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    The Premier AT Conference

Rethink Image Descriptions for a Better Learning Experience

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 - 4:20 PM PST  
Location
Orange County 1/2  
Description
In this session we will discuss how standard guidelines for writing text alternatives to media need to be adjusted for use in materials for education to consider cognitive load, informational density, an increased understanding of “context and purpose,” and more. Images (& videos) are of critical importance in digital learning materials. Media can add variety & engagement, provide an example without needing an explanation, present massive amounts of information while making it easy to process, & more. But this is only true for those who can perceive the media. It is often difficult to determine which of an image's "thousand words" are what a learner needs to be on equal footing with their peers. Unfortunately, most a11y guidelines focus on images in informational online materials such as newspaper articles & standard websites or videos for entertainment. While the underlying principles defining good alt text & video descriptions are the same in an informational context & an educational one, there are also fundamental differences. What students get out of our media is critical. Informational density is higher. Cognitive load is a factor. Unpredictable questions come up in a classroom. A description can't give away an answer on a test… This session will provide a refined set of guidelines to better meet the specific needs of learners.  
Audience
  • Higher Education
  • K-12 Education
  • Government
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Media & Publishing
Audience Level
Beginning  
Session Summary (Abstract)
When your audience needs to learn, not just be informed, text alternatives must be written with extra considerations in mind. Apply this session's approach to increase the value of your descriptions for your learners.  
Primary Topic
Education  
Secondary Topics
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Web
 
Session Type
General Track  

Presenter

  • Laura Ciporen
    McGraw Hill

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