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Faculty Guide for Online Teaching

.Text Formatting Best Practices.

  • Use Structured Headings
    When making posts on Canvas, use consistent structure with headings pre-formatted by Canvas. Default text is called 'paragraph,' but you can use the dropdown to add heading formatting when needed. This is helpful for both visual clarity and screen readers.
    Screenshot of Canvas discussion box with style drop down
  • Use Canvas' Accessibility Checker
    When you update in Canvas using a rich text box (like the one pictured above), you can click this tool (icon is a person in a circle) for posts before publishing. Read How do I use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor as an instructor? for more information from Canvas.

.General Web Content Best Practices.

  • Hyperlinks > Use Descriptive Language
    Rather than using 'click here' or the actual hyperlink, when adding links to posts it is best to use descriptive language.
  • Images > Create Alt Text + Descriptive Text
    Add brief alt text (alternative text) to any image used for your course to make content screen reader friendly. For more information on writing alt text well, please see Penn State's Image Alt Text page on their Accessibility guide.
    • Canvas defaults to using the title of the image file as the alt text. If you need to edit the alt text and the image is in a post, you can click on the image and choose "options" to customize it.‚Äč
  • Webpages > Be Mindful of Fonts and Colors
    The guidelines above are still applicable you are creating your own webpages outside of campus, but also consider these design elements:

.Disability and Learning Resource Center (DLRC).

Check out the DLRC's page on this guide under Student Needs, which includes:

For other questions, contact the DLRC via email:

.Additional Resources on Accessibility.