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Digital accessibility guide

Explore how to create, design and structure your content to ensure that is is accessible to your students.

Provide an accessible structure and layout for your Moodle module

Feedback from students on what makes a good Moodle page highlighted the importance of clearly labelled content.  Students appreciate modules which are easy to navigate and organised so that resources were easy to find. Some tips:

  • Organise your module into meaningful sections with unique names.
  • Use descriptive titles and labels to put things in an order with related resources grouped together.
  • Use meaningful names for files and activities, such as Reading for Week 1 Topic X instead of File3.
  • Use the default font in Moodle. It is readable with enough contrast from the background.
  • Use Moodle’s integrated headers.
  • Make important information easy to find. Highlight the current section as live and use text styles in the text editor to add emphasis.
  • Provide descriptive hyperlinks that can be understood out of context.
  • Ensure that module content can be navigated using a keyboard only.
  • Provide a staff email and phone number on each Moodle module for students to contact if they find content that is not accessible to them.
  • Our guide on Designing for Diverse Learners on Moodle provides more tips on designing your Moodle module.

Provide accessible content in Moodle

Maximise your content and ensure that it is accessible to the greatest number of students. You will need to consider how you write your content as well as how you structure your documents to ensure that the content is accessible.

  • Write accessible documents (from gov.uk)
  • Create accessible Word documents (from City Library, link below)
  • Create accessible presentations (From City Library, link below)
  • Add meaningful alternative (alt) text to all images.
  • If you use images as teaching resources, you might find the Poet tool useful to learn how to describe your images effectively for students using a screen reader.
  • All video and audio content should be uploaded to Kaltura MediaSpace and linked to Moodle so that students can stream the video resources. Add captions/transcripts to audio and video resources.
  • Create captions with Kaltura Reach.
  • Real time captions in PowerPoint.
  • Present content in different formats to cater for individual ways of learning.
  • Present content as accessible PDFs to ensure that it is available to students on mobile devices.
  • Include an editable version of the files for students to tailor to their viewing requirements and to take notes during lectures/seminars.
  • Reduce PowerPoint and Word file sizes to make it easier for students to access them on mobile devices. 
  • Present content that you want students to fill in (e.g. Coursework Coversheets) as Word documents.

Provide accessible activities online

  • Emphasise that participation and content are of interest rather than grammar/spelling during online discussions. These can form part of your guidelines for participating in discussions. 
  • Provide clear written summary feedback even when a face-to-face feedback discussion takes place. 
  • Proactively manage online group discussions; offer clear tasks and outcomes. This can help students understand when and why to make a contribution.  
  • For online learning activities, shorter, concretely achievable tasks can be most productive. 
  • Communicate deadlines well in advance and clearly describe academic tasks.

Text editor in Moodle

The Accessibility checker, located in every text editor box in Moodle (see icon below), can be used to test if there is sufficient contrast between text in the foreground and the background colour. The screen-reader icon checks if the links and alt text are suitable for screen readers. 

HTML editing options with descriptions