Crowdmark strives to ensure that our assessment system is accessible to a broad range of users, including those using assistive technologies. We are actively committed to enhancing the accessibility and usability of Crowdmark, and in doing so, we align with many of the available standards and guidelines. Crowdmark aims to meet compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA standards. These guidelines provide instructions for improving web content accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
The development team at Crowdmark aims to adhere to W3C standards for HTML and CSS throughout our codebase. While we make every effort to follow accepted accessibility and usability guidelines and standards, it may not always be feasible to do so in every aspect of our web application. For the best experience, we recommend that users access Crowdmark using a modern web browser along with appropriate assistive technology.
The keyboard is a primary means of navigation for those who either cannot or prefer not to use a mouse. Additionally, various assistive technologies, such as voice recognition and screen readers, depend heavily on keyboard accessibility. In addition to browser-based keyboard controls, Crowdmark offers a wide range of keyboard shortcuts to increase efficiency when grading.
Visible focus helps users keep track of their position on a page as they use the Tab key to navigate interactive elements. In Crowdmark, the current element in focus will be highlighted with a surrounding line. Users can click on any element in focus by pressing the Enter key on their keyboard.
Use keyboard controls to move between interactive elements on the page
Navigate to links and form controls
Shift + Tab
Activate checkboxes, menus, and buttons
Radio buttons, select menu items, tabs, autocomplete
Dismiss browser dialogue or menu
Use keyboard shortcuts when grading to navigate between submissions and interact with tools. Keyboard shortcuts are helpful for many users, but they may cause issues with assistive technologies that rely on the same shortcuts for different functions. To turn off advanced keyboard shortcuts while grading, go to the Shortcuts menu and switch off the toggle for advanced keyboard shortcuts.
l or shift+→
h or shift+←
j or shift+↓
Next question in the booklet
k or shift+↑
Previous question in the booklet
Rotate pages clockwise
Rotate pages counterclockwise
Add a tag
Image/ PDF Questions
Limitations: Annotations like stamps and comments must be positioned directly onto student submissions during grading using a mouse or stylus. Presently, there is no option to place these elements on the grading canvas using keyboard commands. If you have difficulty using a mouse or trackpad, you can control your cursor by using a webcam to track the movement of your head and face. Crowdmark acknowledges this constraint within our system and is committed to continually improving grading accessibility whenever possible.
How to activate eye-tracking:
Mac users: Head Pointer help guide
PC users: Eye Control help guide
Screen reader navigation
A screen reader is a tool that transforms text and images on a screen into spoken words for those with visual impairments. It helps users access digital content like websites and documents, ensuring equal access to information and technology. Crowdmark has been developed in a way that is accessible to screen readers.
Landmarks are used to identify the types of content on a page and improve the navigation experience for assistive technology such as a screen reader. They also provide an easy way for users to skip to relevant content, bypassing content repeated on every page (e.g., navigation menus).
In Crowdmark, pages have a Skip to Main Content link for screen reader users. Clicking it moves the browser focus to the main content, skipping navigation.
Additionally, pages in Crowdmark have landmarks to skip to the following content areas:
- Main navigation
- Help navigation
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Main content
- Banner (The title of the page)
The heading level 1 begins at the start of the main content area. Sections of content within a page are identified using a properly nested heading structure. Many assistive devices will display an outline of all headings on the page, allowing users to navigate to content by heading.
How to activate your screen reader:
Mac users: Apple VoiceOver help guide
PC users: Narrator help guide
Using Dictation, you can speak and convert your speech into text wherever you can normally type. This feature can be helpful for users who find it difficult to operate a keyboard. In Crowdmark, instructional team members and students can activate this feature to author questions, input answers to text-entry or multiple choice questions or leave comments when grading.
How to activate dictation:
Mac users: Apple Dictation help guide
PC users: Voice Typing help guide
Colour contrast plays a key role in ensuring our platform remains accessible to users with low vision or vision impairments. Crowdmark utilizes a colour system that uses numerical values to ensure that colour combinations meet or exceed WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance for text content. Text meets a minimum contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text (defined as 18pt or 14pt and bold).
Any interactive element that a user can click or touch must be large enough for reliable interaction. To meet WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, interactive touch targets within Crowdmark have a width and height of no less than 24 CSS pixels. Hover and focus effects indicate that a link can be clicked on.
Whenever possible, link text is descriptive and identifies the purpose of each link. In Crowdmark, images and icons are sometimes used within the user interface to convey context. These elements have alternative text describing them for assistive devices.
Form controls have descriptive labels to help users better understand the purpose of each field. ARIA labels are used to identify form controls and communicate the states and properties for assistive devices. In some cases, the purpose may be clear enough from the context of the page (e.g., Search). In these cases, icons may be used to communicate the intended purpose of the form element.
Tables are used in Crowdmark to organize and present tabular data. Header cells and data cells are present for assistive technologies to provide context to users when navigating through tables.
Accessibility for Instructors and Students
Barrier free questions for online assessments
Crowdmark allows instructors to write barrier-free content within our text entry and multiple choice questions in assigned assessments. Uploaded content can include text, images, and links to video or other pre-recorded content using Markdown and LaTeX.
To ensure that all content can be interpreted by assistive devices, it’s important to describe the content of any images, files, or links. To add alt text for images or descriptions for files and links, users must replace the text inside square brackets in Markdown.
Images: ![Alt text](https://app.crowdmark.com/image.png)
Files: [File description](https://app.crowdmark.com/text-attachments/file)
Links: [Link description](https://app.crowdmark.com)
Learn about the different question types available for online assessments.
Student accommodations for online assessments
Some students may need additional time to complete assessments. Crowdmark offers several accommodation options that can be set on an individual basis for each assessment. Instructors can modify the due date, timer, and any lateness penalties that may have been applied.
Learn how to set up accommodations for students.
Course level accommodations
Instructors can set individual accommodations for students at the course level. This means that you’ll only need to set up an accommodation modifier once, and the extra time will apply to all future assessments.
Asynchronous online assessments
Timed assessments allow instructors to set a fixed amount of time that students can write an assessment, any time between the start date and due date. This allows students the flexibility to complete their work at their convenience within a specific timeframe. When students begin a timed assessment, they need to submit their work before the timer runs out. Instructors can modify the time limit to allow individual students additional time to complete the assessment.
Proctored sessions for in person assessments
Distance education students, co-op students, and students with learning differences often need to write an exam in a different location. In the past, this required a great deal of coordination between instructors and proctors in exam centres or accessibility services. Crowdmark streamlines this process with our proctored sessions workflow for administered assessments.
Instructors can invite proctors to an administered assessment by creating a Proctored session. The instructor must choose which students will write the exam remotely, and invite proctors to the exam session. Proctors will receive an email invite to log in to Crowdmark, where they can download and print the booklets for students. After the exam has been administered, the proctor simply scans and uploads completed work to Crowdmark ready for grading.
Learn how to set up a proctored session.
Accessibility benefits everyone
At Crowdmark, we believe that learning should be accessible to everyone. We are committed to improving our system and achieving compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Our team conducts regular audits of our system to uncover areas for improvement and implement accessibility best practices.
We understand that web standards and technology are constantly evolving as we strive to improve and enhance the user experience for all individuals. We welcome feedback from our users to help us achieve our accessibility goals and make the web a more accessible place for everyone.