Let’s Create Inclusive Course Content!
As an educator, you are both a curator and creator of course content. Following common universal design practices will help ensure that your students can access this content regardless of their abilities or disabilities, and foster a positive learning environment for all.
- Get Good Content
- Add Content to Resources
- Build Your Lesson Page
In order to be more inclusive in our approach to course design, below are examples of instructional methods that employ principles of universal design. They make course content and activities accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, ethnic backgrounds, language skills, and learning styles.
- Delivery Methods. Alternate delivery methods, including lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, internet-based interaction, and fieldwork. Make sure each is accessible to students with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, interests, and previous experiences. Face the class and speak clearly in an environment that is comfortable and free from distractions. Use multiple modes to deliver content. Provide printed materials that summarize content that is delivered orally.
- Information Resources. Use captioned videotapes. Make printed materials available in electronic format. Provide text descriptions of graphics presented on web pages. Provide printed materials early to allow students to prepare for the topic to be presented. Create printed and web-based materials in simple, intuitive, and consistent formats. Arrange content in order of importance.
- Interaction. Encourage different ways for students to interact with each other and with you. These methods may include in-class questions and discussion, group work, and Internet-based communications. Strive to make them accessible to everyone, without accommodations.
- Feedback. Provide effective prompting during an activity, and feedback after the assignment is complete.
- Assessment. Provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate knowledge. For example, besides traditional tests and papers, consider group work, demonstrations, portfolios, and presentations as options for demonstrating knowledge.
The first step in course development is often curating content. This can include gathering articles, locating website links, images, and other media such as audio files, and recordings. The question becomes, making your materials into "good" content. Good content includes documents scanned as selectable text, videos with captions, and images with alternative text.
- Library: The Marist College Library offers a variety of ways to add good content to your course.
- Instructional Designer: Contact the Digital Education Department to work with our experts.
- Disability Services: Reach out to the Accommodations and Accessibility at Marist College
- Following the steps on our "Creating Accessible Documents" add the accessible content to your course iLearn course site via the resources folder.
- These are the steps to upload your iLearn content into your resources folders for the class.
- Use the Accessibility Checker inside the Rich Text Editor of iLearn to quickly fix the most common accessibility issues.
Building Accessible Course Content in Lessons
Improving the accessibility of content is about reducing basic barriers to comprehension, such as providing alternative text for images, so that those who cannot see the images can grasp their meaning. Similarly, making captions or transcript text available for a video file can make it accessible to someone who cannot hear audio.
The iLearn Rich Text Editor in the Lessons tool offers several ways to build accessible content. Like MS-Word, the tool has many similar icons. The content should be organized in an understandable order using Headings to define the areas. You can even copy and paste your accessible document into the text editor to keep the formatting.
- A link to the Rich Text Editor Basics (also available as a Rich Text Editor Basics PDF)
- Copy and Paste into the Rich Text editor from your accessible MS-Word document (Crtl + C; Ctrl + V)
- Link to the content in resources
- You can also link to the accessible Resource content directly in the Lessons tool or embed an accessible PDF, or video so it displays on the weekly Lesson page screen.
- You can find more about the many available options for embedding video on the Lesson pages from our "Creating Accessible Videos" page
The iLearn Accessibility Checker:
Use the iLearn the Accessibility Checker to inspect the accessibility level of content that you have created using the Rich Text Editor tool deployed inside the many other tools of iLearn, and immediately solve any issues that are found.
The Accessibility Checker presents issues with each item in the editor one at a time. For many issues, the Accessibility Checker gives you a Quick fix option. The accessibility checker has multiple Quick fix options to correct accessibility issues. The following are a few examples of the most common areas where accessibility issues may exist.
iLearn External Tools: Accessibility for the End User
iLearn offers many external tools that integrated with iLearn, build a great student experience. Each of these tools offers tips and tricks for user accessibility.