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What are Those Symbols in My Course? (Ally for Instructors)

Ally sucess icon

Ally Benefits Instructors and Students

The symbols you see in your Canvas course next to files come from a new tool called Ally that provides feedback on how to make your course content easier to access for all students.

The tool also automatically makes your content available to students in formats that work best for them. For example a student can download an audio version of a PDF file from your course to listen to on their way to school.

Below are resources available to help you understand the feedback Ally gives you and to make your content more usable and accessible. You can also contact the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction for help.

If you are interested on resources and training opportunities on building inclusive courses sign up for the Inclusive Design and Accessibility Newsletter here.

Getting Started with Ally

Ally helps you make your content more accessible and usable for everyone. When you click on any of the Ally icons in your course it will give you feedback on things you can do to make your content more accessible. Some of those fixes are quick and easy for you to make and others may require some help. Remember that making your content more usable is a process and that lots of help and training is available to help you.

Check out this Ally Quick Start for Instructors Guide to get started.

Low indicator Needs help!
Medium indicator A little better
High indicator Almost there
Perfect indicator Perfect!

Using Ally to Improve Your Content

When you make your content more accessible it becomes easier for everyone to use. Check out the resources below to understand how the tool works on get started fixing your content.

What do those symbols mean showing up in my course?

Those symbols are a measure of individual content items and you can click on any symbol to understand the score and what you can do to fix it. Learn more about the Ally accessibility scores.

How do I View and Understand the Feedback from Ally?

When you click on an icon a panel shows up on your screen where you can view problems with your content and what you can do to fix them. Learn more about file accessibility information and understand the instructor feedback panel.

How do I fix any issues with my content?

Some of the feedback that Ally provides is quick and easy to fix while other content may require more resources. Much of the feedback on how to fix your files can be found directly in Ally, but additional help on improving content is available and you can always reach out to CIDI for help as well.

When you get started with Ally it is important to remember that improving accessibility is a journey and that even small changes can make a big difference.

How Ally Benefits Students

Besides helping you make your content more accessible Ally automatically provides your content to students in formats that can help them access your content easier.

Learn more about the student experience here.

Get Ride of Old Content that is No Longer in Use

Ally gives you feedback on all of your course files, regardless of whether or not those files are being used in your course. To help you clean out those old files we have made available a tool called TidyUp! that helps you identify and delete those old files.

Learn about TidyUp! Here.

Additional Notes on Using Ally

  1. While your students to have access to the alternative formats they do not see the feedback scores on individual files.
  2. The first time an alternative format is created for a student it may take a few minutes, but after that it should happen instantaneously.
  3. A number of additional Frequently Asked Questions on Ally are available here.
  4. Additional resources on accessibility are available on the USU Accessibility Website