A True Partner in Making Education Available to Every Learner
The college’s efforts to emphasize accessibility have been bolstered due to the inherent accessibility of the Brightspace platform itself. Their instructors’ incentive to deliver accessible course content was also enhanced with a Brightspace solution.
Further driving the adoption was the reliability gained from knowing any new versions of the platform would be designed with accessibility as a preemptive focus.
Standardized HTML templates supporting and enabling accessibility criteria and practices, respectively, reduce the possibility that new content will not meet accessibility requirements. The HTML editor in the Brightspace Learning Environment is designed with accessible content creation in mind: it prompts users for alt text when they add images, includes built-in color contrast checking, allows for the incorporation of content directly from word processors without requiring an external editor, and uses semantic styles by default.
The platform also dramatically reduces the complexity of authoring accessible mathematical equations, through MathML. With the flexibility to adapt to individual needs, the Brightspace platform enables instructors to make time accommodations (for example, on an individual learner’s quiz) directly within the assessment, rather than having to create multiple versions.
In addition to minimizing problems with students being timed out of evaluations, the ability to combine personalization with accessibility best practices may have contributed to a reduction in PCC’s LMS-related support requests.
Enrollment in PCC’s distance learning courses has seen steady growth since implementation. Going forward, their technological foundation allows for the targeting of more stringent accessibility benchmarks—for example, WCAG 2.0 AA, which is a highly-regarded, international standard set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
By partnering with D2L, PCC has been able to establish an approach that is powering the learning experience far beyond the minimum standards of legal compliance and positioning the school for continued success in their efforts to make education truly accessible for every student.