ReadSpeaker

ReadSpeaker is a suite of text-to-speech (TTS) tools to read aloud digital text. BCIT has embedded two tools, namely WebReader and DocReader, in the Learning Hub and the Employee Learning Centre. These tools are designed for personal use and are available in all courses.

Note: Because the tools are embedded, downloading and installation is not required. The tools are also compatible with all the main browsers.

Benefits

  • Universal Design for Learning – learning is more accessible by addressing learning modalities e.g. auditory and visual learning, and controlling content presentation e.g. voice options, reading speed, highlighting.
  • Learning challenges
  • Visual impairment
  • Literacy need
  • EAL learners
  • Screen fatigue
  • Mobile learners

Usage

Below are the details and steps to use each tool. Be sure to read the “limitations” and “additional resources” sections.

Note: Should you wish to disable ReadSpeaker tools in a course, the instructor can follow the below steps:

  1. Log into the applicable course.
  2. Click “edit course” on the right side of the top navigation bar.
  3. Scroll down to the “administration” section and click “tools”.
  4. To disable DocReader and/or WebReader, locate the respective names, ReadSpeaker DocReader Integration and ReadSpeaker WebReader Integration.
  5. Click the toggle switch on the right side beside the tools to disable.

WebReader

WebReader reads aloud text in a web page file added in the “content” area of a course. As well, it reads content in a quiz.

Features:

  • Highlight text
  • Adjust reading speed
  • Change volume
  • Set font size (view in text mode)
  • Add a page mask
  • Read on hover (reads aloud text where mouse pointer is hovered over)

To use it, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click the “content” button at the top of the course page.
  3. Click the applicable module.
  4. Click a topic that is a web page file.Topic and file type
  5. Click the “play” button to listen to text being read aloud.

ReadSpeaker play button

ReadSpeaker toolbar overview

DocReader

DocReader reads aloud documents added to the “content” area of a course.

Features:

  • Download a document as a MP3 file for offline listening
  • Add a ruler
  • Mask a page
  • Highlight sections of text
  • Collect and download highlights (great for capturing main ideas and supporting details)
  • Change voice, reading speed, reading area, and font type and size (view in text mode)

To use it, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click the “content” button at the top of the course page.
  3. Click the applicable module.
  4. Click a topic that is a document e.g. MS Word, PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, or RTFTopic document type
  5. Wait for the document to load and then scroll down to the bottom of the document window.
  6. Click the button, “open with docReader”."Open with docReader" button
  7. Click the “listen” button.DocReader toolbar

Limitations

WebReader and DocReader cannot read the course home page, descriptions in the “content” area, a blog, forum, survey, ePortfolio, chat, assignment or external websites.

A few WebReader features have been disabled to help address quiz integrity:

  • mp3 download (available though for docReader)
  • Translate
  • Dictionary

Should students require additional accommodations, they can contact Accessibility Services.