In eLearning development, we need to understand the needs of a diverse population of learners.
We need to think about the types of disabilities or the barriers the learners could face.
Accessible eLearning ensures that all learners have a barrier-free opportunity to participate in learning activities.
Barriers to learner could be visual, hearing or cognitive impairments
The best ways to make sure eLearning is accessible is to...
- Remove any time restrictions within the course. This allows the learner to control the speed and pace of the course
- Add in a text equivalent – include closed captioning, or a downloadable transcript of the audio or video files
- Any images used need to have descriptive text or alt text
- Pay attention to colours and fonts as some are hard to read. Be mindful of colour contrast for those who are colour-blind or have trouble determining different colours
- Remember drop down menus are not accessible because the screen reader will interpret them as one object
- Any use of PDFs need to be saved as searchable text and not images
- Try to avoid complex interactions when developing accessible eLearning material
- Design the course so that it is accessible using a keyboard
OVERALL Put Yourself In The Learner’s Position
What will they see first? How will they know what to do next? Can you follow your instructions? Can you navigate the screen with a screen reader? Is the course keyboard friendly?
While accommodating the needs of people with disabilities in online learning environments, it also serves as a best practice for creating and developing learning opportunities that are accessible to everyone.