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Checking the course room for accessibility

Checking the course room for accessibility


To support you as lecturers in creating accessible course content, an accessibility toolkit is available in the course room. This allows managers to check the accessibility of the course room and course content to identify errors. A graphical display of the accessibility deficiencies found makes it easy for managers who are less familiar with the topic to see them at a glance and correct them accordingly. Previous knowledge of checking course content for accessibility is therefore not required to use the toolkit.

This manual explains how to use the toolkit. If you are looking for information on the enterprise version of the toolkit, visit the Brickfield Education Labs Website.



1. Add block "Check accessibility"
2. Check accessibility
3. Heatmap
4. Detailed results on accessibility
5. Deactivation of the accessibility check

1. Add block "Check accessibility

  1. Switch the course page into the edit mode via the "Switch on editing" button  'Turn editing on'-buttonin the upper right corner."
  2. Select the "Accessibility review" block from the "Add Block" drop-down menu on the right below the existing blocks. The "Accessibility review" block is automatically added to the other blocks.

    Screenshot 'Add a block'

    The "Accessibility review" block is automatically added among the other blocks:

    Screenshot of the 'Accessibility review'-block

2. Check accessibility

  1. If you want to check your course room for accessibility, you must start the analysis process required for this once. To do this, click the "Submit for analysis" button in the "Accessibility review" block.
  2. The course room accessibility check is now started. A note to this effect appears in the "Accessibility review" block:

    Accessibility review block with the message: "This course has been scheduled for analysis"

    This process may take a few minutes depending on the server load. For this purpose, an additional note field is displayed on the course page informing you when the accessibility check will be completed at the earliest. Experience shows that the analysis process takes a few minutes longer, but usually no longer than 10 minutes.

    Screenshot of a blue message box in Moodle with the information when the analysis will be completed
  3. You can recognize the successful completion of the analysis process by the fact that the "Accessibility review" block now shows the number of accessibility deficiencies detected, separated by content type (image, display, link, media, table, text):

    Screenshot of the accessibility review
  4. Below the list you can find three clickable icons:
  • Eye icon Eye - By default, the so-called heatmap is enabled. In this, the course page uses different colors to visualize which content types have successfully passed the accessibility test and which still have deficiencies. The heatmap is only displayed to managers, it is not visible in the student perspective. If you want this to be hidden for managers as well, click on the eye icon eye icon.  By mouse click the symbol changes to a "crossed out eye" "crossed out eye"-icon. The heatmap is now hidden.
  • diagram icon Diagram - By clicking on the diagram icon, you can call up differentiated accessibility result reports with a detailed list of the deficiencies identified.
  • download icon Download - By clicking on the download icon, you can download the accessibility results report as a PDF file and save it locally.


The accessibility check is performed for elements displayed on the course page as well as for elements on the activity pages and subpages. However, accessibility deficiencies in the activity or subpages are not displayed on the pages where they actually exist, but only on the course page for the associated activity. If, for example, a question in a quiz activity has a deficiency, this is not displayed in the actual question, but an identified error is displayed on the course page under the corresponding quiz activity. A mouse click on the diagram icon provides more detailed information about these errors.

3. Heatmap

With the heatmap displayedeye icon, you can see which content types on the course page are considered accessible and which still need optimization by looking at the different colors. The colors green, yellow/orange and red are used for visual differentiation.

  • green box Green - If the element meets the criteria for accessibility, it is highlighted in green and additionally marked with a green checkmark and the note "Passed" Screenshot of the 'passed' message in Moodle. The element has thus successfully passed the accessibility check and no further adjustments are required.

Screenshot of elements that successfully passed the accessibility check

  • yellow box Yellow/Orange  - If the element has minor accessibility deficiencies, it is highlighted in yellow/orange and additionally marked with the note "Failed" and the number of identified errors Screenshot of the yellow failed message in Moodle . You should take a closer look at the detected errors and correct them if necessary. More detailed information on the identified errors can be obtained by clicking on the diagram icon  in the "Accessibility review" block.

Screenshot of elements with minor accessibility deficiencies marked yellow

  • red box Red - If the element has major accessibility deficiencies, it is highlighted in red and marked with "Failed" and the number of identified errors Screenshot of the red failed message in Moodle. You should take a closer look at the detected errors and correct them if necessary. More detailed information on the identified errors can be obtained by clicking on the diagram icon  in the "Accessibility review" block.

Screenshot of an element with major accessibility deficiencies marked red

  • No color coding

    RWTHmoodle has a modular structure and provides users with a number of extensions in addition to the so-called core plugins. Certain extensions (e.g. the activities Interactive Content (H5P), Progress List, Cardbox, StudentQuiz, Etherpad, Anonymous Forum and Attendance) do not support the accessibility test. You can recognize such testable elements by the fact that they are not color-coded, even though the heat map is activated (as an example, the "Interactive Video" and "Progress List" activities are shown in the screenshot below):

    Screenshot of elements that do not support the accessbility check

    For these elements, however, you have the option of checking content created using Text Editor using an alternative "accessibility test" (see Section 4 in the linked manual). In the toolbar of the text editor you will find a corresponding icon Icon "Check Accessibility" for this purpose, which you can activate with a mouse click. After that, you will immediately see whether any accessibility issues have been identified, and if so, which ones.


    When the heatmap is enabled, color markings are only made on the course page. Activity page content is included in the accessibility check, but the corresponding content on activity pages is not color-coded. If there are accessibility deficiencies on activity pages, these are only color-coded on the course page for the corresponding activity using a heat map. Regardless of this, the content of the activity pages can alternatively be checked using the "Accessibility test" of the text editor (see Section 4 there).

4. Detailed results on accessibility

More detailed information on the identified errors can be obtained by clicking on the diagram icon diagram icon in the "Accessibility review" block. You now have 4 different tabs to choose from: Error List, Activity Breakdown, Content Types and Report Summary. The following sections explain the content of the tabs in detail.

 Screenshot of the tabs of the "Check Accessibility"-block


4.1. Error list

The "Error list" tab shows you detailed information on the errors highlighted in color using the heat map:

Screenshot of an exemplary error list

  • Activity - The column "Activity" shows the concrete element that contains an error. This can be elements on the course page ("Course") or activities and working materials that were included on the course page.
  • Check - The column "Check" shows the specific defect, e.g. a missing label of a table.
  • Existing HTML code - The "Existing HTML code" column shows any existing HTML code. Since the identified accessibility deficiencies can often be remedied by adapting the HTML code, the relevant sections of the faulty HTML code are shown here.
  • Line - The "Line" column indicates the specific line where the HTML code has deficiencies and should be adjusted.
  • Edit - Click on "Edit" to make any necessary adjustments to the element with regard to the HTML code. The corresponding element will now open. If the element contains a text editor, you can use it to adjust the HTML code:
    1. Click the "Show more icons" icon "Show more icons" icon in the Text Editor toolbar . In the now expanded view of the toolbar click on the "HTML" icon  HTML icon.
    2. Make the adjustments you want now.
    3. Save by clicking the "Save changes" button" Save changes button.


Certain accessibility deficiencies are not detected by the toolkit, e.g. too weak contrast between text and background color. If, despite a successful check by the toolkit, it is still unclear whether the content is actually accessible, we recommend additional testing with the accessibility check of the text editor.

The rechecking of the adapted elements for accessibility takes place automatically without having to start this process again manually. This is because once the accessibility check has been activated in a course room, follow-up checks are carried out permanently at five-minute intervals. The heatmap and error list are automatically updated on an ongoing basis with regard to current deficiencies, without this process having to be carried out by the managers. You can therefore be sure that the current accessibility status is displayed on the course page with a delay of just a few minutes.


 4.2. Activity breakdown

The "Activity Breakdown" tab provides a summary overview of the test results differentiated by activity using bar charts. Activities are included either as activities, resources, or other content areas related to courses.

  • Any activity without detected errors is counted as passed. Screenshot of a lila box with the lettering 'passed'
  • Any activity with one or more detected errors is counted as failed. Screenshot of an orange box with the lettering 'failed'

The ratio of passed to failed activities is then displayed:

Screenshot of an exemplary activity pass ratio

If required, click on "Show chart data" Show chart data button to display the number of passed and failed activities in tabular form: 

Screenshot of an exemplary activity pass ratio in tabular form


4.3. Content types

The "Content types" tab provides a summarized overview of the test results differentiated by content types using a circular diagram. There are a total of six different content types: Image, Layout, Link, Media, Table and Text. The results of the image-related accessibility check in the content type group "Image", all results of the layout-related accessibility check in the content type group "Layout", etc.

Screenshot of an exemplary circular diagram with the total (sum) errors per content type

Move the mouse pointer over the diagram to a content type to view its specific error count. 

If required, click on "Show chart data" Show chart data button to display the number of errors in tabular form, differentiated by content type: 

Screenshot of an exemplary of the total (sum) errors per content type in tabular form

4.4. Report Summary

The Report Summary tab provides a summary overview of the information from the Error List, Activity Breakdown, and Content Types tabs.

  • The column "Top errors" shows the concrete accessibility deficiencies independent of content type or related activity ( = information of the "Error list" tab).
  • The column "Failed activities" shows the number of failed activities, differentiated by concrete activities, working materials and other content areas of the course ( = information of the tab "Activity breakdown").
  • The column "Check errors" differentiates the failed activities according to content types ( = information of the "Report summary" tab).

    Screenshot of an exemplary report summary

5. Deactivation of the accessibility check

Once you have activated the "Submit for analysis" button  submit for analysis buttonin the "Check accessibility" block, you no longer have the option of deactivating the accessibility check. However, you can deactivate the heatmap at any time by clicking on the eye symbol in the "Check accessibility" block'crossed out eye'-icon. This means that the accessibility check continues to run in the background and can be reactivated by clicking on the eye againeye icon. Complete deactivation of the accessibility check is only possible by removing the corresponding block from the course room.


See also: 

last changed on 01/30/2023

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