Holistic approaches to e-learning accessibility

ALT-J Association for Learning Technology journal 03/2006; 14(1). DOI: 10.1080/09687760500479860
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT

The importance of accessibility to digital e‐learning resources is widely acknowledged. The World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative has played a leading role in promoting the importance of accessibility and developing guidelines that can help when developing accessible web resources. The accessibility of e‐learning resources provides additional challenges. While it is important to consider the technical and resource related aspects of e‐learning when designing and developing resources for students with disabilities, there is a need to consider pedagogic and contextual issues as well. A holistic framework is therefore proposed and described, which in addition to accessibility issues takes into account learner needs, learning outcomes, local factors, infrastructure, usability and quality assurance. The practical application and implementation of this framework is discussed and illustrated through the use of examples and case studies.

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    • "This approach recommends taking into account the context of use including user's needs and characteristics (perceptual, cognitive, or physical abilities or disabilities), the requirements of the domain (tasks that users need to run, environmental factors, etc.), technical requirements (availability of software and assistive agents), and performance requirements (success rate, navigation time, satisfaction, etc.). According to Phipps and Kelly [8], accessible alternatives of the interface should be developed depending on the target population. Thus, the holistic approach falls within an ergonomic approach which advocates the user-centered design. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the autonomy gain provided by the Web for blind people, its access for this population still remains difficult. Today, web accessibility is practically restricted to the normative accessibility guaranteed by the application of design standards. Effective accessibility, which ensures that the users can reach their goal, is therefore forgotten at the expense of the interface usability. Thus, we proposed the conceptualization of a technical solution which attains effective accessibility by solving the information filtering problem encountered by blind people. The conceptualization of this solution, supported by previous experimental results, seems promising to make web interfaces easier and faster to use by blind people.
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    • "Based on previous considerations, a need emerges for a system able to exploit transcoding strategies for the automatic production of SCORM-compliant LOs, encoded as synchronized multimedia presentations [Salomoni et al. 2006]. During the adaptation of contents, the system should take into account user tastes, physical capabilities, and also the device's technical characteristics. In this section , we present our solution to this issue. From a logical point of view, three different phases characterize the adaptation of multimedia presentations (see Figure 12"
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    ABSTRACT: The large diffusion of e-learning technologies represents a great opportunity for underserved segments of population. This is particularly true for people with disabilities for whom digital barriers should be overstepped with the aim of reengaging them back into society to education. In essence, before a mass of learners can be engaged in a collective educational process, each single member should be put in the position to enjoy accessible and customized educational experiences, regardless of the wide diversity of their personal characteristics and technological equipment. To respond to this demand, we developed LOT (Learning Object Transcoder), a distributed PHP-based service-oriented system designed to deliver flexible and customized educational services for a multitude of learners, each with his/her own diverse preferences and needs. The main novelty of LOT amounts to a broking service able to manage the transcoding activities needed to convert multimedia digital material into the form which better fits a given student profile. Transcoding activities are performed based on the use of Web service technologies. Experimental results gathered from several field trials with LOT (available online at http://137.204.74.83/∼lot/) have confirmed the viability of our approach.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · ACM Transactions on Internet Technology
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    • "(Zaharias, 2005; Adams 2007a), others point out potential conflicts in including accessibility guidelines alongside usability ones, e.g. (Phipps and Kelly, 2006). This may be due, in part, for a focus of accessibility concerns on the lowest level of design , namely standards for coding in a programming language on in a mark-up language such as HTML or XHTML. "

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