Moodle Accessibility – Tip #4: Color

#4 Color with Care

The use of color can affect how readable a page is for students with vision disabilities. For instance, color-blind individuals have a hard time discriminating between specific colors and hues. Therefore, you should never rely solely on color to convey information (using red to indicate homework and green to indicate readings).  Color should instead be used to compliment what is already implied in your text.

If you must use color, make sure there is considerable contrast between the background and text colors. You should also limit how many colors you use on your page to help alleviate confusion for students with vision impairments.

The image below shows how color-blindness can affect what information a person sees.

Moodle Accessibility – Tip #3: Fonts

#3 Choose the Right Font

Choose one font for your Moodle page and stick with it. Keep in mind that sans-serif fonts such as Arial and Veranda are easier to read on-line than serif fonts (Times New Roman). You should avoid using narrow or decorative fonts as these can be incredibly hard for students with visual impairments to read. Fonts should be no smaller than 10 points.


To change your font, use the following steps.
Open your Moodle course.
Turn Editing on.
Anytime you have the opportunity to add text to Moodle – think weekly summaries, labels, assignments and discussion forms – you should have ability to change fonts.
Locate the bar tool bar, just above your text. It should have one row of icons.
Click the very first icon to expand the tool bar giving you access to the Font Family and Font Size settings.
Make sure you highlight your text before you try to change the font.

Moodle Menu Bar

Moodle Accessibility – Tip #2: Organize

#2 Organize

Choose an organization design and use it consistently in your Moodle sections. This can be as simple as always posting readings first, followed by a Powerpoint, video, or other resource, and then a discussion forum. You can use Labels to help identify sections (Assignments, Lectures, Discussions, etc.). Use the Move Right/Left option for activities and resources (Edit – Move right) to organize data. Name assignments and forums consistently.

This will help students anticipate where to find information from week to week.

How to Add Labels

To add a label to a section, perform the following steps.
Open your Moodle course.
Turn Editing on.
Locate the week you want and choose “Add an Activity or Resource.”
Scroll to the bottom of the popup and choose Label.
Insert your text and save changes.

[You can easily duplicate a label by clicking the Edit drop down and choosing Duplicate.
Clicking and dragging labels (once you have duplicated them) will allow you to move them to subsequent weeks.]

Moodle Accessibility – Tip #1: Summarize

#1 Summarize

Provide a summary of each week or section of your course. Weekly summaries should be brief, no more than a few sentences, written with the intention of informing students to your goals for the week. This will help students navigate your course and understand learning goals and objectives.

To add a summary for each week, do the following.

Open your Moodle course.
Turn Editing On.
For each week/topic click the gear and add your summary.
Save changes.

Installing Office 2016 from O365

Castleton students, faculty and staff are eligible to install Office on up to five computers or mobile devices free of charge. The process is easy.

  1. If you currently have a trial version of Office on your computer, uninstall it first.
  1. Login to your Castleton portal at
  1. Click on the “Castleton Email Access” link.

Portal Screenshot

  1. Once you’re in your Office 365 email, click on the Office 365 button in the upper left corner of your page.

O365 Button

  1. If your computer is running an operating system compatible with Office 2016, you’ll get a screen titled “Install Office 2016 on your Mac/PC”. If your operating system isn’t compatible, you’ll see an option on the page to install an older version of office – 2011 for Mac or 2013 for PC. Click the “Install now” button.

Office Install Page

  1. When prompted, click to save the installer file. The way this appears on your screen will depend on the OS and browser you are using. It may be a pop-up or it may appear as a banner at the bottom of your browser window.

Save File Screenshot

  1. Click or double-click the file to run it. The file may appear in your “Downloads” folder or at the bottom of your browser. Follow the installation instructions on your screen.
  1. Once installed, launch one of the Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc). You will be asked to activate Office with an email and password. Use your Castleton email address in this format: (i.e. and your password. You will only need to do this once.

If you have any questions or run into any problems, please contact us at or at (802) 468-1221.

Changing Reply Settings in Outlook Web Access

Seeing the occasional unintentional “Reply-All” makes me think this subject deserves an explanation along with a warning – especially since the default for replying to messages has changed to “Reply-All” within the web version of Outlook.  Here’s how “Reply-all” works; someone sends a message to a group of people, you being a member of that group. If you wish to reply to the sender only, that is a simple “reply”. If you choose “reply-all”, it will go to the sender and also EVERYONE included in the original group. You can see how not paying attention to this detail has created some embarrassment. For some reason (probably because of end-user demand), Microsoft has decided it is more likely people WANT to do a “Reply-all” and have therefore made it the default when replying to a message. The arrow next to that text gives the option for a simple “reply”. Pay attention to this detail when replying and also look at who is in your TO: prompt before hitting “send”.

All that said, there is a way to change the default to a simple “Reply” rather than “Reply-all”. It can’t be done globally, but the individual can make this change on their own. Here’s how:

First off, click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and choose “Options”:

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.57.10 PM

Next, look for your reply settings under the Mail tab – choose the radio button for “reply” rather than “reply-all” and make sure to click “Save” when done:

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.59.19 PM

Clutter feature added to Office 365

Many of you have received messages about the “Clutter” feature in Office 365. Microsoft is often adding new features, but some can create confusion and make it appear messages are being lost. In reality, it’s making decisions about what could be considered unimportant – decisions that are often wrong. If you dislike the Clutter feature, here’s how to disable it.

First off, you will need to be in the web browser version of Office 365. Simply login to the Portal and click the link for email access on the left. Once your email loads look for the gear in the upper right-hand corner and click on that,and then click on Mail link at the bottom.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 3.50.45 PM

Once in Options, expand the Mail settings and look for the clutter tab – select the appropriate radio button to turn it off. That’s all there is too it!

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.20.50 AM

Why can’t I connect to CU-Community WIFI?

We get asked this question a lot and I will admit, a lot has to go right for a successful connection. Let me begin by saying this is the standard method for wireless networking you will find at most colleges and universities. We’re not Starbucks. The CU-Community WIFI uses an encryption method based on your own username and password (this is called 802.1x authentication, if you want to impress your geek friends). With no two of those alike, you’re protected from other students “watching” your traffic with a packet sniffer. On your home network, you probably have a shared password with your family – this protects you from outsiders, but not from others on the network with that same password. Sure, I realize Mom, Dad, and your sister aren’t much of a threat to snoop your traffic (I could see your little brother being nosy, though). In any case, Castleton IT is committed to providing you the most secure connection possible. Now for the problem; your device has to recognize and support it. This is more difficult than you would imagine. Apple is famous for not testing 802.1x in many versions of OS X and even if it’s working, it could end up breaking with the next update you get from them. That has happened so many times we’ve lost count. Changing your password is problematic if you save your credentials and your device continues to try using the old one. There’s just too much complexity in the connection to list everything that might be causing you issues. But I promise you this; if you’re having troubles, bring your device to us and I’ll bet we can figure out what’s causing the problem.

WIFI on Android

Certain versions of the Android OS are unable to automatically detect the encryption settings for the CSC-Community network. The key settings are “PEAP” for the EAP method and “MSCHAPv2” for the phase 2 authentication. Those settings along with your correct username (identity) and password should make a connection.