Monday, 3 November 2008

Creating screen tips in PowerPoint or Word - Accessibility

Have you ever heard the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words"? It's very true most learners will really benefit from visual resources, but there are some learners who have visual problems; these problems will vary and include; colour blindness, macular degeneration, cataracts and full loss of sight. These learners may have issues with getting information from visual media and the use of text will play an important part for them.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Wendy for this tip – I tried it and it is very simple and quick to do. I will certainly do it with some of the pictures and diagrams I use in science for ESOL.
Susie K