Accessible Assessment: Education for everyone!

At Inspera we believe in accessibility by design. Usability is about making software that is easy to use. Accessibility is about making it easy to use by everyone.

One of the many benefits of digital transformation in education is making this deeply human experience more fair for all types of learners. Imagine, for example, on exam day, when all learners submit their answers on-screen and typed, rather than on paper - the answers of those normally with permission to type only due to disability or medical condition would then be entirely indistinguishable, in both delivery and marking.

What then happens is that more learners can take exams alongside their peers, and that is what the inclusion is all about.
No more stigma of “special” treatment that is so often vocalised by both affected learners and their educators. By removing such barriers between learners, the experience of education is radically changed, for the better.
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From advocacy to industry standards in design

Universal access is critical to our mission of making educational assessment more inclusive, fair and relevant to the 21st century. With our ongoing commitment to Accessibility by Design, however, achieving universal access compliance standards is just the foundation. From functionalities such as individual access arrangements, our UX researchers and designers continuously innovate to deliver assessments not only accessible to all, but better for all.

For us, accessibility and universal access is a matter of mindset. It is not only about making our product accessible to all; it is also about making it better for everyone.

When planning digital transformation as an education provider, the adoption rates among learners and staff are one of the main concerns, and that is an area where accessibility by design is sure to make an important impact. In order to ensure our solution adapts to the diverse and evolving user needs in learning inclusion, we are meeting all requirements and regulations in relation to the WCAG technical standards.

The four basic principles of WCAG, namely perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust, are reflected in the online environment where learners are creating their exam submissions. Meeting the WCAG code standards is done by following Inspera’s accessibility test routine, which consists of following the semantic markup standards, checking keyboard accessibility, testing various operating system’s screen readers, and using development dependencies to notify possible accessibility issues.

High Contrast feature in Inspera Assessment helps learners with visual impairments

Ready to get started with our accessibility support?

Technology is a powerful sidekick, and here are some of the ways educators can easily assist their learners in Inspera Assessment:

  • Text-to-speech is an aid that allows learners to have text based content read out loud. The learner simply selects any text on the page, and then a small play button will have the selected text read out as sound. The voice will read the text in the same language the learner has selected as interface language. The aid supports 24 languages including English (American, British, Welsh), Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, as well as nordic languages such as Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic.

  • High contrast might improve readability for users with visual impairments. This feature is activated by the learner in their options menu.

  • By default, font sizes, line spacing, and spacing between questions are designed to maintain readability of the information presented on the available screen space. In addition, the learner has the option to set the root font size to small, medium, or large.

  • Learners with dyslexia might have a formal right to use spell-checker in an assessment. This aid is available for the essay question type in two variations: ordinary, or as-you-type spell-checker.

  • Semantic markup is the foundation of making the web accessible, and therefore Inspera Assessment supports this standard, resulting in a range of features including screen reader, keyboard navigation, braille keyboards, and zooming. Read more about it here.

  • Accessibility by design is more than technical WCAG compliance. We need to also cater for individual access arrangements:

    • Enable/disable spell-checker;

    • Allocate extra time before or during the examination;
    • Pause and resume lock-down browser (i.e. Inspera Safe Exam Browser);

    • Add attachments to learner’s submission (e.g. if the learner is exempted from using Inspera Assessment, and has to use another tool to create their answer).

Feel free to reach out to us if you would like to know more about how Inspera Assessment can help you and your learners achieve equal opportunities in e-assessments - education for everyone!

Learn more

Do you want to learn more about how to conduct online exams and assessments, and how Inspera Assessment can make your assessments accessible, secure, valid and reliable? No worries, we wrote a "Guide to Online Exams and Assessments".

Topics: online exams, EdTech, e-assessment, digital assessment, accessibility, usability, design

Anja Sisarica

Written by Anja Sisarica

User Researcher & Product Strategist - Inspera Assessment