Make Hyperlinks Accessible

Quality Review Showcase

The Quality and High Quality online course reviews explore components proven to be best practices in online course design. This post showcases Quality item, “Hyperlink text is descriptive and makes sense when read out of context.”

Online courses often include hyperlinks to provide students direct access to other online resources, such as videos, readings, or websites. The way hyperlinks are displayed can affect the accessibility of a course’s resources, not only for students who need assistive technologies such as a screen reader, but for all students.

What makes hyperlinks LESS accessible?

  • Raw URL text (e.g., makes learning with assistive technologies, such as a screen reader, more difficult and tedious.
  • URLs embedded in generic text, such as “Click here” or “More” make finding a specific link much more difficult for students using assistive technologies.

What are Some Ways your Online Course can be Designed to Meet this Standard?

  • Make hyperlink text descriptive and meaningful so it makes sense out of its context.For example, use “Review Robert’s Rules,” instead of “Click Here for Robert’s Rules.”
  • Keep hyperlink text concise without sacrificing its meaning.
  • Make hyperlink text at least a word or phrase, not so small (e.g., a single letter or number) that students may have difficulty clicking in such a small area.
  • Make the text unique for each hyperlink, if possible, to make it easy to locate in a search.
  • Use the UDOIT tool in Webcourses@UCF to check for (AND FIX) existing links in your course that don’t have descriptive text. While you are there, you can check for and fix other accessibility issues as well. Note that UDOIT scans only Pages, Assignments, Quizzes, etc., in Webcourses@UCF; it does not scan your course files (e.g., Word docs, PDFs, PPTs). So, course files need to be reviewed for accessibility issues separately.
  • Refer to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Link Purpose (In Context) for more information.
  • Refer to Web Accessibility in Mind’s (WebAIM) Links and Hypertext for more information.

What Does This Look Like in a Real Online Course?

Example 1: Debbie Hahs-Vaughn, EDF6401, Statistics For Educational Data

Online Resources

StatSoft  is an electronic statistics textbook and has information on concepts from very basic statistics to complex procedures.

The Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning and the Education Commission of the States have published an online Policymaker’s Primer on Education Research: How to Understand, Evaluate, and Use it. The primer includes a tutorial on descriptive and inferential statistics.

A number of useful statistical tables (e.g., critical values of the t distribution, power tables, and sample size tables) are available compliments of Dr. Victor Bissonnette at Berry College.

An excellent textbook for learning research methods is How to design and evaluate research in education by Jack R. Fraenkel and Norman E. Wallen.

Another research methods text that may be helpful is Educational Research by B. Burke and L. Christensen.

Math is Fun is really designed to be an elementary/middle school resource for all things math, however there are a number of helpful resources available for statistics-related concepts that many students have found helpful in the past.

Khan Academy has a number of resources for learning descriptive and inferential statistics.

Example 2: Link Text Issue Detected in UDOIT

No need to scour your course searching for link text issues. UDOIT will find the issues, including your Click heres and raw URLs (Figure 1), and let you type your descriptive text right in the tool (Figure 2).

A screenshot of the pop-up that says Link has nondescript text
Figure 1: Link text issue detected in UDOIT
A screenshot of a pop-up that says Link Has Nondescript text. Links should be descriptive of the content they're linking to, such as 'Class Schedule' rather than 'schedule.html' or 'click here.'
Figure 2: Link text issue fixed in UDOIT
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