Pope Tech and Canvas Accessibility

Pope Tech is an accessibility remediation tool available to instructors in Canvas. This tool (provided through the CCC Accessibility Center) gives instructors a quick but powerful way to check for and fix common accessibility concerns in Canvas content. Ensuring your Canvas courses are free of accessibility concerns helps support inclusion and equity for all students, and also is a requirement of MiraCosta policies as well as state and federal regulations.

The Pope Tech Overview (PDF) is a handy 2-page overview. You may also watch this 7-minute video for a helpful demonstration of how Pope Tech works in Canvas:

Pope Tech Detailed Guidance

Click any of the items below to view more details, including video guides, for using Pope Tech.

What Canvas elements can be tested? What does Pope Tech check for?

What Canvas elements can faculty test with Pope Tech?

Most areas where faculty use the Canvas Rich Content Editor can be tested with Pope Tech:

  • Canvas pages
  • Syllabus
  • Quiz descriptions
  • Discussion Topics
  • Assignments
  • Announcements

To test a Canvas item for accessibility concerns, activate Pope Tech by selecting the Pope Tech icon button at left of the Cancel and Save buttons while editing any of the Canvas items above. Pope Tech works even when the item is not yet published.

Pope Tech button at left of Cancel and Save buttons

What does Pope Tech check for?

  • If headers are present or skipped 
  • Flags suspicious alt text for images (contains “image of”, “image”, etc.)
  • Color contrast between text and highlighted colored-background
    (Note: doesn’t check color contrast within images)
  • If font size is readable
  • Flags non-descriptive links such as “click here”, “link”, “more”, “read more” 
  • Flags redundant links 
  • Flags tables that lack at least one header and caption.
  • Flags YouTube, Canvas embedded video and Canvas embedded audio to bring awareness media will need to be manually reviewed for captions
  • Flags potential inaccessible files that need to be manually reviewed

How do I use Pope Tech?

Using Pope Tech is simple and intuitive.

Step 1: Open Pope Tech 

To test a Canvas item for accessibility concerns, simply activate Pope Tech by selecting the icon next to the Cancel and Save buttons on the page while using the Rich Content Editor.

Pope Tech button at left of Cancel and Save buttons

Step 2: Use Pope Tech to Locate and Fix Accessibility Issues 

Once Pope Tech is activated, the Pope Tech menu will appear on the right-hand side of the screen. At the top of the interface,  the number of errors and alerts will need to be addressed. 

  • Errors are accessibility errors and should be looked at for remediation.
  • Alerts are suspicious areas. Alerts may or may not be an accessibility error. The user should review these and fix if necessary.
  • Rescan can be used once errors and alerts are fixed. This will allow the user to scan the page a second time and verify that all fixes were applied correctly.

Note: Files, videos, and audio will always be listed as alerts, as these require manual review with human eyes!   

In the example below, we have 11 errors and 4 alerts.

Pope Tech Accessibility checker interface

In the Pope Tech interface, results are organized by the following categories:

  • Images and Links
  • Text and Contrast
  • Headings
  • Tables and Lists
  • Documents and Videos 

Each of the categories can be expanded to show the errors or alerts. To view the content raising an error or alert:

  1. Select the arrow displayed next to any category name. Once you expand a category, Pope Tech will display fields grouping together issues within that category. 
  2. Click any field to view detailed results and how to fix them.
  3. Click a particular result to highlight the indicated content within the Canvas editor, enabling you to fix that content.

This quick (42 second) video demonstrates the process described above:

Video Demos: Fixing Alternative Text, Color Contrast, and Table Errors

Fixing Alternative Text

Alternative Text errors are listed in the Images and Links category of the Pope Tech tool. This video demonstrates how to fix such errors:

Fixing Color Contrast

Color Contrast errors are listed in the Text and Contrast category of the Pope Tech tool. Users can fix color contrast errors by one of two methods:

  • Adjust the color in the Canvas rich text editor.
  • Adjust the contrast by using the sliders in the Pope Tech interface until the interface displays a “Pass” message.

This video demonstrates how to fix such errors:

Fixing Table Captions and Headers

Table errors are listed in the Tables and Lists area of Pope Tech. Using Pope Tech, it is very simple to add a table caption and designate whether the first row or the first column must be the header. This video demonstrates how to fix such errors:

Accessibility Issues Explained, from PopeTech

Credit

Thanks to Tracy Schaelen of Southwestern College for originally developing content represented here, and to Liesl Boswell of the CCC Accessibility Center for some modifications and suggestions.

Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

Multiple ways to begin to build your class

• Copy from another class in Canvas. Your access to classes you have previously taught in Canvas continues indefinitely.

• Copy in an entire course or portions of one from Canvas Commons.

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas

• Import content you previously exported from a Blackboard course

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

  • Verify activities to be used in the course are published.
  • Verify dates. Due dates are added to the calendar and the syllabus and serve as reminders to students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Verify number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify assignment groups are set up correctly. See: How to use Assignment Index Page.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system. See: How to Weight Assignment Groups.
  • Verify discussions are ordered logically on Discussions list page.
  • Verify Quiz “Options” are correct. See: Canvas Quiz Options.

Review Course Details

Final Preparations

Cautions

  • Canvas email (Inbox/Conversation) messages will not be sent out if the course is unpublished. Send Email from your SURF Roster instead prior to publishing the course.
  • Pay attention to the time stamp on anything you have placed a date on. 12:00 means the very first minute of the selected day. For end dates, it is often best to choose 11:59 PM to ensure you are setting it up on the correct date.

Zoom: Getting Started, Getting Help, and Using Zoom with Canvas

Zoom Logo

Zoom provides a reliable, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly tool for live, recordable online presentations, meetings, and discussions with audio, video, chat, screen sharing, polling, and more. It can be used within Canvas or independently.

Zoom Pro is available to all MiraCosta faculty and staff at no charge. Students don’t use the Zoom Pro account but can use free Zoom basic accounts. Nobody at MiraCosta should be paying anything to use Zoom!

The version of Zoom that MiraCostans use changed after the fall 2020 semester; MiraCosta Zoom is now accessed at miracosta-edu.zoom.us rather than conferzoom.org or cccconfer.zoom.us. Faculty need to sign in to Zoom with their MiraCosta College login and password to obtain unlimited pro (“licensed”) access to all features of Zoom, including:

  • Unlimited meeting lengths and very large numbers of attendees
  • Recordings “in the cloud” so that you do not need to manage large files of your recorded meetings
  • Auto-transcription of your cloud-based Zoom recordings

Log On to Zoom at MiraCosta College

  1. To access your Zoom account via the web go to: https://miracosta-edu.zoom.us
    Sign in with your MiraCosta College employee account and two-factor authentication (2FA).
  2. To sign into Zoom app(s) on desktop and mobile:
    1. Open the installed Zoom app. (Download the latest Zoom apps from http://zoom.us/download )
    2. Select the ‘Sign in with SSO’ button or option at the app login screen
    3. Enter our ‘Company Domain’: miracosta-edu
    4. You will be directed to our MiraCosta login portal where you will enter your MiraCosta credentials.

MiraCosta Zoom Help and FAQS

  • General MiraCosta Zoom account help and FAQs
    You will need your MiraCosta credentials to access this.
  • How do I get a Zoom account? If you had a pro Zoom account through ConferZoom prior to 2021, it should have been automatically migrated to the MiraCosta Zoom, and there’s nothing you need to do. If you did not previously have a Pro Zoom account, and need to create a MiraCosta Zoom account, sign in to the MiraCosta HelpDesk in the Portal and select the NEW Zoom Account Request option.
  • What if I’m having trouble with my Zoom account? Sign in to the MiraCosta HelpDesk in the Portal and click the User Accounts button to request help.
  • What happened to my Zoom recordings made before 2021? They are still in your Zoom account! The old links to Zoom recordings will still work, but a message will briefly appear when people click an old link. If you update an old recording link with the new MiraCosta Zoom URL (replace cccconfer.zoom.us with miracosta-edu.zoom.us in the link) it will work seamlessly.
  • What happened to my recurring Zoom meetings I set up before 2021? Similar to your recordings, old links to recurring Zoom meetings will still work, but a message will appear when people click an old link. If you go to your Zoom account, you’ll see that your meetings have been migrated in, and you can get a new invitation. You can also simply update a meeting link created before 2021 with the new MiraCosta Zoom URL (replace cccconfer.zoom.us with miracosta-edu.zoom.us in the link).
  • What happened to Reports from Zoom meetings held before 2021? They are gone, sorry.
  • How much storage do I have for Zoom recordings? As of spring 2021, there is not a limit; however, this may change in the future if we do not manage our recordings well. Please delete recordings that you do not need.
  • Or contact the Employee Helpdesk directly at:

Zoom Documentation

The following Zoom trainings, documentation, and resources can help you stay informed:

Using Zoom with Canvas

You can schedule and run video meetings directly within Canvas, using the new Zoom integration (this is MUCH improved over what what we had prior to 2021). To get started and learn more about the Zoom/Canvas integration, see directions below; for more details you may be interested in:

You may also share Zoom links and recordings inside of Canvas without using the integration.

Canvas Integration with Zoom

  1. Enter your Canvas course
  2. Click Settings on the course menu
  3. Click the Navigation tab
Zoom Canvas LTI Step 2 and 3
  1. Click the 3 dots to the right of Zoom and select Enable.
  2. Click the Save button
  1. Click the Zoom course menu item which will appear in your course menu.
Zoom Canvas LTI Step 6

Now you can schedule and access Zoom meetings from inside of Canvas.

Viewing All My Zoom Meetings in Canvas

When you first enter Zoom on Canvas you will see only the Zoom meetings associated with the Canvas course you entered from. To see and access all Zoom meetings within your account, click the link ‘All My Zoom Meetings‘.

All My Zoom Meetings link in Canvas

Teaching with Zoom in Canvas

Teaching with Zoom at MiraCosta College

Zoom Logo

After the fall 2020 semester, Zoom Pro for MiraCostans was changed from ConferZoom to a Zoom that is controlled by MiraCosta College. Visit the Getting Started, Getting Help, and Using Zoom with Canvas page for details and technical information about Zoom at MiraCosta College.

Zoom Teaching Tips: Inclusion, Security, and more

Note that some of the following resources may refer to the version of Zoom that MiraCostans used in fall 2020 or earlier; MiraCosta Zoom is now accessed at miracosta-edu.zoom.us rather than conferzoom.org or cccconfer.zoom.us .

MiraCosta Zoom how-to videos from faculty

Again, please note that some of the following resources may refer to the version of Zoom that MiraCostans used in fall 2020 or earlier; MiraCosta Zoom is now hosted at https://miracosta-edu.zoom.us rather than https://conferzoom.org.

  • Teaching with Zoom (Fall 2020 workshop) – CSIT faculty member Rick Cassoni provides a 1-hour overview of Zoom, from the beginnings of signing up for a Zoom account, to recommended settings within your account and creation of meetings, to the basics of using Zoom for both live and recorded online instruction.
  • Connecting with Students in Zoom (Spring 2020 workshop) – Letters faculty member curry mitchell shares a few simple activities and methods for scaffolding an interactive, collaborative Zoom workshop with students.  curry also discusses flexible and compassionate practices–such as attendance policies and creating asynchronous means for participation–to ensure we’re using Zoom to help each other. (Note, this session included 10 minutes in breakout rooms but the recording was not paused, so you can skip from when that happens at around minute 39 ahead to minute 49 of the recording.)
  • Sharing your iPad screen on Zoom – Math faculty member Angela Beltran-Aguilar demonstrates in this short (under 3 minutes) video how to use an iPad as your sharing source for teaching with Zoom.
  • Capturing a separate screencast of a Zoom session – Psychology faculty member Robert Kelley demonstrates in this very short (under 2 minutes) video how to capture a portion of a Zoom session, excluding student participants, in order to be able to share the recording more widely without FERPA concerns.

Once you have the basics of using Zoom down, review a two page document from Jim Julius full of tips and techniques for using Zoom effectively for teaching.

Captioning for Zoom

  • Zoom cloud recordings auto-transcribe and caption recorded Zoom sessions within a few hours (typically) of completion of the recording. Zoom’s interface makes it easy to fix up the captions so they are fully accurate.
  • If you have a student who requires live captions and you are using Zoom, please contact MiraCosta DSPS.
    • You will need to make a one-time change in your Zoom account settings to enable live captioning, and at the start of each Zoom session with captioning, you will need to assign the captioning role to the proper person in your meeting. See directions for both.

Canvas End of Semester / Term

The following will help instructors understand how the end of semester is handled in Canvas, and how to update related Canvas course settings if necessary. By default, students who complete a class continue to have read-only access to the concluded class’s course materials, discussions, and grades. If you wish to restrict concluded class access, you must change the class settings before the end of the term, or get a Canvas administrator to help you after the end of the term.

Everything below applies to typical term-based Canvas classes. Canvas sandbox classes and Canvas shells used for organizations, departments, groups, etc. are not tied to any particular terms and thus remain available indefinitely.

Closing your Course

There is nothing you have to do to close your Canvas course; at the term end date (see below), your course will be set to Concluded status and moved onto the Past Enrollments course list for you and your students. By default you and your students will continue to have read-only access to the course.

Canvas Term End Dates

SemesterDateTime
Fall 2020Dec 3112 am
Spring 2021June 112 am
Summer 2021August 14 12 am

Concluded Course Access

For both instructors and students, concluded courses can be found by clicking Courses in the main Canvas menu, then the All Courses link. Concluded courses are listed there under Past Enrollments. Concluded courses may not be moved back onto the Dashboard – they must be accessed in this way.

Instructors can perform the following actions with a concluded course

Instructors cannot perform the following actions within a concluded course (do these before the end of the term!)

  • Edit course content
  • Edit Grades
  • View/download Analytics
  • View/download Item Analysis within Quizzes
  • Send a message to the class within Canvas
  • Change class access settings
  • Change class navigation

Students can perform the following actions by default within a concluded course

  • View Grades
  • View course content
  • View Discussions and Assignments
  • Send a message to the instructor

Students cannot perform the following actions within a concluded course

  • View Quiz questions and answers
  • Submit discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other course activities

Restricting Students from Viewing Some or All of a Completed Course

As described above, by default in Canvas, students have ongoing read-only access to course content in Canvas after the term ends. This can be a great feature, allowing students to review key learning resources from previous semesters. If, however, you wish to limit this access, follow one of the methods below before the end of the term. (If you need to make these changes to a course that is already concluded, contact Karen Turpin for assistance at kturpin@miracosta.edu or 760-795-6787.)

Method 1: Hide Course Navigation menu links

If an instructor would like to limit access to major areas of course content, one method is to hide Navigation menu links. Note that if Navigation menu links are hidden, the instructor will also be unable to access them after the course concludes. This may be appropriate if you would like to leave Grades available to students, yet close off certain course content. The instructor may copy the course into another course to regain access to hidden menu items.

How to hide Course Navigation menu links

  1. Click Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Click Navigation in the tabs at the top.
  3. Drag and drop the menu items from the top (viewable) area to the bottom (hidden) area or click the gear icon to the right of the menu item and select disable.
  4. Click the Save button.

Method 2: Hide select course content

For more fine-grained control, certain course content such as files, pages, modules, or module items (but not assignments or discussions where students have participated) may be unpublished. As with hidden Navigation menu links, unpublished items are also inaccessible to the instructor after the course concludes.

If you wish to hide course items where students have participated, such as discussions or assignments, you cannot unpublish those. But there is a trick: simply set the availability date to sometime far in the future.

These options may be useful if you want students to be able to access most course content, but have select content that you prefer not to be accessed/shared in the future. The instructor may copy the course into a current course to be able to revisit/reuse hidden content.

Method 3: Restrict students from accessing entire course after end date

If an instructor would prefer the entire course and its course materials not be visible to students after the course end date:

  1. Click Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Select the checkbox for ‘Restrict students from viewing course after end date’Restrict past end date
  3. Click the Update Course Details button.

This option will completely remove the course from the student’s view in Past Enrollments. Students will not see the course and will have no access to course materials or grades. Instructors will continue to be able to access the course in Past Enrollments.

Resolving Incompletes

If you have assigned a student an incomplete ‘I‘ grade for the semester contact Karen Turpin at kturpin@miracosta.edu or 760-795-6787 as soon as the paperwork is complete with Admissions and Records. Karen will create a new Canvas course section based on the original course.  This new section will allow the student access to the course with the ability to submit work, and will give you access to grade the student’s work, for the time allowable by the Office of Admissions and Records.

Working with Concluded Courses to Build New Courses

As noted above, you may always export a concluded course for import back into Canvas (Text instructions), or use a concluded course as the source for copying into a new course (Text instructions | Video tutorial). If you wish to update the content of a concluded course for use in the future, but you do not have a current term course in which to do that, you may wish to request a Sandbox course to copy into and work with, since you cannot edit a concluded course directly.

Teaching a short course and/or need to close your course prior to the official term end date?

You can manually end your course by updating the course end date.

To change the Course Start and/or End Date

  1. Click on Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Change the Course Start and End Dates to reflect when you want students to have full access to the course.
  3. Select the checkbox for Users can only participate in this course between these dates.
  4. Click the Update Course Details button.

In the example below, students will not be able to access the course, even if it is published, until Jan 16 at 12 am. The students will no longer be able to participate in the course after May 30  at 5 pm and the course will be visible to students in the ‘Past Enrollments’ list by clicking on Courses, then All Courses.

Start / End Term Canvas Dates

  • Note: If you select a course end date prior to the official end of term date, but do not check the box Users can only participate in this course between these dates, students will still be able to actively participate in the course until the official Canvas end of term (as shown in the table above).
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