How to Meet Modern Online Course Accessibility Needs
One of the driving factors of online course success in today’s learning programs is accessibility. Course accessibility is essential in providing readily available and consistent content to a wide audience of learners. In order to provide accessible content, your Learning Management System (LMS) must offer the flexibility and variety needed to incorporate tools that can support multiple methods of learning and delivery, allowing you to ensure a smooth and engaging experience for all of your learners.
Making Your Content More Accessible
In order to provide accessible course content, there are a number of details you should consider when building your learning programs. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are the components within your course accessible to learners with visual, physical, speech, cognitive, auditory and neurological impairments?
- Is my course descriptive, easy to navigate, and intuitive in design?
- Put yourself in the learners’ shoes: can you follow the course instructions while seeing things from their perspective (literally)?
With many organizations more heavily incorporating remote learning into their training programs, these questions might need to be reevaluated.
Below are a few ways to ensure your content is consistently accessible for your learners.
Provide Multiple Forms of Content
It’s no secret that the needs of learners have evolved dramatically in recent years, presenting a demand for increasingly interactive experiences that can offer visual, audio, or gamified functionality. However, what works best for one learner might not be the best option for another, especially when learning in remote environments. It’s important to evaluate accessibility with a fresh perspective. Understand that the needs of learners vary and having content readily available in multiple formats, not just what you expect will be most engaging for learners, is crucial in ensuring a fair and comprehensive learning experience for everyone.
Evaluate All Aspects of Design Elements
While it can be fun to optimize and beautify your course with funky colors, fonts, or functionality, course accessibility should be your top priority when building out the look and design of your course. Consider font size, colors used on the webpage or behind text, and whether your course contains potentially distracting or even unrecognizable content to some learners. Design your course so that it is accessible using a keyboard or incorporate responsive design for those using tablets or phones. Furthermore, avoid complex interactions; interacting with learning animation such as drag and drop interactions aren’t always feasible for learners with disabilities.
Ensure Interoperability with Accessible Tools
Interoperability is extremely important for accessibility, particularly when supporting learners with disabilities. Your LMS must be compatible with assistive technology, such as screen readers or physical hardware devices that help learners interact with the content. To ensure seamless integrations, consider an open-source product like Moodle™ or one of the Open LMS solutions available.
Consider these important factors to build courses with accessibility in mind. In order to provide an equally engaging and impactful learning experience to all constituents, it is important that all your learners feel comfortable and supported when interacting with your course content. Learn more about Accessibility in Moodle™ here, or watch this on-demand webinar to hear directly from the experts: Ally for Moodle™: Making Digital Course Content More Accessible.
Join us on World Accessibility Day!
World Accessibility Day is on May 20th, and Open LMS is hosting a handful of Community sessions focusing on accessibility in your courses. Join the session for your time zone and we hope to see you there!
- US – 12pm EST – Join here
- EMEA – 12pm BST – Join here
- APAC – 11am ACST – Join here
- LAC – 1pm COT – Join here