Accessible design is key in lowering the barriers of engagement with learning while enabling high achievement. Here are some actionable ideas to support you in ensuring that all of your students can access your teaching on Aula.
- Audio, Video, Images, and Formatting
- Signposting and Language
- Interaction and Engagement
- Feedback and assessment
Audio, Video, Images, and Formatting
- Add captions to videos - check out these guidelines for effective captioning which have been created by The Described and Captioned Media Program. You can caption your videos for free, for example via Zoom and Echo 360
- Include transcripts for audio and video - for instance, via Zoom and Echo 360
- Add alternate text to images. If you want more detail on this, check out the Web Accessibility tutorial on images created by the World Wide Consortium
- Avoid flashing images
- Use high contrast colour combinations
- Ensure consistent formatting
Signposting and Language
- Summarise the destination of links - in general, avoid hyperlinking out from phrases such as ‘read this article’.
- Help students navigate the learning journey by using content which is set out logically and via clear instructions, including where, how and when students should engage.
- Display and check the understanding of the learning objectives regularly. Split the module objectives into short-term objectives and link objectives to outcomes.
- Support students to reach short and long-term outcomes and provide scaffolds, such as models, examples, guides, checklists, templates and reflection points to enable success.
- Actively check comprehension and clarify support pathways.
- Avoid unnecessary jargon.
- Leverage social learning.
- Be approachable and available.
- Create a welcoming and supportive climate.
- Involve all participants in activities and discussions.
Interaction and Engagement
- Cultivate a community of learners.
- Leverage collaborative learning - for instance, provide tasks which involve cooperation and group work.
- Ensure communication is inclusive and accessible.
- Use a variety of content which is relevant to your students, contextualised and includes diverse examples and perspectives.
- Use a variety of modes for the content and delivery of your teaching and provide multiple presentations of key concepts, including both synchronous and asynchronous delivery.
- Provide problems and ideas for students to approach in imaginative ways - for example, by using applied learning principles.
Feedback and assessment
- Clarify expectations, standards, methods and deadlines before assessments take place and provide models and samples
- Regularly monitor student knowledge and provide frequent mastery-focused feedback
- Encourage efficacy by asking questions, using self-assessment and peer feedback, by linking feedback to the short and long-term learning objectives and outcomes and by providing representations of progress
- Provide a variety of assessments methods and points - for example, collaborative work, portfolios, presentations and other means of demonstrating learning
These tips are derived from the Universal Design for Learning framework and principles. If you want more information, have a look around the Universal Design for Learning on the Cast website.