UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

  • Email Subscription (Feedburner)

  • Twitter

    Posts on this blog cover ideas often discussed on Twitter. Feel free to follow @briankelly.

    Brian Kelly on Twitter Counter

  • Syndicate This Page

    RSS Feed for this page

    Licence

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. As described in a blog post this licence applies to textual content published by the author and (unless stated otherwise) guest bloggers. Also note that on 24 October 2011 the licence was changed from CC-BY-SA to CC-BY. Comments posted on this blog will also be deemed to have been published with this licence. Please note though, that images and other resources embedded in the blog may not be covered by this licence.

    Contact Details

    Brian's email address is ukwebfocus@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter using the ID briankelly. Also note that the @ukwebfocus Twitter ID provides automated alerts of new blog posts.

  • Contact Details

    My LinkedIn profile provides details of my professional activities.

    View Brian Kelly's profile on LinkedIn

    Also see my about.me profile.

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Privacy

    Cookies

    This blog is hosted by WordPress.com which uses Google Analytics (which makes use of 'cookie' technologies) to provide the blog owner with information on usage of this blog.

    Other Privacy Issues

    If you wish to make a comment on this blog you must provide an email address. This is required in order to minimise comment spamming. The email address will not be made public.

Rethinking Web Accessibility for E-Learning

Posted by Brian Kelly on 2 Mar 2009

Online College Edu Blogger Scholarship ContestWhy would we want to rethink Web accessibility in an elearning context? Surely application of WAI‘s WCAG guidelines will provide universal accessibility? And the recently released WCAG 2.0 guidelines should improve things further.

As described in a paper on “Developing A Holistic Approach For E-Learning Accessibility” the WAI approach is flawed when applied in an elearning context. The WCAG guidelines seek to ensure that information can be processed by people with disabilities using a variety of assistive technologies. But learning isn’t about the simple processing of information (effective learning isn’t provided by encylopedia!).

Figure 1: The Holistic Approach to E-Leaning Accessibility (which emphasises the importance of the learners needs and acknowledges that factors including accessibility, usability, local factors, organisational infrastructure and the learning outcomes all need to be consideredThis was the core of our initial work. Further research described flaws in WAI guidelines and provided evidence that, although a political success, WCAG guidelines aren’t being implemented to any significant extent. The reason for this isn’t that educational institutions aren’t aware of the guidelines or don’t care about enhancing the quality of learning for students with disabilities. And although there are instances in which accessibility could be enhanced relatively simply, there is a need for an alternative approach which recognises the complexities of user needs and requirements, the rapidly changing technical environment, our understandings of what is meant by ‘accessibility’ and ‘disability’ and our ability to implement desirable solutions (and not just policies) within our institutions.

Figure 2: Stakeholder model of accessibilityOur proposed approach (solution would be too bold a term) describes a Web Adaptability framework which builds on our holistic framework and focusses on the accessibility of learning outcomes rather than e-learning resources and the involvement of a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

And rather than a simplistic legal framework, institutions should deploy such approaches due to peer pressure, involvement of learners with disabilities in the design process, corporate reputation management, peer group pressure and sharing of solutions and failures.

Please join in the debate on how this goal can be realised!


Please note that this post was submitted to the Edu Blogger Scholarship contest and has been shortlisted in the 20 finalists. For details on why I am entering this contest see my previous post.

One Response to “Rethinking Web Accessibility for E-Learning”

  1. […] Rethinking Web Accessibility for E-Learning (source: UK Web Focus, […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: