What you will find in this resource
In this resource, you will find information on accessibility and the Brightspace HTML editor which is the Brightspace content creation tool.
You will come across the HTML editor in Brightspace when you create new pages in the content area, but also in other tools you might use on a day to day basis, such as Announcements, Assignments, Discussions and Quizzes.
This guide will provide a quick introduction to accessibility considerations and features in the Brightspace HTML editor.
For a full guide on the Brightspace HTML editor, review our Brightspace Text (HTML) editor guidance.
How to use this resource
How to navigate the resource:
- Use the menu on the left-hand side to jump to a particular page (1), or
- Use the arrows in the top right-hand side corner of the resource to navigate to the next page within the resource (2).
How to print the resource:
- Use the print button in the top right-hand side corner of the resource to print the resource as a PDF (3).
The good news is that there are a number of easy things you can do when you design content using the Brightspace HTML editor to make your content accessible.
Below is a brief overview of some of the considerations you should keep in mind when you design learning materials with the Brightspace HTML editor. For a more detailed list, refer to the guide on Accessibility in digital content.
1. Structure your text
- Include headings to break your text into more manageable chunks and provide a clear structure for the reader.
- Where you can, include lists in your learning materials to break down content into more manageable chunks which are easier to process.
- Text in your learning materials should be left-aligned.
2. Font size, type and colour
- Choose an appropriate font size and font type to help students with physical and cognitive impairments. The minimum font size should be 12 and your font types should be non-serif, i.e. Arial, Calibri, etc.
- Wherever possible, avoid underlining text and italics. Underlined content might look like a link and text in italics is harder to read for students with physical and cognitive impairments.
- Ensure that there is sufficient contrast between the font and the background colour. Don't use colour alone to convey meaning.
- When providing hyperlinks, avoid linking to text that says 'Click here'. Instead integrate links into the flow of the text, for instance: If you would like to access more useful Brightspace guidance, visit our Brightspace guidance portal.
- If you want students to be able to access hyperlinks when they print content, include the hyperlink in brackets: If you would like to access more useful Brightspace guidance, visit our Brightspace guidance portal (https://showcase.uhi.ac.uk/brightspace-support-portal/).
- When using tables, keep them as simple as possible.
- Include table numbers and captions.
Images, figures, charts and diagrammes
- Provide Alt text for any images you include. Alt text is a phrase / description which explains what the image shows. Alt text is particularly useful to students with vision impairment who use screen reader software.
- Include captions and numbers for images, figures and diagrammes.
- Provide a content summary for charts and diagrammes.
- Wherever possible include transcripts and captions with any of your videos.
Features of the Brightspace HTML editor
When you work in the Brightspace HTML editor - be it to create a content page, in a description or in any of the assessment tools in Brightspace - you will always see the same layout.
In Figure 1, you can see the text editing and formatting features available to you in the Brightspace HTML editor. You can click on the image to enlarge it.
Insert Stuff button allows you to insert a variety of elements including video notes, YouTube videos, videos from the UHI streaming server MEDIAL, ClickView videos, and videos via embed codes.
The Insert Image button allows you to insert an image by uploading it from your computer or by using a URL.
The Insert Links button allows you to insert a link to internal content or activities or external content.
Font and Formatting features similar to MS Word etc. allows you to format your content, including bolding, tabs, lists and numbering, font type, size and colour.
Additional elements you can add are tables and equations. Next to these, you will also find options to redo, cut as well as copy and paste.
In the bottom right hand corner you will find features to check spelling and accessibility, preview and view full screen.
(Reference for Figure 1 and the description of features: downloadable D2L HTML Editor Quick Reference guide)
Figure 1: Overview of the Brightspace HTML features
How to check the accessibility of your Brightspace HTML page
Check whether your page is accessible using the built-in accessibility checker
You can get information whether your page is accessible or not while you work on it. Simply click on the accessibility button in the bottom right-hand side corner of the screen. A pop-up window will open and will let you know about potential accessibility issues.