[games_access] Any thoughts on adding a "teacher mode" access to software for Special Ed (cognitive) software?
oneswitch at gmail.com
Sat Jan 29 04:13:18 EST 2011
Re. "teacher mode" - It depends on the activity/game and user interface... (to state the obvious).
If the activity/game uses a pure mouse-pointer or switch based interface, hiding unnecessary controls will of course help (e.g. keyboard).
Full screen mode and disabling the right-click as a way of bringing up contextual menus will help further. Giving an Teacher the option to disable any on-screen/in-activity "quit activity" powers (meaning that the only way to quit is via an alternative method).
Allowing the teacher/enabler to user-define what key/joystick combination will bring up the Teacher settings menu.
Having an external control (might be a switch triggering a particular key or key combination on the keyboard - or perhaps a simple USB joypad used as an external control) could do the trick.
Include very clear instructions for the teacher/enabler as to how this works, perhaps at the start up of the software.
I have to say, some of this is very useful for all PC games too. Without that full-screen mode, and without a way to disable the right-click, many leaning-disabled players can have problems with getting lost in the PC windows environment (game loosing focus, bringing up baffling contextual menus, etc.). It's also a problem with many joypads, especially now with the XMB and Xbox menu buttons.
What are you working on by the way, if you can say?
From: Tim Holt
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 12:17 AM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: [games_access] Any thoughts on adding a "teacher mode" access to software for Special Ed (cognitive) software?
I've been wondering about ways to add access to a "teacher mode" or setup mode for software used by those with cognitive disabilities. By teacher mode I mean access to settings and configurations that you'd not want the student to open by accident.
Any thoughts on ways to do this beyond making it a keyboard shortcut that only the teacher knows? The downside in my mind to the keyboard shortcut idea is that even if you put a nice little prompt on the screen that says, "Press Ctrl+T to access settings", some people (teachers) won't figure it out.
A few things I've thought of is requiring one to hold down the Shift key while clicking an access icon. E.g., have a "Gear" icon for settings, and when moused over, a tool tip text says "Hold shift and click to access settings", the assumption being that the student probably can't read or understand the instructions.
Product Technology Architect
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