Accessible Course Design

Just like in our face-to-face classes, we need to consider how accessible our online teaching materials may be to those with differing abilities and learning needs.

General Recommendations

Where possible, use the same format for similar materials throughout your course so that students learn quickly where to look for important information or how to access key functions. For example, weekly discussion forums should use a similar format from week to week; assignment guidelines for different assignments should have a similar format so that deadlines and key information can be easily found.

Provide options for learning by presenting content in multiple ways (e.g., in a combination of text, video, audio, and/or image format). See specific suggestions for providing content in different formats below.

Assume students have a wide range of technology skills and plan to provide instruction or guides for any technology students need to participate in your online course. While you can generally assume that upper year students will be familiar with the basics in Moodle, you may need to provide information about more advanced Moodle features or other educational technology.

Don’t necessarily assume that low-tech = low quality. For some activities and learning outcomes, low tech can not only be more accessible, but also more effective. This article on “platforming down” makes a good case for low tech as accessible practice.

This resource from eCampus Ontario gives good advice on how to create lower bandwidth versions of various types of content.

Creating Accessible Texts
Accessible image, video and audio resources
Accessible Video-Conferencing
Sharing Accessible Library Resources