Unlock The Power Of Inclusive And Accessible E-Learning
In the post-pandemic world, more and more learning initiatives are being taken online, and it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone has equal access to learning opportunities. This is where accessibility, diversity and inclusivity come into the picture. These three factors ensure that everyone gets the chance to have a positive and effective learning experience, regardless of where they come from or what their abilities are.
First up, let’s chat about accessibility. What we’re talking about here is making sure that online learning materials can be used by anyone and everyone. This includes:
- Learners with impairments
- Learners who speak different languages
- Learners with different literacy levels
- Learners of different technical abilities and experiences
Here are a few easy tips to make e-learning accessible to more people:
- Use closed captions and transcripts in video and audio content for learners with hearing impairments
- Provide alternatives formats like braille, large print and audio descriptions for learners with visual impairments
- Make sure your materials work with screen readers, text-to-speech software and other assistive technologies
- Use simple language and avoid jargon to make sure learners with cognitive or language impairments can understand
- Design your e-learning platform and materials to be easy to navigate and use for learners with motor or visual impairments
By making e-learning more accessible, we make it easier for learners to navigate the learning experience, and we give more people access to the same learning opportunities.
Inclusivity & diversity
To make a learning experience or platform inclusive, you need to make sure every learner feels valued and supported. Here’s how you can do this:
- Make sure your case studies and scenarios are diverse and relatable for your target audience
- Use learning materials that are relatable to a range of cultures, races, genders and ethnicities
- Create inclusive curriculums
- Use inclusive language that uplifts and recognises different groups
Why are these concepts so important and relevant in a learning environment?
Let’s face it - if your learners log onto a learning platform for the first time and they see jargon, content that’s difficult to navigate, examples they can’t relate to and things they can’t understand, they’re going to switch off and your learning initiative will have failed from the start.
So, how do we fix this? Imagine, instead, that each learner logs on and feels their needs have been acknowledged, that the content is relatable, digestible and easy to understand, and that they are supported from the get-go. That means you’ve successfully jumped the first hurdle.
Promoting these factors in e-learning also leads to improved engagement, because when learners feel like their needs are being met they're more likely to be motivated to learn. If learners are more invested in the learning process, they’re more likely to remember what they learn, so it’s a win-win situation.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not always possible to cater for every single learner’s needs, but if you’re keeping accessibility, diversity and inclusivity in mind whilst creating a learning plan, you’re well on your way to providing learners with a fair, effective and positive learning environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive.