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Provide More Detail on Alt Text for Fill in the Blank Questions on New Quizzes

Provide More Detail on Alt Text for Fill in the Blank Questions on New Quizzes

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I'm an Instructional Designer and Canvas Admin and have been troubleshooting some issues our JAWS users are experiencing with Canvas New Quizzes. One issue we are having is that Fill in the Blank questions are very confusing for our students to navigate, particularly when the question has multiple blanks.

The current Alt Tag for a blank in New Quizzes reads "question blank." When JAWS reads these questions it reads the question text up to the first blank. The student can then navigate past this blank to read the next portion of the question up until the next blank. If there is text after the second blank the student will have to navigate forward again to hear the full question. For Instance:

1) Roses are

2) Question Blank

3) Violets are

4) Question Blank

Without the full sentence read the student may not recognize that they are responding to a poem and fill in question blank as "flowers." There is no option to hear the full sentence without an instructor providing instructions and the full prompt in the Question Stem.

For this reason I'm suggesting the Alt Text for Fill in the Blank questions is updated to include surrounding text, or at the very least an annotation that distinguishes between blank 1 and 2.

Again a fill in the blank question for New Quizzes would read as follows:

"Roses are Question Blank, Violets are Question Blank."

The blanks above should include "Question 1 Blank 1 of 2" and "Question 1 Blank 2 of 2" so when a student navigates back through the question they can easily locate where they are in the sentence. It would be best if the Alt Text included some of the stem of the question in the form of:

"Roses are Blank" or "are Blank, Violets" so students could get more of the context when responding.


Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Moderating

Hey @jbowman10 !
Thank you for sending this up!  I've created a ticket with our Engineering team to look into this further and add the question blank numbers so users know how many blanks there are and which blank they're focusing for Fill in the Blank questions.  We believe this would be the best solution to the proposed problem as adjusting labels or using ARIA labeling could cause screen readers to read duplicate information to the user or be overly-verbose.
Thank you again for sending this request up! 

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open
Community Member

This is a good suggestion, @jbowman10. The current fill-in-the-blank for New Quizzes is prone to screen reader mistakes, and it is likely that screen reader use will only increase in the future.

New Member

@dsasaki, Thank you for sending this to the Engineering team. I do believe this will be an improvement for our JAWS users on campus.

New Member

@dsasaki Thank you to the Engineering team for making this adjustment! I've since confirmed with JAWS users on our campus that the change is making an impact.

It has come to my attention that there may be one last adjustment that could be helpful. It seems including the word "question" before blank is causing confusion still. When there is one blank JAWS will stop reading and then state "question blank." If this happens mid sentence it makes it sound like the full question has been read back.

To accommodate this I've followed Canvas' guidance and recommended to faculty that the Question Stem is filled in for Fill in the Blank questions, so a student using a screenreader can hear the full sentence read back prior to hearing the question with fillable blanks. It's been suggested to me that dropping the word Question from the alt-tag or even replacing the word question with "Answer" would help make it clear that the blank may be occurring mid sentence rather than after a full statement.