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Learning Technology - Practical Guide

Blackboard Ally: Use documents your way

Available resources to assist with students during their time at University.

Ally icon looks like a capital A with a down arrow next to it.
Blackboard Ally: use documents your way

Ally is a tool in the VLE that lets you use course materials in the best way for you by converting them to alternative formats.

You can use different file formats that are more accessible for you or to help you study effectively in different situations. For example, you could convert a PDF into an audio file so you can listen to it if your eyes are tired or you're walking, or you could convert it to an e-reader file that's easier to read on a tablet or to read online.

Use documents your way with Ally

What formats can you download?

Ally can generate these alternative formats:

  • tagged & OCR PDFs
  • audio (MP3)
  • ePub (for eReader apps)
  • HTML (for easy viewing on a mobile)
  • electronic braille
  • BeeLine Reader (for more comfortable online reading)
  • Immersive Reader

What can Ally convert?

You can use Ally to convert these file types uploaded by your instructor:

  • PDF files (including scanned documents)
  • Microsoft Word & PowerPoint files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files

You can also convert text written directly on the VLE.

To convert your own files, use the Ally file transformer.

How to convert a file

  1. Find a file on the VLE that you want to convert.
  2. Click on the Ally 'A' icon next to the file name:
  3. Select the alternative format that's best for your needs.
  4. (Remember to read the Terms of Use!)

Ally for Students [YouTube video]

Can't see the Ally icon?

If the Ally 'A' icon does not appear next to the document you want to convert, you can generate alternative document formats on the Ally file converter site instead. You can also use this site to convert other documents you have to a more useful format.

Guides for using Ally