Headings are a special type of text formatting. You may already use bold, color and/or a larger font to distinguish the section titles in your content, but that type of formatting alone won't allow a
screen reader to recognize the text as a heading. You also need to format the text using the heading style settings in your word processor, the text editor on eCampus, etc.
In the example below, a Heading 1 style has been applied to the section title.
In the example below, a heading tag has been applied to a section heading. Heading settings are available in any eCampus textbox that has the text-editing toolbar.
Students using screen readers need to have text formatted in certain ways in order to easily navigate course materials. Think of headings as an outline or table of contents that will help screen reader users understand the structure of the document and quickly find information. Heading structure allows screen reader users to easily search for sections and jump directly to specific content without having to listen to the entire document each time.
You should add headings to indicate all main topics and subtopics, especially in longer documents.
Video Overview: Improve accessibility with heading styles
eCampus, Microsoft Word and Google Docs all provide style and formatting options to help you build heading structure into your documents.
Tip: To save time, setup your preferred
headings, fonts, and styles in Microsoft Office. That way, whenever you create new material, it will be consistent with your existing content.
You should use headings in a hierarchical (nested) order to indicate main topics and subtopics.
Never skip a heading level. For example, don't jump directly from a Heading 1 to a Heading 3.
Example Heading Structure
Below is an example of one possible heading hierarchy for a course syllabus. Note that the document title ("ENGL 1301 Course Syllabus") is the only Heading 1. The main topics of the document are all Heading 2, and any subtopic for one of those main topics is a Heading 3.
Heading 1: ENGL 1301 Course Syllabus
Heading 2: Instructor Information
Heading 2: Basic Course Information
Heading 3: Course Prerequisites
Heading 3: Course Description
Heading 3: Student Learning Outcomes
Heading 2: Required Course Materials
Heading 2: Course Activities
Heading 2: Grading
Heading 2: Course and Institutional Policies
Heading 3: Attendance Policy
Heading 3: Late Policy
Heading 3: Institutional Policies
Heading 2: Course Schedule