Since we’ve been discussing technical and practical ways to improve accessibility in online learning, I offer my story to give life to what we do.
Many of us might have been in this same situation as former students or even current professionals in an online academic environment:
You are navigating your way through an online course and a question pops into your head. Maybe it’s “Don’t I have a paper due this week?” or “What is Spring Break?” So you navigate to the course’s syllabus section and click on the link to navigate that document.
Being an occasional web designer, text styles have been pretty deeply ingrained in me since the days of Netscape, AOL, and Lycos. (Did I just date myself?) I’ll operate on the assumption that for most folks, text styles include 3 or 4 categories: bold, underline, italic, and perhaps color.
For weeks we’ve been talking about Accessibility. Though at one point this was a highly under-discussed topic, it is one that deserves the attention it is now getting.
When designing online courses, it can be very tempting to use a lot of color to catch your students’ attention, point out important information, and dress up your course content. Unfortunately, even the smallest choices in color can present challenges for students. One of our greatest challenges when designing online courses is designing for “readability.” Readability standards ask that content of your courses be written in clear, precise language that is well structured.
Over the course of next several months, IDT will be bringing the WSU community a lot of information about accessibility. Accessibility is just as important in our online campus as it is on the physical one, and because so much of what we do online has something to do with instruction, it might be even more critical.
We’re back with more good news for working towards accessibility. Not too long ago, I posted the Accessibility Check blog, where we walked through the Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 Accessibility Checker tool for PC users. Well more good news is here for all those who use Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Good News PC users! Did you know that MS Office 2010 and 2013 for PC have Accessibility Checkers built into Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to help you identify potential accessibility problems?
Not all assumptions are wrong; but not all assumptions are right, either. So what about the assumptions we make every day; the ones we may not even realize that we are making?