HomeTN eCampus FacultyAccessibilityDocument Templates and Headings

8.6. Document Templates and Headings


A key aspect to accessibility and creating a clean consistent look in a course is to use document templates. Templates define fonts, styles, and other aspects behind the scene. When done correctly, screen readers and other assistive technologies will respond more accurately to users.

Starting From a New Page

Choose an appropriate template from the Select a Document Template menu. Add content to your new page. 



On the surface, headings appear to be larger fonts decreasing in size as the hierarchy of the topic descends, but headings communicate the organization of the content to all readers and are required for assistive technology tools to work correctly. Take a look at this example.


The fonts are progressively smaller, but screen readers and other assistive technologies use headings to navigate the content. Simply changing font properties make the document inaccessible. Find more information about headings and accessibility at the W3C Web Accessibility Tutorials (new window) site.

With the structure set, start entering text and other content.

*Please note, text may be copied from many sources, but unexpected formatting and HTML code may be added to the page. It is recommended to copy text content to a text editor like Notepad for PC computers or TextEdit for Mac computers.



From your plain text tool, copy the text content to the Brightspace text editor. Select the text sections and choose the appropriate hierarchy level for the headers. Choose paragraph for regular text sections.

*Please note, images must be uploaded separately into Brightspace. (See the tutorial on Managed Files for more on this topic.)


This may seem like extra steps, but following this procedure will deliver predictable, accessible results and save valuable time.


Editing An Existing Page

If you have an existing course page and the template was not set to General Page Template, this can be remedied by choosing the Select a Document Template menu, but this step will eliminate your content.


First, make a copy of the page or paste it into a blank document, such as Word. This is only recommended as a visual reference to aid recreation of the page's content, formatting, links, and images as it was setup.


Continue to copy the text into a text editor as previously described and rebuild the page from the preceding steps given.


Finished Page

When finished, the document will have the correct page structure and headings for an easy to read and accessible page.



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