Set up Ally in Blackboard Learn Original and Ultra

Ally Set Up in Blackboard Learn

We do the set up for you. If you don't have Ally installed, contact your Blackboard representative or submit a request on Behind the Blackboard.

Ready to flip the switch? After the Ally integration is established, you can control Ally's availability in the Tools area of the administrator panel.

Administrator Panel > Tools > Ally


Access Ally Configuration

From Ally Configuration you can turn Ally on or off in all your courses and create custom help settings.

Go to the Administrator panel to find Ally Configuration.

Don't see Ally Configuration in your Administrator panel? Jump to the FAQs to troubleshoot.

Ally Configure Courses


Configure courses

Go to your Ally Configuration page and turn Ally on for all courses or decide course-by-course. It's up to you.

  1. View how many of your courses use Ally.
  2. Turn Ally on or off for all existing courses. Decide ahead of time if you want it enabled for all future courses as well.
  3. Search for individual courses or filter all course by enabled, disabled, and term.
  4. Turn Ally on or off for individual courses.

Turn Ally on or off for a single course

When Ally is on, instructors and students benefit from the accessibility scores, instructor feedback and alternative formats that Ally provides.

The Institutional report is available for all courses. It doesn't matter if Ally is on or off in a course. The course appears in the Institutional report.

From Ally Configuration, find the course you want to update. Use the Search field and filters to search by course title, course ID and course code.

Select Enable or Disable under the Enabled column to turn Ally on or off.

  • Ally is off: Select Enable course UI integration to turn on
  • Ally is on: Select Disable course UI integration to turn off

Turn Ally on or off for all courses

Not sure if all courses are using Ally or not? At the top of the Ally Configuration page, see how many of your courses are currently using Ally.

When Ally is on, instructors and students benefit from the accessibility scores, instructor feedback and alternative formats that Ally provides.

The Institutional report is available for all courses. It doesn't matter if Ally is on or off in a course. The course appears in the Institutional report.

You can turn Ally on or off in every existing course from the Ally Configuration page. Select Disable/enable all courses and select Disable or Enable.

Select Enable in future courses if you want Ally automatically on in all new courses.

If you don't select this, new courses will not have Ally enabled. If you want Ally on at a later date, turn Ally on for single courses.

After you choose to disable or enable in all courses, you need to confirm your choice. Select Enable or Disable, depending on your choice. Select Cancel if you changed your mind and don't want to change anything.


Turn Ally on for all new courses only

When Ally is on, instructors and students benefit from the accessibility scores, instructor feedback and alternative formats that Ally provides.

The Institutional report is available for all courses. It doesn't matter if Ally is on or off in a course. The course appears in the Institutional report.

Select Enable in future courses if you want Ally automatically on in all new courses.

If you don't select this, new courses will not have Ally enabled. If you want Ally on at a later date, turn Ally on for single courses.

Ally Configure Help Settings


Configure Ally user help settings

Configure custom help messages that display in the Alternative formats and Instructor feedback modals. The custom help messages can be used to point students and instructors to existing institutional documentation, share contact information, and so on. When no custom message has been configured, the Help links point to these pages in Blackboard help:

  • Alternative formats: This page explains how and when the different alternative formats can be used
  • Instructor help: Everything instructors need to know about Ally in their courses

The custom help content can be configured in the Ally Configuration UI, and uses the Markdown format to help provide a structured and accessible message.

  1. Go to Ally Configuration and select Help settings.
  2. Choose the default or custom help option for both the Instructor feedback help and Alternative formats help.
  3. If you choose the custom option, edit the Custom message.

    Use the Markdown format to help provide a structured (and accessible) message.

  4. Select Save changes.

Configure expert help

Give your instructors and students easy access to your team of accessibility experts. Enable expert help to add a way for your users to request more help directly from in the alternative formats and instructor feedback panels.

When a request is made, an email containing the help request and details about the current course, content item and user is sent to the email address you configure.

  1. Go to Ally Configuration and select Help settings.
  2. Choose Provide custom help for both the Instructor feedback help and Alternative formats help.
  3. Select Enable expert help.
  4. Type the email address for your team of accessibility experts.
  5. Select Save changes.

The Ally API user for the Blackboard Learn integration needs to be given the "Administrator Panel (Users) > Users" or "system.user.view" permission to allow Ally to include the student name and email address in the help request email. The Ally API user for the Moodle integration needs to be given the “moodle/user:viewalldetails” permission to allow Ally to include the student name and email address in the help request email.

Request alternative formats help

Request instructor feedback help

Customize Ally Features


Customize Ally features

You can turn some features on or off to customize Ally to suit your institutional preferences.

In Ally Configuration, decide what features you want enabled.

  1. Go to Ally Configuration and select Features.
  2. Find the feature you want to turn on or off and select it.
  3. Select Enable or Disable to turn the feature on or off.

Configure course accessibility report


FAQs

Ally Admin Bb Learn FAQs

What versions of Blackboard Learn support Ally?

Blackboard Ally is supported on Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 CU3 and above. It is also available for Learn SaaS in both the Original and Ultra Course Views.

Self-hosted Solaris institutions are not supported.

Can you score content in Blackboard Learn's Content Collection before the content is applied to a course?

Ally scores only the content used in a course. Unused content may skew the Institution Report and is not included.

You can upload content to a hidden folder in a course, if instructors want to make accessibility updates before making it available.

Does Ally scan all content in the content collection?

Ally currently only scans items that are attached in the course itself. This means that the reporting will only include items that can be accessed by the student. It does not include unused content.

Why don't I see Ally Configuration in my Administrator panel?

You need Blackboard Learn SaaS 3700.3.0 or Blackboard Learn Q4 2019 (or higher) to see Ally Configuration in the Administrator panel.

If you are on the right release, Blackboard Learn doesn’t always automatically pick up on this new link when upgrading to this release. If that’s the case, you can toggle the availability of the Ally Building Block to Off and then to On again. At that point, the Ally Configuration link will become available.

If you are on an earlier release, we provide you with instructions on how to access Ally Configuration during set up.

If you still don't have access, submit a request on Behind the Blackboard.