Alternative Formats

Ally creates alternative formats of your course files based on the original. 

Alternative formats aren't just for a select group of students. Alternative formats benefit everyone. For example, maybe a student has a lot of course material to read and gets eye strain, or maybe (s)he is an auditory learner and would prefer to listen to an MP3 audio file.

You don’t need to do anything. The alternative formats are created for you automatically by Ally. For example, Blackboard Ally creates audio and electronic braille alternatives for students with visual impairments. These formats are made available with the original file so students can find everything in one convenient location.

  1. Click the chevron beside your file to expand the menu
  2. Select Alternative formats to open the alternative formats window
  3. Review the different formats now available to your students for download.
screen shot of expanded drop down menu next to an item in Blackboard Learn
screen shot: example list of downloadable alternative formats

While the student view of Blackboard Learn does not show Ally indicators or the full menu of options to edit items and content, it does include the drop down of Alternative formats next to each file in the course. It may be a good idea to alert your students to this option in the description of your attached files, such as "Click the drop down menu next to this file for alternative versions."

student view of drop down menu option for alternative formats

You may also download this help guide for Downloading Alternative Formats to provide in your course. Note that students must agree to the Terms of Use before downloading alternative formats.

Alternative formats are automatically generated and enabled in Blackboard. It is now possible for an instructor or administrator to disable the alternative formats for an individual content item within a course. This provides full flexibility over which content items should have alternative formats, and can be especially useful for content items that don't have a license that allows the creation of alternative formats.