Using the LMS with JAWS
Blind Student's Guide to using the LMS
The Learning Management System, provides a great deal of information about everything from individual subjects, to University communities a student can join, to the availability of relevant workshops.
Getting to the LMS page
There are three ways of doing this.
- On the student portal page there are links to your individual subjects which you can easily click on.
- The second way is to simply type lms.unimelb.edu.au in to any address bar and use CTRL+F (the virtual find function) to locate the “Access the LMS” link which will take you to the log in page. Of course, if you have used this link enough times you can simply press the V key on the main page which will take you to any visited links.
- Another option is to google “Melbourne university LMS" which will take you directly to the LMS log in page.
All three ways are effective, however the Google or portal methods are arguably quicker.
I definitely advise use of visited link keys, heading keys and virtual find function when dealing with the main page.
Quick ways to navigate the page
You will find that the V key used to navigate through visited links, the CTRL+F virtual find function as well as the H key to navigate between headings will be your friends upon entering the world of the LMS as they will enable fast, efficient and easy navigation.
Every subject you have ever been enrolled in is listed on your subject’s page under “Subjects where you are: Student". It is easy to quickly ascertain which subjects are still relevant to your use of the LMS by determining whether or not a subject has a clickable link or a notice that it is not currently available. You will also find that by typing the subject you actually want in to the virtual find search box it comes up very quickly. Of course, you can also locate it as a visited link if you have regularly clicked on it. This may be very obvious but it might be handy to a new user.
- The virtual find function may display multiple results. Try to use more specific terms such as the subject number, e.g. 10001
After logging in you will go to a page which is divided into headings including “My subjects”, “Subjects where you are: student”, “My communities” and “Communities where you are: participant”. There is also a series of links such as “Personal information” and “My grades". By clicking on the latter you will be able to discover whether or not you have any available results to look at, which is easier than the student admin page. I definitely advise use of visited link keys, heading keys and the virtual find function when dealing with the main page.
Throughout the week you are likely to use the lecture recordings, readings and assessment pages more than any others.
When you click on a particular subject page you can use the headings key to easily get to the main subject menu where you will find a list of links which are very common for most subject pages, although they do vary depending on how kind or conscientious your coordinators are.
Links which you are likely to find include:
- subject information,
- staff information,
- lecture schedule,
- lecture recordings,
- assessment submission,
- student handbook,
- and sometimes a link for extra resources.
If you are anything like me, you will find that throughout the week you are likely to use the lecture recordings, readings and assessment pages more than any others. There are some subjects that provide links to seminar exercises they might want done or blogs and discussion boards that may be part of the assessment or just a class exercise. However, the sections I have listed are the ones which can be found most often on a subject entry page.
Funnily enough, you don’t need to click on the announcements page. Unless you have clicked on another link in the menu, a list of announcements will always be presented toward the bottom of a main subject entry page. You can use the heading key to navigate this feature and choose which announcements you might want to look at. This saves you the few seconds it takes to click on the actual link.
Lecture notes and readings
Normally on the LMS you will find that the lectures, readings and other documents have been uploaded. You will find that for the most part, these resources will be listed chronologically, allowing you to easily select the week you wish to focus on. Again they can be easily navigated using our friends the H key, V key and CTRL+F function.
- Even though readings have been uploaded onto the LMS, you are still very likely to need the material looked at by accessible formatting, as the fact that it is in PDF form does not guarantee that you will be able to read it. It may be an image, or it may even be a link that the screen reader is unable to click on for various reasons.
- When you come across Microsoft word documents in various parts of the LMS subject pages you may find (upon opening them) that they are hard to read. The reason for this is more often than not that they’re in protected mode, however, this can be remedied by saving the file to your computer and hard drive, tabbing to the “enable saving” button and pressing enter. This should make them as easy to read as regular Microsoft documents.
The “communities" part of the LMS lets you know of any university communities you are in (either because you chose to be in them or because you automatically became a member) and also allows you to browse through the Melbourne University’s “Community catalogue” finding a range of things from groups pertaining to your area of study to groups which focus on leadership.
For assistance or to report accessibility problems please contact:
Web Accessibility Lead
Phone: +61 3 9035 4867