Using Jeopardy to Teach JAWS Skills

Screenshot of a Jeopardy grid with categories Braille Punctuation, Braille History, Braille Riddles, Braille Technology, and Braille Letters

A frequent request the outreach team receives here at PRCVI focuses on strategies for teaching students to use screen reading software such as JAWS, NVDA, or VoiceOver. We are always looking for games or activities to teach skills, rather than just memorizing a list of keyboard commands.

At the recent closing ceremonies of the 2021 BC Regional Braille Challenge, which was held virtually over Zoom, we played a Braille Jeopardy game with the students. This Jeopardy board template is fully accessible with JAWS, so I thought it could be used as an activity for teaching some screen reading skills! This template would allow students who use JAWS to not only design a Jeopardy game, but to host a game with their classmates or peers, either virtually using screen sharing over Zoom or Teams or in-person using a projector.

How the Game Works

The Jeopardy template consists of a main slide that contains the five categories and point options (100, 200, 300, 400, or 500 points). The categories and points are arranged in a grid, with the categories running across the top row and points running along each subsequent row (e.g., 100 points along the second row, 200 points along the third). Players select a category and the number of points they want (keeping in mind that questions get harder with more points!), and the game host then activates the link for the corresponding point value under the selected category.

Each question within the game has its own slide, and the link from the first slide corresponds to the slide with the question. The answer for each question is hidden until activated. At the bottom of each question slide is a back link that returns to the main slide.

Teaching Strategies

Use the Jeopardy board to teach and reinforce the following JAWS and Windows skills:

  • Use table navigation commands to navigate the categories and points in the first slide. First, use commands to find the table. Then have the student explore different navigation strategies to find one that is most efficient. An example would be navigating along the categories first until the desired one is found, and then moving down the column to the desired point.
  • Practice finding and activating links. The first slide has a grid of points, with each point value being a link. On the slides with questions, there is a back link at the bottom of each slide, which returns to the first grid slide.
  • Use reading commands to read the question and answer. (The answer will be read by JAWS even if it is not visible on screen.)
  • Use commands to navigate PowerPoint and edit the Jeopardy template. Discuss concepts such as “object level” and “edit level” and how to move between these levels. Discuss reading over and how to change this. Discuss whether headings are hidden or visible (in the game we did, headings were hidden, but still available to be read by JAWS).
  • Discuss how PowerPoint works and what it’s useful for. Discuss how objects may not be visible on-screen until they are activated. (In this template, each answer is initially hidden when the slide comes into view. When the answer is revealed, it is accompanied by a “click” sound effect.)
  • Use the Jeopardy game as an opportunity to practice presentation skills. This may involve the student practicing use of different devices (such as a braille display) to access the presentation if they do not want everyone to hear JAWS.

Note: This Jeopardy template does not appear to be as accessible with NVDA as it is with JAWS, in particular table navigation options. We have not tried this template with VoiceOver yet.

We hope you find this template useful either as a teaching game or a teaching tool to use with students. We would love to hear if you use this template with students!

Below are links to download a blank template as well as the two versions of braille Jeopardy we used at the 2021 BC Braille Challenge closing ceremonies.

Blank Jeopardy template (.pptx)

Braille Jeopardy #1 (.pptx)

Braille Jeopardy #2 (.pptx)

About the author

Jen Jesso

I have worked in various roles in the field of visual impairment since 2007. In addition to working as a teacher of students with visual impairments, I recently completed coursework to become an orientation and mobility specialist. I have been fortunate to work with the fantastic team at PRCVI since 2014.

I enjoy many aspects of my role at PRCVI, but highlights include working with teachers of students with visual impairments and their students on outreach visits and working on PRCVI initiatives and projects.

Outside of work, my interests include reading, computer programming, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.

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