WIRIS news #9 - Accessibility and performance - January 2013

These last months, we have been working in two rather subtle, yet key aspects of technology: accessibility and performance. Read about the new features of WIRIS editor that make it the perfect tool for accessible maths contents, plus discover the new performance aspects of WIRIS quizzes.

Accessibility in WIRIS editor in Moodle

Now the WIRIS plugin adds accessibility to the math expressions generated with WIRIS editor.

With this new feature, every formula is displayed as an image to the student and this image contain the accessible text as "alternative text". This way, you don't need any other tool or plugin, but simply let your screen reader act as it normally does: reading the alternative text of any image. We have run thorough compatibility tests with JAWS screen reader.

The language for the alternative text is selected from the current language of the web application that uses WIRIS editor. It works today in English and Spanish, but as new languages are added, the alternative texts will be cached automatically, so administrators won't have to change any configuration to add the new language.

Finally, we are not only working in the accessibility from the student point of view. We also provide accessibility to content editors, thanks to:

  1. Keyboard navigable interface.
  2. Shortcuts for the most common icons.
  3. Alternative text for all items of the toolbar. Tested with the most common assistive technologies as screen readers.
Road-runner quizzes

WIRIS quizzes has been subject to a major technological review regarding performance. As a result, current users will notice that the latest version of WIRIS quizzes has improved its general performance by as much as 50%, and new users will simply enjoy a faster tool.

But we have even gone further. Advanced users in WIRIS quizzes normally build algorithms in order to generate random parameters. Now, we are all humans, and we sometimes fail. If you create an algorithm that crashes from time to time, WIRIS quizzes will detect it and mark it as a risky question. WIRIS quizzes prevents risky questions from breaking your tests.

[Road Runner is a character registered by Warner Bros.]

Etudes Consortium integrates WIRIS editor
Logo Etudes Consortium

Etudes Consortium has integrated WIRIS editor in their Sakai installation. Now, all the users of Sakai enjoying a hosting of this consortium will shortly have access to WIRIS formula editor for creating math contents.

Etudes Consortium is an organization that offers centralized hosting, support, site and account management, training and professional development opportunities to institutions and organizations that need a turn-key, fully-managed course management solution. As an Application Services Provider, Etudes serves higher education institutions, supporting over 350,000 student enrollments annually.

WIRIS is BETT awards finalist!
Come on! Spare 200 quid and buy yourself a seat at the gala dinner of the BETT awards... We are finalists for the "Small ICT company of the year" award! You can also meet us at the following conferences:
Sincerely,

WIRIS team @ Maths for More

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