The VCCS and the Canvas Services Team at Instructure sponsored a Canvas Resources Contest, and the winning resource was NOVA’s Leveling the Playing Field – Accessibility in Canvas, an award-winning resource developed by Shaoyu Chi, Maureen Madden and Rong Zhu at NOVA Online.
The Leveling the Playing Field: Accessibility in Canvas module provides mini-tutorials to show viewers how to use the Rich Content Editor in Canvas to create accessible content. The mini-tutorials refer to the use of screen readers when accessing learning materials to reinforce accessibility guidelines. In addition, audio recordings, captioning, scripts and other accessible materials are provided. The module models how to present accessible learning materials in Canvas. It is available online.
“As required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, it is important that we make our online courses accessible for our students. Canvas comes with tools that make it easier to create accessible content for faculty and students. Our purpose in the Accessibility Module is to introduce the range of available features and tools that faculty can use to make content accessible to all students,” said Chi.
Zhu agreed, “The conversion to Canvas is a great opportunity for us to review our courses and make sure they are ADA compliant. The key principle of creating accessible course instruction is to use the tools provided within an application to format the content. Rich Content Editor makes it easy for us to edit and format instructions in Canvas and create accessible course materials.”
“The conversion from Blackboard provides an opportunity to highlight the accessibility tools in Canvas. As colleagues and instructional designers, we all agree that there is a need for more accessible learning materials, especially in the online courses, and the conversion provided the perfect occasion to explain the why and demonstrate the how. Creating this learning module provided a chance to collaborate while combining our knowledge, skills and talents,” said Madden.
“Shaoyu, Rong and Maureen have created a resource that not only supports teaching and learning at NOVA, but is shared out to the larger educational community through Canvas Commons. This not only demonstrates our commitment to student equity at NOVA, but it promotes equity through openness and sharing,” declares Davis. “I am very proud of the work that Shaoyu, Rong and Maureen have done, and am happy to have had the opportunity to support them in creating and sharing this important resource,” he added.
Details about the VCCS Canvas Resources Contest and the other recognized resources can be found here.
All courses at NOVA will use Canvas beginning this summer, and Blackboard will no longer be available. You can visit the Canvas training website here.