Accessibility for Program of Studies Software
May 2, 2023
Accessibility seems to be a buzzword in academic software these days, but what does it mean for your K12 institution? Accessibility is essentially how easily students can find, access, read, and navigate your Program of Studies. In order for your catalog to be successful, it first needs to be accessibility. Some K12 schools are still using outdated software or a static platform, such as a PDF or Word Document, for their Program of Studies. Unfortunately, this greatly limits accessibility from the start. Digital catalog platforms, like Clean Catalog, put accessibility at the forefront to ensure your Program of Studies is a beneficial resource to your staff and students alike. Check out a few ways our software executes this.
Facilitate Virtual Learning
When Covid-19 struck in 2020, the academic world was forced into a new age of digital learning. Since then, many K12 schools have recognized the advantage of moving their Program of Studies to a digital format. Not only does this benefit online classes, but it benefits in-person learning as well. Whether a student is sick or unable to attend in-person for a variety of reasons, they will still have access to the entire course catalog online. Even better, our software can be connected to your LMS or SIS through our API integration, allowing all of your academic software to sync and work in tandem.
All Clean Catalog software is multilingual compatible, enabling courses and catalog content to be displayed in multiple languages of your choosing. This is a huge advantage for ESL students or students who may be attending your K12 school as part of an exchange program. ESL students can now have full access and understanding of the coursework offered to them, which is a huge win in terms of accessibility.
Catalog Format and Responsive Screens
As any educator will know, one student may not have access to the same technology at home as the next. With so much variability, it’s important that all content is fairly accessible to all students, no matter what they have (or don’t have) access to at home. All Clean Catalog sites are built with screen-responsive designs, meaning the catalog layout will never be warped or unreadable when viewed on a device other than a desktop computer. Instead, Program of Studies catalogs flex to display the same across mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers alike. Even more, all of our catalogs have an automatic PDF generator so that any page of the catalog, or the catalog in its entirety, can be printed on-demand. This is crucial for students who do not have Internet access at home, but can instead print the catalog at school. By meeting all students where they are, you both widen the reach of your Program of Studies and make it accessible to all.
Catalog Load Speeds
A major criteria for online accessibility is the load speed of a webpage. Short attention spans require that a webpage load in under one second, otherwise the bounce rate increases dramatically. When your staff puts enormous amounts of time and energy into managing a Program of Studies, you want to be sure your students are using that catalog. Webpage load speeds are a simple piece of the puzzle that many other software providers miss the mark on. Average speeds clock in around 3-5 seconds, while Clean Catalog sites load in well under 1 second. Not only does this promote a better user experience, but it boosts your school’s SEO and visibility on search platforms, like Google or Yahoo.
Improved Navigation and Searchability
With so much content living in your Program of Studies, it’s important to empower and arm students with the tools they need to find the information they’re looking for. For starters, the hierarchy of your content should be organized in a logical way with appropriate classifications, groupings, and tags. This will benefit the search bar function of your site, allowing students to be presented with the most relevant search results and locate content quickly. Finally, all site content should have readable type, large enough to both read and easily click on. These components form the foundation for easy navigation and have resounding impacts on your Program of Studies.
If you’re interested in learning more about improving accessibility for your Program of Studies or would like to schedule a free demo, always feel free to reach out to us.