Faculty Professional Development for Building Accessible Online Courses


Scheduled at 2:15pm in Meadowbrook I/II on Thursday, November 16 (2017).



  • Lene Whitley-Putz, Training and Development Coordinator, @ONE for training

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


For most faculty, mandates for creating accessible online courses are overwhelming, and few campuses offer comprehensive training for teaching accessibility standards or universal design for learning. This workshop focuses on five key skills for making digital content accessible (using heading styles, formatting ordered and unordered lists, creating meaningful hyperlinks, correcting poor color contrast, and including alternative text with images). In addition, we'll review a Creative Commons licensed course, and provide a copy of the course in Canvas.


Providing professional development on accessibility to faculty can be time consuming. It's often difficult to gauge the comfort and skill level of faculty, and difficult to design appropriate material tailored to faculty needs. In this workshop, we'll walk you through five accessibility techniques we have been teaching faculty in the California Community College system that will help instructional designers and trainers teach principles of accessibility, and help faculty design accessible courses. The techniques center around: heading styles lists hyperlinks color contrast alternative text for images In addition, we'll review a few nifty tools that allow faculty and course designers to assess if they are on the right track when developing online material, and we'll share a 4-week open source course developed in Canvas as part of the Online Education Initiative, including providing access to a copy of the course which you can modify to fit your campus needs.


  1. Faculty can design and develop accessible course content in their CMS
  2. Campuses can provide training on accessibility tailored to faculty needs and skill level
  3. Training in accessible design can help increase the accessibility of online courses

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Lene Whitley-Putz

I hold a PhD in Rhetoric and Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an MA and BA in English from CSU, Chico. Before attending Chico State, I worked full-time, and took a variety of courses at my local campus, Saddleback College. I teach in both communication studies and writing programs, and have extensive experience teaching writing to students who are unprepared for academic writing, including supervising tutors and being an administrator and graduate assistant in writing centers.

Designing my first online course was an eye-opening experience, and I quickly realized my traditional teaching toolkit needed some augmentation! In 2011, I completed the @ONE certification program. The professional development and subsequent collaboration with teachers across the state has had a dramatic effect on my teaching. Both my online and face-to-face teaching is more focused, more student-centered, and more engaged.

In 2014, I completed the Quality Matters "Peer Reviewer" training and in 2016 I completed the Online Learning Consortiums Certificate in Online Learning. I bring these areas of expertise to the peer review process at OEI.


Handouts CACC at AHG OEI Course Design Rubric rev Nov 2016