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Workshop B: Access to education and e-learning

Cloud created by:

Nick Freear
12 July 2010

Chair: Julie Howell, Associate, Headstar
Rachel Sefton Smith, Quality and Accessibility Manager, Brightwave
John Sewell, Trustee, Rix Centre 
Andy Tasker, Managing Director, Concept Live

Increasingly, education, learning and training at all levels, from school work to workplace training and higher education, makes use of digital technologies such as electronic text-books, websites and e-learning modules as part of the course materials. This raises important accessibility issues, which become issues of access to learning itself by people with disabilities.

In this workshop our speakers will look at some case studies in this area, including the development of accessible e-learning software and the development of 'e-portfolios' for learners with special needs, and discuss the general issues raised and the implications for learners of all ages.

Extra content

11:50 - Workshop.

Brightwave - Rachel Sefton Smith

Leading provider of workplace e-learning.
Based in Brighton.
Strong focus on results and behaviour change.
Wide range of clients - Microsoft, IBM, P&G, RBS, Home Office, Ikea.
Brightwave defines e-learning as...
* Online training/courses/ modules for corporate/ public sector
* In education e-learning is more resource oriented
* Modules are self-paced, interactive (clicking thinking), one-to-one
* Adult learning
* Multimedia - html, Javascript, Flash, audio, video.
* Design - objectives, audience (eg. BT - the people who climb up posts), content, media, budget.
Accessibility has moved from a "nice to have" to a "must have"
* Numbers, 40% of working population in 2020 will be over 50.
* Skills shortage
* Accessible course design means good design for everyone - 
* A C D means content more portable.
CIPD definition "Accessibility refers to the ability of web-based information or e-learning to be viewed, navigated and read by everyone, Including people.. Equivalent learning experience ..."
What does that mean for e-learning?
* No specific e-learning accessibility standards, so web standards WCAG, PAS78.
* However, e-learning courses are far more interactive than web sites.
* Perception that there's a compromise between achieving true accessibility vs. rich and engaging design.
WCAG 2 - 4 principles
The end results
We've identified three ways you can approach an accessible course:
* "One size fits all" - ???
* Separate versions - maintenance overhead.
* One version, multiple modes - the best surely?
Considerations - visual impairments
Screen reading software
* text equivalent
* video transcript - this is all very basic.
Virgin - rich visual + alternative (still looks attractive).
* Vischeck, WebXACT

* Early Build Reviews.

John Sewell - Rix Centre, charity - Uni. of East London

* intellectual disabilities,
* To benefit the lives
What we do
* R & D
* Teaching and Learning
* "Best Practice"
Accessibility or a new medium?
* Accessibility is not just about the physical
* Digitally communication is a new medium
- More widely effective
- Intuitive
- Contemporary
- Available - in class, homes, pockets.
Digital key-rings - 8 pounds.
* Complexity is the biggest barrier
- More markets, means more bells and whistles.
* Work by the Home Farm Trust involving Powerpoint,
* Benefits for the users, confidence, feelings of self worth, ownership,
* Specialist colleges wanted an easy system (Powerpoint not portable)
* TechDis, the LSC and Rix developed In-Folio
* Easy to use picture log on for the password challenged - I like that, a lot - choose picture, nominate points to click on (up to 12). Simon Evans.
* Carries on after college - important.

Exportable from web-server to memory stick - HTML + Flash etc. 25 MB. Includes TTS.

Jason/Andy Tasker - Concept Northern, Concept Live (Scotland)

* Training for Assistive Technologies.
* All disabilities, low vision, dyslexia etc.
* Dyslexia - Texthelp, mind-mapping software.
* Training/ have a specific context in mind.
* Specific courses
* Training for specific software - DSA, student awards, work.
Interactive course material, as opposed to a lot of text.
* Think learning "differences" not difficulties.
* In the workplace.
* Independent learning, have resources to refer back to.
Question 1 - how do you deal with maintenance? For Brightcove.
Question 2 - Cocksedge, procuring e-books (?) We test for accessibility, but have no teeth, get stuck on "reasonable adjustment". People don't know who to complex to.
Xerte - Uni of Nottingham, accessible, interactive, open-source.
Gill Whitney, Middlesex University - Masters course on digital inclusion.

PAS 78 - definitions of accessibility, usability, user experience.

Good point - any course where you can't come back after a break to the same point - bookmarks are important.

Nick Freear
12:55 on 13 July 2010 (Edited 10:44 on 20 July 2010)

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