Accessible Exams Checklist

To create an accessible Canvas quiz, the best advice is to follow general best practices for content accessibility in the Rich Content Editor. Some of the items that are relevant to quizzes are:

  • Use Classic Quizzes (The Office of Measurement Services can convert your existing multiple-choice paper exam to a Canvas Classic Quiz. Learn more and request a quiz conversion).
  • Add Alternative (alt) text for images. Some things to keep in mind for alt text:
    • Don’t use the phrases “image of," "picture of,” etc.
    • Be accurate — convey the information or function represented by the image.
    • Be succinct — keep the alt text between 50 to 150 characters.
    • Avoid being redundant in either the alt attribute or in the page content.
  • If you include videos, make sure you select videos that have captions.
  • Ensure sufficient color contrast for text. (Use Contrast-ratio.com to check your font contrast and use 4.5 and above.)
  • Make sure links are descriptive; don't use “click here” or the full URL.
  • If your quiz contains terms that are not in English, use language attribute tags in your HTML content in Canvas to ensure that screen readers will pronounce the words properly. This step is critical for screenreaders to perform the correct interpretation of foreign-language content.
    • Step 1: When editing your quiz, select HTML Editor in the RCE toolbar.
    • Step 2: Find the specific phrase that is in a foreign language, and type “<span lang=“xx”>” immediately before it. Replace “xx” with your particular language code listed below.
      • Chinese: “zh”
      • French: “fr”
      • German: “de”
      • Italian: “it”
      • Japanese: “ja”
      • Korean: “ko”
      • Russian: “ru”
      • Spanish: “es”
    • Step 3: Go to the end of the phrase and type “</span>”.
  • Avoid using abbreviations or all caps. 
  • Indicate in the question text if multiple answers are possible.
  • If multiple questions are associated with a single prompt, indicate that prior to the prompt.
  • Indicate whether a question is fill-in-the-blank in the question text.
  • If your content has equations, use the Canvas equation editor that is built into the Rich Content Editor (RCE) or an accessible math editor.
  • Avoid using time limits. If you do, make sure you know how to provide extended time accommodations for individual students. 
  • Avoid using proctored exams, if you do please be ready to provide an alternative method for students who use assistive technologies as some of the tools are not accessible.