Read time: 4 minutes
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Let’s imagine you’re the owner of a restaurant. You’d want it to be welcoming to everyone, right?
If a customer comes in a wheelchair to your restaurant, you’d want them to be able to enter your restaurant, manoeuvre around the tables in the restaurant and go to the toilet without any problems.
You’d want them to have the same enjoyable experience a potential customer without a wheelchair would have.
Now you might think, Yes, Mark, that’s pretty obvious for my imaginary restaurant.
Sure, I understand, but did you ask yourself the same question about the e-learning courses you’re creating? Are they accessible to people with disabilities or limitations?
You want to create accessible e-learning courses that are accessible to everyone, including people who are colour-blind or visually impaired.
Did you know that in the United States, 1 in every 4 adults has a disability? That’s why accessibility in e-learning is crucial. Accessibility makes online learning usable by people with disabilities. It ensures that all learners can participate fully and access the course.
and that’s why your e-learning should be POUR
If you want your e-learning modules to be fully accessible, they must meet WCAG guidelines. But that’s quite a list. if you want to make quick steps, ensure your e-learning is POUR.
POUR stands for:
Now let’s look at each category to see what the terms mean and how you can apply them in your next e-learning course to make it more accessible.
Perceivable: is all about introducing the information and components of our site in a way that all users can understand.
You can accomplish this in your e-learning courses by making sure that all non-text content has a text alternative so that people who follow your course with a screen reader also be able to understand what the course is about.
In Storyline, you can give your images an alt text. You can do this by selecting the image and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter, and entering a text that describes the images a good as possible.
Operable: means that users must be able to use your e-learning course, and it cannot require interaction that a learner cannot perform. So, for instance, a learner who can’t handle a mouse must go through your e-learning course with his keyboard.
Therefore it’s good to look at the focus order of the items on your slide. This means a user can use the TAB key on his keyboard to navigate through your slide. It’s important that the elements on your slider are in a logical order.
If this isn’t the case, you can adjust the focus order by clicking Focus order in the Home tab in Storyline and choosing to create a custom focus order.
Understandable: this means that your e-learning course’s information and operation must be understandable.
Try to look through the eyes of a learner. Is the design of the e-learning course completely logical for a user? If not, you can add instructions, for instance, if a user has to answer a question or a video must be played.
Robust: this is the last one. Robust means that content in your e-learning course must be robust enough to be interpreted reliably by various user agents, including assistive technologies.
For instance, screen readers or other tools that people with disabilities can use to operate your e-learning.
There is much more to say about e-learning and accessibility. But if you keep the POUR guidelines in mind as you build your next e-learning course, you will make a good start on the road to e-learning courses that everyone can use.