In any image there will be a wealth of information, and teachers will be expecting students to look at key parts of it. Usually this is done by using a key with letters or labels on the image which link to headings or notes on a different part of the diagram, or by using arrows and marginal comments. These methods disadvantage some learners. People who find it hard to track print get lost moving between the image and the explanation. Learners with motor difficulties cannot easily scroll from one part of the document to another, and those using a screen magnifier can get completely lost.
Learners may therefore benefit from screen tips over hotspots. As the learner’s mouse point hovers over a hot spot, the information appears in a pop-up window. As learners move on, the information disappears, so they are not confused by masses of print.
So what is a Screen Tip I hear you asking - It is a part of a picture that you have selected and labelled which displays the text when you roll the mouse over it.
Activity 1 - See what a screen tip is
1. Download the PowerPoint presentation Creating screen tips.
2. Now open the document and use F5 to view it as a slide show.
3. Roll your cursor over the shed door. Did you see the screen tip appear?
Activity 2 - Create your own screen tips
1. Open the PowerPoint presentation in Normal View.
2. Open word document Screen tips tutorial and use it to create the following hotspots:
- "There are three steps to the lower garden"
- "Keep children away from hot barbecues"
- "Ponds should have grills over them to prevent children falling in"
- "The sprinkler hose is a trip hazard"
Adapted from the NIACE E-Guides Training Materials 2008