Learning Technologies

Learning Technologies


Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), May 17, 2018

May 10, 2018

GAAD Events

Thursday, May 17, 2018, marks the seventh annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

GAAD is for people who are involved in design, development, usability, procurement of technology and its use. GAAD provides events for people interested in making accessible and usable technologies for people with disabilities.

GAAD events listings

GAAD provides a listing of international events including virtual events.

Microsoft Inclusive Classrooms GAAD events

Microsoft is hosting free online events leading up to and on May 17. The events focus on reimagining accessibility and creating more inclusive classrooms

Read more at about the events.

GAAD Events at Red River College

An Introduction to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 – presentation

May 17, 2018, 9:30 am to 10:30 am
DM13K Notre Dame Campus

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 are an international standard that defines how to make digital and web content more accessible for people with disabilities. This introductory presentation is facilitated by Jim Hounslow, Instructional Designer with TLTC. This presentation is designed for faculty and staff who create digital course materials or web content.

Register to participate in this presentation

CAPAL’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines COP webinar

May 17, 2018, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

A webinar on using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as community of practice.

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians’ Web Content Accessibility Guidelines community of practice is hosting a webinar presented by Gregg Vanderheiden (PhD), Professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. University and college libraries are trying to support students of all ages and abilities including a surprisingly large number who have invisible cognitive, language, and learning (CLL) disabilities. Although many think of accessibility as just for people with disabilities, there are many strategies that can make computers easier to use that are more subtle — and that can be useful to all users.

Registration options:

Reimagining Accessibility for Today’s World – film

May 17, 2018

A short film on reimagining accessibility for today’s world by Microsoft.

Discover practical ways to build a more inclusive environment and how accessible technologies such as Microsoft 365 enable everyone to create, communicate and collaborate. Whether you are looking to ensure productivity for your diverse workforce or to increase your organization’s reach and provide delightful services to customers with disabilities, the “Empower every person: reimagining accessibility” short film is for you. The film features IT and accessibility leaders from Microsoft and our partners: US Business Leadership Network, Be. Accessible, TD Bank Group, and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Registration options:

Other GAAD Events:

Introduction to Screen Readers Deque Systems Webinar
Learn more and register for this free webinar May 17 at 12:00 noon

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) webinar
Learn more and register for this free webinar 12 noon, May 17

Using WordPress for Accessible Web Development
Learn more and register for this free webinar May 17 at 1:00pm

Testing for Accessibility

March 12, 2018

Ensuring Accessible Content

There are two ways to ensure your content is accessible: conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and involve people with disabilities in evaluating and testing your content.

Conforming to WCAG 2.0

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) are standards developed by the W3C to assist in the development of accessible digital content. There are a few ways to ensure conformance to WCAG including documentation, checklists, and testing tools.

WCAG 2.0 Documentation

The W3C provides documentation on how to conform to WCAG 2.0 but it is quite extensive and can be overwhelming for beginners.

WCAG 2.0 Checklist

WebAim provides a WCAG 2.0 checklist based on their interpretation of WCAG’s guidelines and success criteria that is easy to follow and a good place to start to learn about what is required to conform to the standard.

Machine Testing using Evaluation Tools

There are many tools that can provide automated accessibility evaluations or audits. These tools can verify conformance to WCAG 2.0 and the level of conformance (A-AAA). These tools are required to assist content developers and designers in identifying errors and providing suggestions for fixes, but they cannot tell you if your web content is actually accessible.

LEARN Accessibility Checker

LEARN has an accessibility checker built in to the HTML Editor that will identify some of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

How to use LEARN’s Accessibility Checker

WAVE: Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WebAIM’s WAVE is the easiest to use evaluation tool. WAVE is made available as a Chrome extensiona Firefox add-on or online. The online version can be used to evaluate web pages  and the browser plugins can be used to evaluate web pages and LEARN content.

Chrome Extensions

FireFox Add-ons

Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List

The W3C provides an extensive list of accessibility evaluation tools.

Human Testing

While WCAG conformance can go along way to assisting with making accessible content and evaluation tools can identify errors only humans can really determine whether web content is accessible. To ensure your content is accessible it is recommended that you enlist people with disabilities to test your content. People with disabilities bring their experiences and assistive technologies they use to navigate web content.

Recommended reading

Why accessibility testing with real users is so important

Tips For Conducting Usability Studies With Participants With Disabilities

7 Principles of Inclusive Design webinar

February 12, 2018

Inclusive Design

Inclusive Design is about putting people first. It’s about designing for the needs of people with permanent, temporary, situational, or changing disabilities — all of us really. In this webinar Henny Swan will introduce the 7 principles and how they can be used alongside standards and guidelines, to take products beyond compliance.


Henny Swan is an Accessibility Specialist with over 12 years experience in inclusive design. She is a Senior Accessibility User Experience Specialist at The Paciello Group (TPG) and prior to that worked on cross device media player accessibility at the BBC as well as developing BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines.

The webinar

This webinar is relevant to anyone involved in the design and development of web content and digital environments — instructors, designers, developers, and policy makers responsible for Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) activities.

TLTC and eTV are hosting this webinar on Wednesday, February 21 from 10:15-11:30 a.m. in eTV studio B. Register to attend this webinar.

If you are unable to attend this webinar at eTV or prefer to participate on your own you can register online.

For more information contact Jim Hounslow.

Getting Started with Inclusive Design

February 12, 2018

Inclusive Design Resources

A collection of resources to support the 7 Principles of Inclusive Design webinar.

Articles and Blogs

Inclusive Design Principles – Henny Swan, Ian Pouncey, Heydon Pickering, Léonie Watson, The Paciello Group (TPG)

Inclusive Design Principles and how to use them – Henny Swan, The Paciello Group (TPG)

Women in UX: Meet Henny Swan, Advocate for UX Inclusivity – Henny Swan’s tips for creating more inclusive UX designs

If you want the best design, ask strangers to help – Jutta Trevirans, professor and director, Inclusive Design Research Centre (IRDC), OCADU

IHENI – Henny Swan’s blog

Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)  – OCADU


An Introduction to Inclusive Design – Microsoft Design

Empathy – Microsoft Design

Inclusive Design Principles – Henny Swan : #ID24 2017 – The principles of Inclusive Design, The Paciello Group (TPG)

Henny Swan – The Velvet Rope – #NUX5 – Accessibility and Inclusive Design, The Paciello Group (TPG)

a11yTO Conference – Henny Swan on the principles of Inclusive Design (starts at 34:33)


Microsoft Inclusive Design: toolkit, activities and resources – Microsoft Design

Inclusive Design Toolkit – University of Cambridge

Inclusive Design – Barclays Bank


Inclusive Design Principles (compressed zip file) – The Paciello Group (TPG)

Inclusive Design Principles single poster – Barclays Bank

Inclusive Design Principles individual posters – Barclays Bank

On Twitter

@paciellogroup – The Paciello Group (TPG), accessibility testing/evaluation, compliance audits, and training.

@iheni – Henny Swan, accessibility specialist, The Paciello Group (TPG)

@LeonieWatson – Léonie Watson, accessibility engineer, The Paciello Group (TPG)

@idrc_ocadu – Inclusive Design Research Centre (IRDC), OCADU

@JuttaTrevira – Jutta Trevirans, professor and director, Inclusive Design Research Centre (IRDC), OCADU

Keeping Up-to-date with LEARN Email or Text Notifications

December 14, 2017

You are able to set up email and mobile notifications in LEARN so that you can keep as up-to-date as possible on all activities from within your courses.

As an instructor, having students set up notifications will ensure they receive News updates, or other notifications as soon as possible. This is especially useful for communicating cancellations or changes due to weather or other circumstances.

    • From within LEARN, click your username and then notifications

Accessing LEARN's notifications

  • You are then able to enable email and/or mobile notifications, and then define exactly what you will receive notifications on and from which courses.
  • Once done, click “Save”

Respondus LockDown – new features and changes – late May 2017

May 30, 2017

LEARN is removing the “LockDown Browser” option from the “Restrictions” tab in the Quiz settings. Instead, the LDB (LockDown Browser) will now be configured either from the Quiz tool main menu (“LockDown Browser” tab) or by creating an external link to the LockDown Browser Dashboard. This change also brings a new feature which allows students the ability to launch the LDB from the quiz start area.

To configure a quiz to use the “LockDown Browser” follow these steps:

1. Under the “Assessments tab” select “Quizzes”

2. Click on the “LockDown Browser” tab


3. Pick a quiz that requires the LockDown Browser, then select from the dropdown “Modify Settings”


4. Choose the Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam” to unlock the LockDown Browser settings.


5. You will also have the ability to pick more advanced settings.

6. When you are satisfied with your selections click “Save and Close” at the bottom right.

You have now setup the quiz to use the “LockDown Browser”.

As well, students now have the ability to launch the “LockDown Browser” from the start of a quiz:

1. When the student selects a quiz that is setup to use the “LockDown Browser” they will see the “Launch LockDown Browser” button at bottom of the quiz start page.


2. The “Launch LockDown Browser” button will check to see if the user has the LockDownBrowser installed and will prompt them to install it if they haven’t already.

Contact LEARN Support if you have any questions regarding the changes. (learn@rrc.ca)


Brightspace Manitoba Connection (D2L) Conference

March 16, 2017

Brightspace Manitoba Connection (D2L) Conference
May 26, 2017   9:00am to 2:20pm
Red River College’s Roblin Centre – 160 Princess St, Winnipeg, MB
Cost – Free

Red River College is hosting a conference about LEARN in collaboration with D2L – Brightspace Manitoba Connection. LEARN (otherwise known as Brightspace) is D2L’s flagship product.  Brightspace Manitoba Connection is your opportunity to connect with peers and D2L staff, exchange product feedback, share effective practices, and network with other users. Brightspace Connection will showcase teaching and learning within Brightspace, and sessions will feature topics such as effective practices in instructional design, technology integration, and administrative management. The event is sponsored by D2L and is free to attend.

The event’s goals are:
1. Provide free professional development sessions for online and blended learning
2. Build a strong community between Brightspace users and employees
3. Enhance the networking opportunities among the various members of the user community
4. Inform the user community about new features of the Brightspace platform

If you’re interested in presenting at the event, please indicate that on the registration page. We’re looking for sessions about:
pedagogical practices using Brightspace
highlighting noteworthy projects with your peers / institutions involving Brightspace
innovative use of Brightspace tools

Conference Agenda
9:00 am –    Registration desk open
9:30 am –   10:10 am   Opening Session
10:15 am – 11:05 am   Breakout Sessions (details coming soon)
11:15 am – 12:05 pm   Breakout Sessions (details coming soon)
12:15 am – 12:55 pm   Catered Lunch
1:00 pm –    1:50 pm    Breakout Sessions / Ateliers
2:00 pm –    2:20 pm    Closing Session

Registration: Please go to https://www.d2l.com/events/regional/manitoba/ to register.

LEARN Login Changes – ADFS Logins

December 1, 2016

With LEARN moving to cloud hosting on December 19th, 2016 the College needs to implement a new login system to allow secure logins over the internet.

LEARN will now be authenticating users through Active Directory Federated Services. This authentication method requires a change to the username you enter. For those logging in directly through https://learn.rrc.ca instead of putting in just your College username, you will now be required to enter your Red River College provided email address. Your password will remain the same. Staff will login with username@rrc.ca, and students will login with username@academic.rrc.ca.

There will be no change to logins through HUB.

The new login system will be deployed on Monday, December 19th, 2016.

If you have any questions please contact LEARN Support at learn@rrc.ca.


New Login Instructions For https://learn.rrc.ca


  • You will be forwarded to the ADFS login page. On this page enter your RRC email address as your username and the same password that you use for other College services.



August 22, 2016

What is HTTPS? HTTPS uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt and decrypt user page requests over the internet. This helps keep the information that you enter into your browser private as it travels through the internet. LEARN supports HTTPS fully.

LEARN was recently upgraded to a new version of D2L Brightspace – 10.6.3. A side effect of this upgrade is that our existing implementation of HTTPS stopped working properly. Previously HTTPS was enforced only on the login page in order to protect users’ login credentials. When users entered LEARN HTTPS became optional. Currently if we set the system to enforce HTTPS on the login page users are unable to login properly. It is particularly critical that logins to LEARN are done through HTTPS to protect users’ login credentials.

D2L is working on the problem, but if a solution isn’t found soon we are going to have to force HTTPS on throughout LEARN. This may have some side effects if courses are embedding insecure content. If the provider of content that’s been embedded in LEARN doesn’t support HTTPS it will not work when HTTPS is enforced. In most cases external content providers already support secure connections. For example, video providers like YouTube, Vimeo, and the College’s ShareStream video service all support HTTPS natively.

Even if we fix the current problem with HTTPS logins, we are going to be turning on HTTPS only in the fall prior to LEARN migrating to a cloud service.

Check if Your Course Is Affected

If you want to see what your course will look like when we switch over to HTTPS you can do this now. If you type https:// before the learn.rrc.ca address in your URL bar (https://learn.rrc.ca) you will be able to navigate through LEARN using a secure connection. If you have trouble seeing your content when accessing LEARN through HTTPS please contact us at learn@rrc.ca.

LEARN Upgrade Completed – August 10, 2016

August 10, 2016

LEARN has been upgraded to a new version 10.6.3.

All problems in the upgrade have been fixed.

  • All browsers should now be able to login to LEARN.
  • The login through HUB and the Employee Development pages has been fixed by ITS.

This new version includes many new requested features, enhancements and bugfixes. In general, LEARN still looks and feels the same, but many features have smoother and more intuitive workflows. The TLTC and LEARN Support have developed a guide to the changes: http://blogs.rrc.ca/tltc/fall-2016-learn-upgrade/.

If you have any questions or concerns about this upgrade please contact us at LEARN Support at learn@rrc.ca.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

Learn more ›