E-Learning Operations

Screen magnifiers, zooming and color contrast tips

Learning Environment is a learning management system that enables you to access course material online. There are a number of learning tools within the system that course content is contained in. This topic provides some basic advice for using the system with screen magnifiers, zooming functionality and color contrast functionality.

Screen magnifiers, zooming functionality and color contrast functionality are often used by people who have difficulties reading online. Difficulties can include low vision, color blindness, eye strain, or dyslexia. Screen magnifiers and zooming functionality are also used by individuals who have fine motor skills difficulty as they increase the target for selectable content (such as links, icons and form fields).

  1. Magnifying vs. zooming
  2. Customizing colors
  3. Account Settings
  4. Getting additional support

Magnifying vs. zooming

There are a couple of ways you can increase the size of content in Learning Environment to improve readability:

  • Use the Account Settings tool in Learning Environment to increase the system font size. This only increases the size of system fonts, it does not increase the size of icons and other graphics or user-created content.
  • Use an assistive technology or browser that supports zooming. This increases the magnification of the entire page. This option works well in Learning Environment as images and navigation panels resize well (with the exception of legacy navbars).
  • Use a screen magnifier to magnify a portion of the page, such as the area around the cursor. Many users like screen magnifiers because they preserve the layout of the page, but allow you to focus on the content in a specific area.
  • Double-click on inline equations to view them at a larger size. This works only for equations built in the Equation Editor.

Customizing colors

Your institution or individual course instructors can customize page colors and text font as desired. As a result, the readability of Learning Environment depends a lot on your institution.

If you are having difficulty using Learning Environment because of the text and background colors used, we recommend that you use a screen magnifier or other assistive technology that allows you to invert or adjust the colors on a page.

Another popular option is to use a custom cascading style sheet (CSS). There are many free cascading style sheets available on the internet. CSS works best in Learning Environment when background images are turned off, but normal images and icons are left unaltered. Learning Environment is a complex site with a number of different tools and page designs, as a result a fairly detailed style sheet is needed to display content effectively.

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Account Settings

There are a number of settings in the Account Settings tool that you may find improves the readability of Learning Environment.

Account Settings tab

  • The Login Destination option lets you log directly into a course, rather than My Home. This option can simplify navigation if you are only taking one course or a few courses.
  • Select a different Font Face and Font Size than your organization’s default if there is a font you prefer. You can use this option in combination with a screen magnifier or zooming.
  • If you disable style sheets to navigate Learning Environment we recommend you select Show secondary windows as pop-ups; otherwise, some secondary pages may not be distinguishable from the main page.

Discussions tab

  • Clear the Show the discussion topics list and Show the preview pane options to simplify the layout of discussion lists.
  • Select the Grid Style message list if you want to see only a list of messages in discussion lists and open messages to read their contents. This results in less text on discussion lists.
  • Some users also Include original message text in replies so they don’t have to move between discussion messages as frequently.

Email tab

  • Clear the Show the Message Preview pane and Show the Folder List pane options to simplify the layout of your Inbox.
  • Some users also Include original message in email replies so they don’t have to move between messages as frequently.

Metadata tab

Choose the Basic option to simplify movement through the main metadata page.

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Getting additional support

If you are having difficulty using Learning Environment to complete your course work, consider seeking help from your course leader or a disability services group at your institution. Most institutions have support centers to help users learn new technology, seek special accommodations, and organize tutoring and other support.

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See also

Desire2Learn Help © 1999-2012 Desire2Learn Incorporated. All rights reserved.


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