Universal Design/508 Compliance Checklist for Online Teaching

By Associate Professor of Classical Languages and Literature Tina Passman, University of Maine.

As you design your online course, please keep the following in mind. This will ensure both a smooth delivery to all learners and the minimal need for “retrofitting” your course AFTER you’ve put it together.

Course design:

____ fonts are simple, clear (Arial, Verdana, etc.) and 12-14 point whenever possible

____ high contrast color scheme throughout

____ avoids colors invisible to those who are colorblind

____ uses simple, consistent iconography

____ is easily navigated by all users

____ is intuitively designed

____ does not assume technological literacy beyond the beginners level, especially considering the demographic online instructor serves

Technology and bandwidth:

____ takes into account older computers with older operating systems (use .doc and .rtf when not using html)

____ provide video assignments accessible through links, rather than viseostreaming. Many areas do not have bandwidth sufficient for continuous viewing via videostreaming. Alternatively, put videostreamed material on reserve on DVDs.

____ videos, both lectures and clips, are captioned or a transcript is provided. If this is impossible or too costly, and alternate assignment is available for those who cannot access the material.

____ audio material is accompanied by a script, for those with low hearing and for students who do not have good sound quality on their computers. This also reinforces learning for all learners.

____ all images are provided with simple alt tags that can be easily understood by the learner with low vision. This includes charts and graphs.

____ embedded slide shows are readable by a screen reader, i.e., are also provided with alt tags and descriptions, easily achieved through software such as LecSharePro.