Writing Effective Alt-text for Online Instructional Materials

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Michael Chee
Kari D. Weaver


Instructional materials are increasingly created and made available within an online space. Engaging materials utilize various types of images to break up walls of text and enhance learning. Describing these images with effective alternative text (alt-text) is subjective and contextually-based, requiring a treatment and knowledge beyond a simple checklist. This lesson is aimed to support educators in becoming more accessibility-literate, and to build in robust alt-text at the moment of creation.

This lesson presents five different types of images. Each image type serves a distinct purpose within the context of online instructional materials. During the lesson, learners will work through each image type, with opportunities to practice examining HTML alternative tags and writing appropriate alt-text for each type of image.


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How to Cite
Chee, M., & Weaver, K. D. (2023). Writing Effective Alt-text for Online Instructional Materials. Journal of Technology-Integrated Lessons and Teaching, 2(1), 51–59. https://doi.org/10.13001/jtilt.v2i1.7663
Author Biographies

Michael Chee, University of Waterloo

Michael Chee (he/him) is the Liaison Librarian for History & Political Science at the University of Waterloo. He holds a B.A.H. and an M.Ed. from Queen’s University, and an M.A. in History and an M.L.I.S. from the University of Western Ontario. His research interests include accessible instructional design, information literacy, and collaborative teaching.

Kari D. Weaver, University of Waterloo

Kari D. Weaver (she/her) is the Learning, Teaching, and Instructional Design Librarian at the
University of Waterloo. She holds her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island and her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Carolina. Her publications focus on pedagogical approaches to teaching information seeking and use, critical thinking, and student information behaviour across academic disciplines and academic integrity within the STEM fields.