arrange slide content (screen readers will always read Text Boxes last).

Keep Slide Content Clear, Concise, and Readable

  • Use concise, non-figurative, and accurate language.
  • Slides should appear clean and uncluttered with adequate foreground-background color contrast.
  • Use standard fonts. For readability, sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica are preferable.

Use Unique Slide Titles

  1. Create slide titles with the Title placeholder visible in default slide layouts. Do not use text boxes for titles.
  2. Use a unique slide title for each slide. If you have multiple slides that continue a topic, you can label them in the following way: “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 1 of 4,” “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 2 of 4,” etc.
  3. Check titles and document structure: from the View tab, select Presentation Views and click Outline View.

Insert Charts and Graphs with Data Tables

  1. Go Insert and select Chart. The PowerPoint datasheet view appears for you to enter your table data.
  2. Add values to the PowerPoint datasheet by selecting a cell and typing in the value. Remember to add labels for the rows and columns. Close the datasheet window by selecting ESC from your keyboard.
  3. Display the corresponding data table. For Office 2010, select the chart, select Layout from the chart tools menu, and choose Show data table from the Data Table For Office 2016, use the Add Chart Element from the Design tab to choose a layout that displays the data table with the chart (e.g., Data Table > With Legend Keys).

Keep Lists Readable

  • Avoid presenting more than six points per slide at default font size.
  • Use one line of text, ideally, and no more than two per point.

Use Alt Text for Informative Images

  1. Right click on the image, and select Format Picture, then Alt Text.
  2. Fill in the Description field (not the Title field).

Use Meaningful Text for Links

  1. Type out text that describes the link’s destination (e.g., “CITL Summer Intensive”). Avoid text like “Click here.”
  2. Select the text, right click on it, and choose Hyperlink from the menu.
  3. In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter a URL address in the Address field.
  4. Click the OK button to save the link.

Document Properties: Identify the Title and Author

  1. In Windows, click File, then expand the pull down menu for Properties to select the Summary On a Mac, click File, then select Properties, and then select the Summary tab.
  2. From the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, add or change the Title and the Author.

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/ppt_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

MS Word Accessibility Cheat Sheet

MS Word: Accessibility Best Practices

Headings: Use Styles to Provide Logical Heading Structure

  1. Select the text that you want to make into a heading.
  2. From the Home tab, choose the appropriate heading level from the Styles

Lists: Use Ordered/Unordered Lists to Group Related Items

  1. Select the text you want to make into a list.
  2. From the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, select the Bullets or Numbering

Tables: Use Tables for Tabular Data and Provide Column Headers

  1. Place the cursor in the top row of your data table and click on the Design tab under Table Tools.
  2. In the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box.
  3. Under Table Tools, click the Layout
  4. In the Data group (Word 2016 – Table Design > Layout tab), click the Repeat Header Row

Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images

  1. Right click on the image, and select Format Picture, then Alt Text.
  2. Fill in the Description field (not the Title field).

Links: Use Meaningful Text for Links

  1. Type out text that clearly describes the link’s destination (e.g., “CITL Best Practices for Creating Accessible Word Documents”). Avoid text like “Click here” or “Visit.”
  2. Select the text, right click on it, and choose Hyperlink from the menu.
  3. In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter a URL address in the Address field.
  4. Click the OK button to save the link.

Document Properties: Identify the Title and Author

  1. In Windows, click File, then expand the pull down menu for Properties to select the Summary On a Mac, click File, then select Properties, and then select the Summary tab.
  2. From the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, add or change the Title and the Author.

Color: Use Sufficient Color Contrast

  1. Download the Paciello Group’s Color Contrast Analyzer from the following URL: https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/
  2. Open the Color Contrast Analyzer application.
  3. Click the Foreground eye dropper tool. Hover over and click your foreground color to select it.
  4. Click the Background eye dropper tool. Hover over and click your background color.
  5. If you are testing a 12-pixel or smaller font, you must get a Pass (AA). If your font is larger than 12 pixels, you must get a Pass (AA) in the Large Text field.
  6. AA standards pass is sufficient.
  7. Do not use color alone to convey information (e.g., items in red indicate a deficit).

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/word_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

PDF Accessibility Cheat Sheat

PDF: Accessibility Best Practices

Method 1: Convert MS Word to PDF

  1. Start with a well-structured Word document.
  2. In Word, click the File tab and select Save as. In the Save as type field, select PDF (*.pdf.).
  3. Enter a file name in the File name field.
  4. Click on the Options button and make sure the Document structure tags for accessibility is checked.
  5. Click OK and Save.

This will tag the document so that headings and lists are correctly interpreted by screen readers. Additional remediation using Adobe Acrobat Pro/DC may be needed to adjust reading order.

Method 2: Run Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on Scanned Document

Using Acrobat XI for OCR

  1. Open the scanned PDF file in Adobe Acrobat XI.
  2. Open the Tools panel (click Tools in top right) and click Text Recognition.
  3. Click In This File and the Recognize Text window will open.
  4. Click the Edit button to adjust OCR settings. Select English (US) for Primary OCR Language, Searchable Image for PDF Output Style and 600 dpi for Downsample To.
  5. Click OK when done.

Using Acrobat DC for OCR

  1. Open the scanned PDF file in Adobe Acrobat DC.
  2. In the Tools panel, click the Action Wizard and select Optimize Scanned Document.
  3. Use the Enhance tools to Add Document Description.
  4. Use the Enhance tools to Optimize Scanned Pages.
  5. Use the Enhance tools to Save As.

Method 3: Run Adobe Acrobat Built-in Accessibility Checker

Using the Acrobat XI Accessibility Checker

  1. Click the Tools tab to open the Accessibility panel on the right hand side. If you don’t see it, click the View menu and select Tools > Accessibility.
  2. Under Accessibility, select the Full Check The Accessibility Checker window will open.
  3. Under the Report Options, check the Create Accessibility Report
  4. Click the Start Checking
  5. The Accessibility Checker Report will display on the left pane.

Using the Acrobat DC Accessibility Checker

  1. In the Tools panel, click Accessibility to bring up the Accessibility tools.
  2. From the Accessibility tools, select the Full Check The Accessibility Checker window will open.
  3. Under the Report Options, check the Create Accessibility Report
  4. Click the Start Checking
  5. The Accessibility Checker Report will display on the left pane.

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/pdf_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

Emerging Technologies for Education

On February 17, the COLRS Staff offered a presentation titled “Emerging Technologies for Education” through the UIS Faculty Development Office. The following is a list of technologies presented along with others that are among the new favorites for online educators.

ACCESSIBILITY

YouTube Auto-Captioning

Even if you haven’t added captions to your video, YouTube may use speech recognition technology to automatically make captions available.
Since these are automatically generated, the quality of the captions may vary from video to video. As the video owner, you can always edit the captions to improve accuracy, or remove them from your video if you do not want them to be available for your viewers.
If your video does not have automatic captions, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons:
• The language in the video is not yet supported by automatic captions
• The video is too long
• The video has poor sound quality or contains speech that YouTube doesn’t recognize
• There is a long period of silence at the beginning of the video
• There are multiple speakers whose speech overlap

Fangs Screen-Reader Emulator

Fangs renders a text version of a web page similar to how a screen reader would read it. The ambition is to help developers understand how an assistive device would present a website and thereby increase chances of finding accessibility issues early.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd3qfZGGM88

VIDEO/PRESENTATION TECHNOLOGY

Presentme-Edu

Present.me is the fastest and easiest way to add video or audio to your document or presentation, so that who ever is viewing gets the whole story – as if you were in the room with them!

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6HAw1VsvMs

Vialogues

Vialogues (which derives from “video dialogues”) is an award-winning discussion platform that proves that videos are both powerful teaching resources and the ultimate conversation starters. Vialogues provides a space for users to hold meaningful and dynamic time-stamped discussions about videos.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAKRcmZFcW0

ShowMe

The ShowMe iPad app lets you create lessons using a whiteboard. The app is free and there is no limit what you can teach! Our community has created millions of ShowMes, from chemistry to history to football strategy – and more knowledge is being shared everyday.

Watch: https://vimeo.com/38003641

Swivl

Swivl was founded in 2010 by Brian Lamb and Vladimir Tetelbaum, with the idea of making video a more useful tool with robotics. They launched the first concept to market through crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, and have been engaging with users and improving solutions ever since.  This culminated with the launch of the second generation Swivl and Swivl Cloud in April 2014.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfQFNfnGWU0

 TOUCH TECHNOLOGY

Leap Motion

The Leap Motion Controller senses how you naturally move your hands and lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Point, wave, reach, grab. Pick something up and move it. Do things you never dreamed possible.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gby6hGZb3ww

PRODUCTIVITY

TodaysMeet

Expand your classroom:  Students can join from home or even from other schools to make the classroom community even bigger.

Embrace the backchannel: The backchannel improves meetings, presentations, Socratic seminars and fishbowls, movies and silent activities, reviews and snow days, and more.

Empower learners:  TodaysMeet gives everyone the floor and lets even the quietest students express themselves.

WorkFlowy

A simple, easy-to-use, cross-platform tool that helps you organize your life.

Watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSmbnaPZVHE

BibMe

BibMe is an automatic citation creator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. BibMe leverages external databases to quickly fill citation information for you. BibMe will then format the citation information and compile a bibliography according to the guidelines of the style manuals.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LikOn0xgb0

MOBILE

Flipboard

Flipboard is a social-network aggregation, magazine-format mobile app localized in more than 20 languages. The software collects content from social media and other websites, presents it in magazine format, and allows users to “flip” through their social-networking feeds and feeds from websites that have partnered with the company.

Flipboard is produced by Flipboard, Inc., a United-States-based software company founded in 2010 by Mike McCue and Evan Doll and headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgdU8UvwfB4

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is an instant messaging app for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. The proprietary, cross-platform app enables users of select feature phones to use the Internet to communicate. In addition to text messaging, WhatsApp can be used to send images, video, and audio media messages. WhatsApp has also started rolling out the much awaited voice calling feature.  Locations can also be shared through the use of integrated mapping features.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhnFh1MGx4w

Anydo

s a suite of integrated mobile productivity apps. The company’s first product, the Any.do task management app, was launched on Android in November 2011 and later for iPhone and Chrome on June 3, 2012.  

Any.do’s namesake to-do list app was released on November 10, 2011 on the Android platform and TechCrunch reported it to have 500,000 downloads in its first 30 days after launch. It was later released on iOS in June 2012 and reached another milestone with 100,000 iPhone downloads in its first day on the platform.  Any.do includes numerous planning and task management functions:

  • Unlimited, customizable task folders
  • Task sharing and delegation
  • Built-in microphone can be used for voice entry of tasks
  • Auto-suggest feature with predictive text
  • Time- and location-based reminders
  • Cloud sync across all of a user’s devices

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPpHp4Yfs_M

Remind

Remind (formerly Remind101) is a private mobile messaging platform that enables teachers to send Reminders to students and parents via text and email.The platform has over 10 million users and sends over 65 million messages per month. As of February 2014, 15% of the K-12 teacher population in the U.S used Remind101.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aJNeyHvHZA

Students Checking Discussion Board Grades, Rubric Scores, and Comments

Online students should regularly check their discussion grades with the rubric scores (if the Blackboard rubric tool is used) and comments. For those students who may not know how to do this, here is a brief review:

The student should Go to “My Grades” and find the week’s discussion. For every graded item in Blackboard, the student will see that the title of the graded item is a hyperlink. The student may click on the hyperlink which will open a page showing all his/her contributions to the week’s discussion, plus any comments left by the instructor. The student will also see an icon to the left of the number grade that looks like this:

rubricgrade

If he/she clicks on that grid, a pop up window will open showing the Rubric Detail.

Alternately, the student may go to My Grades, find the week’s discussion and look for the words “View Rubric” –

viewrubric

Clicking there will also open the Rubric Detail page.

When the instructor has written comments in the “Feedback to Students” panel, the student will see a word bubble icon next to his/her grade –

commentbubble

The student may click on the bubble to view the instructor’s comments.

Two Examples of Blackboard Rubrics

3 Point Blackboard Discussion Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

3_point_grading_rubric

20 Point  Blackboard Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

20_point_rubric

Copying Tests, Quizzes, Surveys and Pools

Blackboard allows you to copy tests, quizzes, surveys and pools of questions from one course to another.  Here are the instructions:

1. Begin in the course that contains the test, survey or pools you would like to copy.  Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Choose Tests, Surveys or Pools.

2. Hover just to the right of the name of the test, survey or pool you wish to copy, and you’ll find a chevron.  Click on the chevron and choose “Export” from the drop down menu.

3. A zip file will be downloaded to your computer.

4. Next, go to the course into which you would like to copy the test.  Go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Import Pack/View Logs > Import Package.

5. Click on “Browse My Computer” and select the .zip file from your downloads.  Check the box for Test, Surveys and Pools and click “submit”.

6. Once the test, survey or pool has been copied, you’ll need to deploy it in your Blackboard.  See:  http://blogs.uis.edu/colrs/2013/04/09/posting-deploying-a-test-for-students/

Turnitin Manual for Instructors

Turnitin

Click on the image above for the Turnitin Instructor Manual