Some folks like to complicate everything they touch, like some abominable King Midas of clutter. They stretch five-minute stories into two-hour epics. They create problems in every project under the guise of trying to help. They treat the simplest of topics with a level of complexity and exclusivity usually reserved for wine and avante garde experimental films.
When it comes to eLearning, this is not a mindset to be encouraged. The world of eLearning is concerned with clarifying, simplifying, and generally making things more accessible. There’s no point in making a course that’s needlessly challenging to navigate or understand, and it’s even more problematic create something that ends up being exclusionary to those with disabilities.
There are many conditions that can impair and otherwise complicate the eLearning experience, so it’s important to be mindful of how that affects learners and how to simplify the experience when those cases occur.
With so many courses containing visual components, it’s important to recognize what this means for the visually impaired. This isn’t to say that you should make your courses less visual, but rather to be aware of how to make it an engaging experience for those with visual disabilities. Many visually impaired people use a device called a screen reader that looks through the HTML of the page and describes its appearance to the user in audio. Some markups work better than others with these devices, so be sure to format your course so that a screen reader can repeat the information in a way that is descriptive and coherent to the listening audience.
In other cases, the same visual components that complicate things for a visually impaired audience can actually be a tremendous boon to those with hearing impairments. This is why it’s a good idea to have visually engaging course, because if done correctly, it takes nothing away from the experience of those who can’t see, and aids those who can’t hear. While you’re at it, include an option for synchronized captions to follow along with any narrations or voiceovers. Not only is this more inclusive to those with hearing impairments, but it’s also useful to those without.
These are just a couple examples of conditions that influence the user experience of your eLearning courses. Our friends at Trivantis have recently released a free ebook titled, “Making eLearning Accessible”, focusing on applying these principles and many others to the Lectora authoring tool. Download it today for more insight into the world of eLearning accessibility.