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Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Information - This section will be amended on a regular basis as necessary.

  • Who should I contact with requests for advice and assistance with Ally?
    Staff should contact the Learning technology Team (learningtech@wcs.ac.uk) to request advice and assistance with Ally. Students should contact their tutor in the first instance.
  • When can I use Ally?
    Now. Ally was made available to staff and students on January 26th 2023. Have a look at the dedicated Ally page on COLT to find out more about the service.
  • What content types are checked by Ally?
    Ally checks, reports and advises on the following content types when uploaded to Moodle: PDF Microsoft Word PowerPoint Open Office Images. Ally does not check: Content hosted externally MS Stream content MS Teams Work submitted by students.
  • What are the most commonly reported and serious accessibility issues?
    Moodle-wide content accessibility reports flag up the following issues as widespread and either severe or major: Documents with contrast issues Images without alternative-text Documents with no headings PDF documents that have been scanned as images rather than text Videos without closed captions. Within Moodle Ally explains why and how to fix these issues, however the Learning Technology team have created self-directed courses on Evolve that staff can undertake to gain a better understanding of accessibility and design of online and blended courses. Accessibility of Online Learning Designing Digitally WCS Learning Standards
  • Are there any videos to support staff & students in their use of Ally?
    Yes. A YouTube playlist of short videos has been curated for Ally. We have also created a dedicated Ally page on COLT the Centre of Learning technology website. Full playlist (5 videos) Students Alternative formats (45 secs) BeeLine reader (32 secs) Teachers Overview for teachers (1 min 28 secs) About alternative formats (56 secs) File accessibility (1 min 6 secs)
  • Can the playback speed of MP3 audio files be controlled?
    Yes. Most players allow you to adjust playback speed. For example, Windows Media player, VIC, Audacity, and iTunes/Music.
  • Which devices and apps can I use to view ePub files?
    The ePub alternative creates a digital publishing file that can be viewed on mobile devices. ePub files are reflowable. Reflowable means that the content displayed automatically adapts to the device it is viewed on. Here are a few suggested apps for ePubs: Apple: EasyReader, iBooks, Voice Dream, NaturalReader, and Thorium Reader Android: EasyReader, Lithium and Voice Aloud Reader Windows: Calibre, Icecream Ebook Reader, NaturalReader, and Thorium Reader Linux: Thorium Reader.
  • How can I learn how to write effective alt-text for images?
    The Poet tool is a great resource to learn when and how to describe effective alt-text for images. There is also a useful decision chart to learn when to use alt-text.
  • Are there any limitations?
    Here are those we already know about: The range and quality of the alternative formats can depend on the original file; and not all files can be transformed Ally does not recognise or report on every example of inaccessible content. For example, it may flag up the false positive of an image with an alternative description - but will not report on the quality of the description (see section above on how to write effective alt-text) Audio files (MP3 format) can be created only for documents with fewer than 100 000 characters. There are no credible research articles that confirm the claims made regarding the efficacy of the Beeline reader format LaTeX PDFs score very lowly in the accessibility report because these are not tagged in such a way that screen readers can assist with them. Additionally, the HTML alternative format may struggle to accurately reproduce some content, e.g., mathematical formulae.
  • I/my students need to finish off some work from last year but I cant find it on Moodle?
    We have created a Moodle 21/22 for staff and students that need to complete work from last year. This is a different URL (address) than the usuall moodle.westcollegescotland.ac.uk, as this will be used for session 22/23. If you are a staff member you can find the link to Moodle 21/22 on the staff intranet, if you are a student please contact your tutor who will be able to give you the address.
  • Can students access Moodle from Home?
    Yes – Students can link directly to Moodle via: https://moodle.westcollegescotland.ac.uk. On the login page, there is an area to enter the username and password exactly as they would from inside college. This is their WCS Office 365 email address(as supplied by the college) and password (same as Office 365 password).
  • How can I access a course that does not show under My Courses?
    Your course contact will be able to add you. The course contact is listed under the title of the course in Moodle. Once the title is clicked you will see the enrolement options, the title of the course and the name of the course contact.
  • How do I find my Course?
    All the courses you are attached to should be shown under My Courses on the top navigation bar once logged in. You can also navigate to courses using the navigation in the centre of the Moodle screen e.g. the Clydebank HNC Business course will be under the Hospitality, Business, Tourism and Languages section. Then follow the path - Hospitality, Business, Tourism and Languages ► Business ► Business ► Business Clydebank to find the course HNC Business Clydebank.
  • How do I unenrol from a course I no longer need access to?
    There is a document in the Moodle Guides section called Remove me from Courses which will direct you through this process.
  • How do my students get access to my course?
    Students are automatically attached to courses/units when they are enrolled on Unite. If the Unite course and class code was not given when the course/unit was setup, or if a new class needs access to an existing course/unit please contact webmaster@wcs.ac.uk and the class will be added to the course.
  • I am the Course Contact - How do I enrol a lecturer?
    There is a document in the Moodle Guides section called Adding and Removing Users which will direct you through this process.
  • My students do not appear in my Moodle course
    Students do not appear in any course until they first log on to Moodle when they are automatically attached to any courses they have been enrolled in. If you have a new class that is not attached, contact webmaster@wcs.ac.uk to get the class added to the course/subject.
  • One of my students cannot access the course but the rest of the class can not.
    Please check with your QIA that the student is enrolled on the correct course and class in Unite.
  • What is the Moodle ID?
    The Moodle ID is the number at the end of the URL in the address bar at the top of the page. It is also detailed in the Course Information block at the top right hand side of your screen. To open the block drawer click on the small arrow at the right hand side of your screen.
  • My Students cannot see their Moodle courses in MyDay
    Students need to log into Moodle before their courses will appear on MyDay.
  • As a staff member can I access Moodle from Home?
    Yes - as a member of staff there are 2 ways you can log in: ​ On the staff intranet there is a link to the Learning Technologies site where you will find a link to Moodle: You can also link directly to Moodle via: https://moodle.westcollegescotland.ac.uk. Login via Office 365 on or off campus.
  • How can I log in to Moodle - I am a member of Staff?
    As a member of staff there are 2 ways you can log in: On the staff intranet there is a link to the Learning Technologies site where you will find a Moodle login button. You can also link directly to Moodle via: http://moodle.westcollegescotland.ac.uk. On the login page, you will see an area where you can login with your WCS 365 account.
  • My student has forgotten their Moodle password.
    This is the same password used to access Microsoft Teams/Office 365. To reset a password ask your student to click on forgot password on the login page of Moodle.
  • Turnitin is showing a blank screen - Help?
    ​If you are still using Internet Explorer as your default browser, You may find that TurnitIn feedback studio is no longer working. The screen where you would have had the text of the assignment shows a blank page. This is due to it no longer being compatable with this browser. You have two options to rectify this: Option 1 (Reccomended) Simply use a newer browser like Chrome Chrome Logo Option 2 Revert to Turnitin Classic by clicking on Turnitin Classic at the bottom of your screen.
  • My student doesn’t know their Moodle username and password?
    The students’ username is the their full WCS Office 365 mail address as supplied by the college. Their password is the same as their Office 365 password. They will not appear in your list of participants on Moodle until they have logged in.
  • How do I add a new course or unit onto Moodle?
    The course request form found on the staff intranet in the Learning Technology request area.
  • How do I add/amend/use Turnitin on Moodle?
    Please follow the Turnitin guides in the assessment section of the moodle guides page.
  • My students are not showing in the participants list on Moodle.
    Student Access To Moodle Students should only be added manually to any course in Moodle as a last resort. We use cohort enrolments on Moodle which, when implemented correctly by all staff, ensures that all students enrolled on Unite have access to the correct course and units within Moodle. If your students do not show in your class or unit participants list, please first work through the following steps: Step 1: Check that the correct class (named cohort on Moodle) is attached to the course/unit in Moodle. If you are unsure how to do this please refer to the Moodle video guide: How to check what classes are attached to your course or unit on WCS Moodle. Step 2: If your class code is not attached please contact webmaster@wcs.ac.uk (in the first instance) or learningtech@wcs.ac.uk with the full class code and the Moodle ID(s) required. Step 3: If your class is attached but the student still does not show: Please check that the student has logged directly into Moodle via https://moodle.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/(not MyWest/MyDay). Students do not appear on Moodle until they have logged on directly. Check with the student that they are using the correct office 365 account - you can find the student numbers on star portal. Check on star portal that the student is enrolled on the expected class code. Infill/Change of class code Please inform webmaster if you need an infill code to be attached. This can happen if it was not used in the previous academic year – class codes must include the last 5 characters i.e. PHNCIT-I211C. Similarly if your code has changed (apart from the year) this may also need updating on Moodle. If any changes are made on unite, it will update the student account on Moodle overnight. We do appreciate that there are exceptions, and for a small number of students they may need manually attached on a unit. For example: 1 student from another class that needs access to a unit but is not necessarily on an infill class code. For this reason we have amended lecturer permissions on Moodle to allow you to enrol with the student role. You may notice that we have added a warning message to the enrolment window highlighting the need to understand which role you enrol a user with. Please read and understand this warning before enrolling users onto courses. Note: the message will also show to users that are not enrolled if they try to access the course. Please note the enhancement procedure has not changed – please visit the enhancement area on the staff intranet for information. If there is anything that you are unsure about or wish to discuss please do not hesitate to contact the learning technology team by email learningtech@wcs.ac.uk.
  • I am a tutor and can't find my course?
    As a tutor you may have been added to Moodle at category level so your course will not appear under 'My Courses'. Use the home page on Moodle to navigate to your section and course and click on the course title to access it. Remember this may be campus specific.
  • Im trying to upload videos on Moodle but they are too big.
    To ensure we do not overload the Moodle servers we are advising that any videos are uploaded to YouTube as private or unlisted. A quick google search will show you how to do this if you are unsure. Then you can embed the YouTube video in your course - please see the guide showing you how to embed videos.
  • How do I use the BLC resources.
    Please visit the BLC page on CoLT.
  • How do I add a forum on Moodle?
    As a lecturer you can add forums into Moodle please use the guides for reference.
  • How do I upload pre-recorded lessons from Stream into Moodle?
    Please use our step-by-step guide called:Using MS Teams Recordings for information on where your recordings are stored and how to upload them into Moodle. More instructional guides on all things Moodle are found under Moodle Guides.
  • I know nothing about webinars - can you help?
    Please read the article posted on CoLT called A guide to working and teaching online.
  • Help my students have ran out of quiz attempts and I want to give them more.
    Please follow the Moodle guide - Quiz attempts - Individual students.
  • I am a student I can't log in to Moodle?
    Login by clicking on the Office 365 button (as show above), with your WCS Office 365 email address and password, (as provided by the college). When you change your Office 365 password, then you will also use this updated one for Moodle. If you have forgotten your password please click on forgot my password on the Moodle Login Page. Note: When students first log into Office 365 your password is your date of birth: DDMMYYYY - once you change your password in Office 365 it will also change in Moodle.
  • I have forgotten my Moodle password?
    If you have forgotten your password, first ensure you are using the same password as your Office 365 account. If you have checked and are using the correct WCS office 365 email and password click on forgot password on the login page of Moodle.
  • What is my Moodle Username and Password?
    Your Moodle username is your full WCS Office 365 email address (as supplied by the college). Your password is the same password you use to access Office 365 or Teams. Click on the Office 365 button on moodle to log in. You cannot change your password on Moodle; if you want to change your general password then you change it via Office 365.
  • What is the enhancement process?
    Follow the Enhancement Guide The user guide, list of available units and request form is found in the eLearning Units link on the left hand side of the Learning Technologies Team site on the staff intranet.​ You will need to login with your college network account to access this content.
  • How do I access Turnitin for my assignments?
    Your tutor will set up a Turnitin assignment within your course or subject on Moodle. Simply log in to Moodle and navigate to your course to find the Turnitin assignment.
  • How can I set up Turnitin assignments for my students?
    Find detailed instructions on setting up Turnitin assignments on the COLT Turnitin page. Additional information can be accessed through the Turnitin document, explaining the integration into Moodle instead of Teams.
  • Why is Turnitin integrated into Moodle and not Teams?
    Our Turnitin integration is designed to streamline the assignment submission and originality detection process. Refer to our Turnitin document for insights into the reasons behind its integration within Moodle.
  • How does Ally support inclusive education? For College: Moodle-wide, granular reporting on accessibility of courses.
    Ally provides an accessibility overview report which shows how digital course content in Moodle is performing by month, term, or academic year. This can inform annual review, equality and diversity audits and compliance with the College Strategic Priorities. Reports include the following information: Overall Moodle accessibility score Departmental accessibility score Course accessibility score Total number of courses and content created All accessibility issues found - sorted by severity Which alternative formats are being used in Moodle - how often and in which courses Engagement with course accessibility reports - and action arising from these
  • How does Ally support inclusive education? - For Teaching Staff: Feedback & advice on accessibility of materials
    Ally provides guidance to teachers on how to improve the accessibility of their Moodle course content. Find out more about file accessibility in this short video. Traffic light indicators of accessibility for each file in a Moodle course Each file is awarded an 'Accessibility score' Red: Low 0 - 33% File not accessible and needs immediate attention. Amber: Medium 34 - 66% File is somewhat accessible and could use improvement. Light Green: High 67-99% File is accessible but could be improved. Dark Green: Perfect 100% File is accessible. No improvement needed. Detailed feedback and support Clicking on the accessibility icon for a file helps identify and correct accessibility issues. Ally will: Display all the file's accessibility issues Describe of the most important accessibility issue Explain how the issue affects inclusive learning Offer step-by-step assistance on how to fix the issue Allow for editing of existing files and uploading of replacement files Course-wide accessibility reports Ally provides an overall course score and ways to quickly address course files at scale
  • How does Ally support inclusive education? - For Students: Alternative Formats
    Ally creates on-demand alternative formats from your original course files, and makes them available for download so that students can engage with course content in a way that works best for them. Find out more about alternative formats in this short video. The alternative formats provided by Ally, and their benefits to students.
  • What drives our use of Ally? - Legislation
    As an institution we are bound by numerous legal frameworks including the accessibility requirements for public bodies, the Equality Act (2010), and EU directives. The Equality Act In relation to disabled people, the Equality Act (2010) institutes a duty for public and private sector organisations (including Further Education Providers) to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in order to make sure that disabled people are not being disadvantaged. This includes making changes to the organisation’s provisions or practices, its physical features, or providing auxiliary aids, if a disabled person would be disadvantaged without these adaptations or provisions. It also includes an anticipatory duty on organisations, meaning that some of these changes or provisions should be made in advance of a disabled person needing them, rather than as a reaction to someone having been disadvantaged. EU Directive on Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications 2018 Requires all EU member states to make sure their websites and mobile apps meet common accessibility standards. The directive was transposed into the laws of each EU member state on 23 September 2018 and will continue within UK law.
  • What drives our use of Ally? College Strategy
    Ally can help West College Scotland meet various strategic aims, including the following: Developing our agile and adaptive workforce to support the college "Collective Ambition" Raising awareness of accessibility and build towards a sustainable change in behaviour regarding inclusivity and accessibility across the College Responding to the current and future student demographic - improved support for disabled students, flexible, increased flexibility of learning materials, e.g. for commuting students.
  • What drives our use of Ally? - Accessible & inclusive learning content
    The social model of disability suggests that the society or environment is disabling the individual rather than their impairment or difference - or situation. Accessibility is about designing out any unnecessary barriers that make it harder to engage and take part in everyday activities. Being inclusive is about giving equal access and opportunities to everyone wherever possible. In education this involves reducing and overcoming the barriers that might occur in digital content, teaching & learning activities, and assessments. For example: Students with a visual impairment can benefit from converting textual content to audio files or braille Students with a specific learning difficulty can benefit from the range of alternative formats that can integrate with Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) funded assistive technology software. Providing accessible learning content can benefit all learners. Examples include: Providing Closed Captions for recorded lectures not only benefits those with aural impairments, but can assist all students - both home and international - with their comprehension of lecture content Supporting text-to-audio conversion on demand while benefitting those with visual impairments can also support students with dyslexia, and commuting students who may wish to listen to content on their way to College. Disability can be described in three timeframes: permanent, temporary and situational. Examples of permanent disability include loss of vision or a limb, whereas temporary disability covers conditions such as a broken limb, or recovery from an eye operation. Situational disabilities are where Ally can make a difference for all our students. Examples of this include: Trying to comprehend a lengthy PDF text in a noisy home or transit environment: an audio version may be a more suitable alternative format Preparing for an exam while caring for a relative: an HTML versions of texts are designed to work with smart-phones, which are easier to access and use than laptops or large text books.
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