Tabbing through shuffled multiple choice answers

I created a quiz that shuffles the order of the answer options in a multiple choice question. Users are able to use the Tab key to navigate through each question slide. However,  the order in which they move from answer to answer also appears to be shuffled from their perspective. It seems that the keyboard navigation is reading the original, non-shuffled entry of the answers and applying that to the tab order. The individual answers do not appear in the custom tab order list; the entire multiple choice text box appears as one shape. Is there a workaround for this?

17 Replies
Katie Riggio

Hi, Steve. Thanks for sharing your file!

To start, I hosted the LMS zipped package to SCORM Cloud for testing–here's the hosted output

Does this short recording capture the behavior you see on your end? Also, would you be able to attach the source .story file here so we can take a thorough look at the tab order settings?

Let me know, and we'll work on our next steps!

Katie Riggio

Thank you for sharing the bones with me, Steve. Super helpful to see!

It looks like you've run into an open issue we're currently investigating: When answer choices are shuffled/random, the tab order is also randomized rather than going from the top answer to the bottom answer.

So sorry for the trouble! I'm tagging this discussion to our report so I can circle back with any workarounds and changes in this bug’s status!

Katie Riggio

Hey there, Steve!

To circle back, I wanted to share that this issue is fixed and thank you for sharing the crucial need for creating accessible content for all learners. While there is more to do, we're at a point where we're confident the work done so far delivers meaningful real-world improvements for learners with accessibility needs.

Below, you'll find all the details on what this means for Storyline 360Update 36:

Be sure to also check out these general FAQs on accessibility in Articulate 360 tools!

This release makes it significantly easier for those users to perceive, operate, and understand content published with Storyline—all while opening up more browser, assistive technology, and device choices for the first time. Learners will benefit from the vast majority of these improvements, even when the course author is not designing their course for accessibility. 

If there's anything we can help answer, please let us know. We know there is more work to do, so we'll continue to share all the news on this topic!

Steve Keddy

From what I can see, this doesn't seem to be fixed yet. I downloaded an update and published a new version of my latest test. The Tab Order function appears to be the same and when I tested the quiz on my LMS, the shuffled multiple choice answers still Tab through in non-linear order. I checked out all the the resource links in the post above and I don't see any mention of my particular problem. Am I missing something?

Lauren Connelly

Hi William!

Great question! When entering a slide, a screen reader should read off the title. If you use the TAB key, then you'll end up at the first button on the slide. If it's a True/False question, then it will be the True radio button. To move through the answer choices, use the up and down arrows. To select an answer, use the space bar. 

This is a standard approach for users who rely on screen readers. I've added a short screen recording where I've moved through a True/False slide using NVDA. Here's the link. 

William Beardsley

Thanks Lauren, I did understand that this is how it works but we often have True/False or multi choice single answer questions where the submission of the interaction is on the radio button not through a submit button. This new format means that this is impossible to do as you cannot tab through the answer options. One way around this is to remove the answer options from the button set. I am not sure if there are any side affects when doing this.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi again, William.

If you need this to only work with keyboard navigation, I created a sample that may help you get started.

Using a Submit Button will allow the content to work as intended for both mouse users and keyboard users. An additional thought, does auto-submission of content meet the accessibility guidelines you're looking to meet?

This is what 3.2.2 of WGAC says:
Changes in context can confuse users who do not easily perceive the change or are easily distracted by changes. Changes of context are appropriate only when it is clear that such a change will happen in response to the user’s action.

William Beardsley

Thank you for that example. It is a good alternative. I also am wondering if removing the answer options from the button set is also useful. Do you know if removing buttons (in this situation) from a button set would cause any other issues?

Also, I am not sure that allowing the user to tab through the answers (or arrow through) would cause confusion or a breach of WGAC. It has always been the case ion the past that users could do this. If instructions are clear then it shouldn't be a problem.