Three Ways to Make Your Online Course Accessible

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Designing an online course can be very difficult. There’s so many moving parts! And one of the worst feelings is finding out after it’s all done that it’s a flop.

One of the most common ways online courses flop is by failing to be accessible to everyone.

Here are three tips to make sure everyone can participate in your course with ease.

Make the course as multimodal as possible

When you’re making an online course, it’s common knowledge that including audio, video, and words on the screen to help people learn fully. This practice is also very important when it comes to accessibility. The more modes in which people are able to engage with your course, the better. Your course should never be set up so that someone who can’t see the screen or hear the audio won’t understand the course.

Another part of this is including engaging features like games or clickable items for people with ADHD and other things that can make it challenging for them to focus. The course won’t be very helpful if people can’t make it through to the end.

Allow options the user can toggle

Because people have different needs and preferences, it can be good to allow some of your accessibility features to be toggled on or off. Some options would be closed captions, translation to other languages, or even a choice when it comes to sound effects that could be bothersome to some people. 

It’s good to allow your audience to be able to make certain choices, because it can help them to feel more engaged when they know they’ve tailored the course to their needs and preferences.

Make sure the user can skip items they may be unable to do

Similarly, it’s important to let the user skip certain things that may be inaccessible for them. For example, if you included a game that requires users to see the screen, make it skippable so no one gets stuck. The ideal situation, of course, would be that there would be nothing that people would have to skip, but the second best option is not to trap them into the online course. If you’ve ever been unable to click “next,” you know this pain.

This idea can tie in with the last point, because you could even make things like games able to be toggled on or off. This helps with the personalization of the course and provides accessibility. People like to feel in control, and choices like these can help the course be a pleasant experience for them.

Non-Tech Moment

One stress-relieving strategy as you create your course is to frequently consult with people who have certain disadvantages that may affect their experience of your course. If you bring them into the process early and often, it will make your final prototype much closer to being ready to launch.

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