Have you ever wondered how accessible your online content is?
For the able, the internet is this fun, engaging, and colourful place where you can learn anything, be entertained for hours, and pick up new skills however you want or please.
But what if the internet isn’t that easy?
As the world focuses on becoming increasingly inclusive year-on-year, marketers, creators, and businesses are starting to realise that so much of their content can exclude so many, and this is especially the case in the realm of online education.
Digital learning has skyrocketed, with e-learning retention rates soaring 50% more than traditional learning methods, with over 100 million students enrolled in open online courses worldwide.
With such vast numbers, we must cater to all learners, regardless of their abilities or location.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the stressful realisation that it may first appear. Let’s dive in and explore some of the cool insights that can help you make eLearning content that’s truly accessible.
Accessibility – More than a Buzzword
When we say “accessibility,” we’re not just talking about some latest trends that companies jump on to make themselves come across as more inclusive.
We’re talking about the fundamental principle of actually making your e-learning platform and content available and functional for all users, regardless of any physical or linguistic challenges they may have.
This could include individuals who are visually impaired, hard of hearing, or who speak different languages.
Again, let’s clarify that accessibility is not just about ticking off compliance boxes or satisfying legal requirements. It’s about far more than that.
It’s about inclusivity and expanding the reach of your educational content to as many people as possible. It’s about tapping into the potential of diverse audiences and breaking down barriers to education.
Imagine the power of delivering your e-learning content to someone who speaks a different language or requires a screen reader to navigate the web. When your platform’s accessible, you’re promoting equal opportunities for learning and knowledge acquisition.
Moreover, accessibility is about fairness and ensuring that everyone, irrespective of their abilities or circumstances, has the same opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. It is about promoting diversity and inclusivity, values that should be at the core of every learning platform.
By focusing on accessibility, you’re not just expanding your user base but also promoting a more inclusive, equitable learning environment.
And this is a win-win for everyone involved.
Not only do people who need accessibility support able to access content that they wouldn’t have been able to previously, but you also get their custom, loyalty, trust, and an improved reputation.
Let’s explore some of the ways you can go about it.
The Best Ways to Make Your E-Learning Content More Accessible
Let’s delve into the concept of ‘accessibility’ in e-learning, highlighting its importance beyond compliance and illustrating its role in promoting inclusivity and fairness in the educational landscape.
Subtitles and Transcriptions – The Unsung Heroes
When it comes to e-learning, the importance of subtitles and transcriptions can’t be overstated.
Consider a scenario where a learner tries to follow a training video but struggles due to excessive background noise or hearing difficulties.
Or perhaps they’re not native English speakers and find it easier to understand the material if they can read it in tandem with listening.
This is where subtitles and transcriptions serve as unsung heroes.
By providing a text version of your audio content, they ensure inclusivity and comprehension for all, creating a more enriched learning experience that respects each learner’s unique needs and circumstances.
And you have lots of opportunities here, whether you’re providing open or closed captions or even just text highlights emphasising your points on screen.
Audio Description and DTP – Adding the Finishing Touches
Audio description is an often-overlooked aspect of accessibility.
By narrating important visual cues, it aids visually impaired users, ensuring they don’t miss any critical information.
Similarly, Desktop Publishing (DTP) plays a vital role in creating an accessible layout for e-learning content. It ensures logical content organisation that is easy to navigate, which is particularly crucial for learners using screen readers.
DTP and audio description together form a powerful duo that enhances the e-learning experience by making it accessible, logical, and user-friendly for all.
While it’s not the most common accessibility strategy out there, it’s undoubtedly one of the most up-and-coming, and we’re set to see big things in this area over the coming years.
Speak Their Language with Translation Services
So, you’ve made your content, and it’s out there for the world to engage with. However, if your content is produced in English, your content’s only accessible to about 13% of the world’s population.
If you want to reach learners globally, say hello to translation services!
Mr Beast, the famous YouTuber with 156 million subscribers, has showcased the effect of this beautifully.
By translating the years of already recorded content he has into other languages, he’s been able to draw in masses from around the world to come and engage with content that’s only been slightly tweaked over time.
Some of the main languages include Spanish, French, Japanese, Hindi, and German, with the top 12 of these channels drawing in another 56 million subscribers and over 400 million views every 30 days.
The same approach can be used on your eLearning content.
Translating your content into multiple languages invites learners from diverse backgrounds to engage with your platform.
It’s an initiative that screams inclusivity, broadening educational opportunities and making knowledge more accessible. With translation services, you’re not just offering an e-learning platform but a global, inclusive e-learning experience.
Voiceovers – Bring Personality to Your Content
The power of voiceovers in e-learning should not be underestimated.
We’ve all been there—sitting through monotonous eLearning content, struggling to stay engaged.
Voiceovers can effectively combat this issue by infusing personality and tone into your content. They make the learning experience more enjoyable and engaging, aiding comprehension and retention.
Furthermore, voiceovers can be recorded in multiple languages, thus enhancing the accessibility and inclusivity of your content.
In essence, voiceovers are a strategic tool that can breathe life into your e-learning content while also promoting global reach.
And if you can get someone really engaging to play the role, you can easily take your content to the next level.
So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to making your eLearning content accessible and inclusive. It’s a lot to take in, but the good news is, you don’t have to go at it alone!
At VoiceBox, we’re experts in creating and adapting content for maximum accessibility. From subtitled video content to translated course materials, audio descriptions to voiceovers in multiple languages, and transcription services to thoughtful DTP—our wide range of services are designed with a singular goal in mind: to ensure no learner is left behind.
We’re more than just a service provider.
We’re a partner in your journey toward creating an inclusive eLearning environment, advocating for equal access to education, and championing diversity and inclusivity. Our services go beyond the standard provisions. We’re continually innovating, pushing boundaries, and leading the charge in developing solutions that foster learning for everyone everywhere.
Remember, accessibility in eLearning isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s about levelling the playing field, ensuring every learner has an equal opportunity to succeed. And we’re here to help you do just that.
Because when it comes to eLearning, our mantra is simple: Let’s make sure no learner is left behind! So, are you ready to start your accessibility journey with us? We can’t wait to show you what’s possible.