Video 5: Perception

People cannot learn if the learning content is imperceptible to them. For example, a student with a hearing impairment will be left out if the material is only presented from audio files. Learners need to have information presented in ways that are perceptible to their available senses. In CS education, we often present information in multiple ways. Below are strategies that can be used to increase options for perception in CS education.

Strategies for perception include:

  • Customize information such as using videos or pre-made templates to teach coding concepts. Sample code and instructions can be provided in multiple formats to suit the needs of various students.
  • Consider alternatives for auditory information such as closed captioning so all learners can access learning including students who are Deaf, students who are non-native speakers of English, students in noisy environments, or students who may benefit from the text to focus their attention.
  • Provide alternatives for visual information such as including verbalizing information or providing other sound cues. For example, diagrams and images of blocks of code should always contain alt-text tags so that they are perceptible to screen reading devices. 

Computer science has a lot of sensory information; designing for perception allows students to compensate for any information that would otherwise be missing.

Resources related to this guideline include:

Note: We use CAST’s (2018) Version 2.2 of the Guidelines. The CAST link is similarly numbered. UDL for Teachers uses a previous version of the guidelines, so numbering and terms may vary.