Online Course Refresh Pilot Program

How does this work?

Faculty who participate in the Online Course Refresh Pilot Program will work with an Instructional Designer to ensure that their online courses are accessible to all learners and meet the criteria of the UMass Dartmouth Quality Online Course Review Rubric.

After you are partnered with an Instructional Designer, they will evaluate your online course to identify accessibility concerns and potential opportunities for improving course design. After the evaluation is complete, they will reach out to you via email to schedule a meeting (virtual or in-person) to discuss the next steps for working on the course.

What does the Instructional Designer do?
Instructional Designers will do most of the structural work in the myCourses site. This includes:

  • Organizing content areas and course menu links.
  • Ensuring consistent unit design and content delivery.
  • Reformatting text and documents to ensure they are accessible.
  • Confirming that there is regular engagement between students.
  • Ensuring that students will receive regular feedback from the instructor.
  • Organizing Grade Center columns.
  • Scheduling follow-up meetings.

What does the instructor do?
The instructor will focus on providing quality learning materials, engaging activities, and meaningful assessments. This includes:

  • Developing, researching, and incorporating new content/materials.
  • Captioning/transcribing existing videos/audio or finding suitable accessible alternatives.
  • Updating dead web links and outdated materials.
  • Developing activities that ensure students receive regular feedback throughout the course.
  • Creating rubrics that can be used to grade activities and assessments.

Where can I find media for my online course?

A good place to start your search is on our Finding Educational Video page. This page details several places where you can find high quality videos that can be shared with your students at no cost. The videos on those sites are fully accessible with closed captioning already built-in.

If you are not able to find what you are looking for in one of our recommended video repositories, we encourage you to reach out to your Library Liaison. Librarians can help you search articles and databases for content as well as find ways to stream some films for students in your online course.

How can I record video or audio for my course?

We recommend using a program called Kaltura to record content for your online classes. Kaltura can be used to record audio clips, webcam videos, and your computer screen. Everything you record with Kaltura is stored and can be easily shared with your students in myCourses.

Screen recordings are an effective way to produce short lectures for online students. These are created by recording your voice along with  whatever you are doing on your computer. The end result is a video where students hear your voice narrating as you flip through PowerPoint slides, review a document, or use some other program on your computer.

Kaltura also allows you to record video or audio clips of yourself speaking directly to the webcam/microphone. These types of clips are a great way to deliver quick updates about the course or to speak directly to a point that the class is struggling with.

Are you wondering what all of these recordings actually look like? Check out the samples linked below to learn what is possible with Kaltura:

Want to try Kaltura for yourself? Visit our Kaltura support page for information on how to get started,

How do I make my media accessible?

Video and audio content is considered accessible when closed captions or transcripts are available.

Closed Captions are automatically generated for audio/video content that you create or upload in Kaltura, but they are not perfect. In order for this type of content to be considered fully accessible you should review and update the automatically generated closed captions.

If you are sharing content with your students that you have uploaded to YouTube, those automatically generated captions should also be reviewed and corrected if necessary. Follow the steps in our Editing YouTube Captions tutorial if you have YouTube captions that need correcting.

If you are sharing videos from YouTube with your students that you did not upload, you can check to see if the video has closed captions by clicking the “CC” button on the toolbar along the bottom of the video. You should always watch videos with closed captions enabled to determine if they are accurate. If they are not, click the gear icon on the YouTube player toolbar and check to see if there’s an “English” option under Subtitles/CC settings. If there is an “English” captions option, that means the captions were already verified as accurate. If there are no “English” captions and the automatic captions are not accurate, we recommend looking for a different video.

YouTube caption menu

We have more information on making documents, images, and slide shows accessible on our ‘How Can I Make My Content Accessible?’ page.