Welcome with Sander Bangma

As the host of Brickfield Education Lab’s first accessibility conference, Gavin welcomed all attendees and speakers in this session and then introduced Sander Bangma. Sander kicked off the event by highlighting Moodle’s approach to accessibility and the Moodle journey to achieving accessibility accreditation.

Sander Bangma shares screen over zoom webinar with slide reading 'Moodle LMS Accessibility Sander Bangma Head of Moodle LMS Moodle HQ

About the speaker

Sander is the Head of LMS for Moodle. Moodle provides the world’s most customisable and trusted online learning solution. Moodle LMS, the open-source learning management system, is used by hundreds of millions of learners worldwide. Moodle values inclusion and access to high-quality education for all. That is why accessibility is vital for Moodle LMS.

The session recap

  • Moodle’s journey for Accessibility 
  • Moodle Partnering with Brickfield for Moodle 3.11

The session

Sander opened his session with this quote “Accessibility is a journey, as much for educational institutes preparing course content as it is for us at Moodle developing the platform.” With over 275 million registered users, Moodle caters to a user population with a variety of abilities. These users may require additional assistance for using and accessing the LMS platform. Overall, Sander emphasised that Moodle aims to build the world’s most efficient platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating by maintaining a “high value on inclusion and access to high-quality education for everyone.”

Moodle’s three-step journey for accessibility improvement:

  1. Improving the accessibility of Moodle, the LMS platform itself.
  2. Changing their product development process.
  3. Including the Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit into 3.11.

Improving the accessibility of Moodle, the LMS platform

Moodle carried out an extensive external audit in 2020, having different types of users with mixed abilities carry out tests on the platform for both web and mobile versions. Issues within features such as colour contrast, keyboard navigation, and screen reader announcements were revealed and scheduled for improvements. After a thorough process of resolving the detected issues, the Moodle LMS received level AA WCAG 2.1 accreditation.

Improving the product development process

When thinking about new features or improvements, Moodle now consults accessibility experts during any prototype phasing, as a means of optimising all areas for accessibility. . As part of the development, Moodle introduced additional manual and automated checks to examine the accessibility of new patches and features before they are included on the platform.

Introducing the Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit into 3.11

Moodle has collaborated with Brickfield Education Labs to introduce a starter version of the ‘Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit’ into Moodle 3.11. The toolkit performs a number of initial checks on your course content to check for common accessibility issues. It also allows teachers and administrators to do some very clever reporting using a heat map to highlight inaccessible areas of their courses and content. You can find out more about the Brickfield Accessibility Starter Toolkit in this blog post by Moodle HQ.