Designing a staff development course in inclusive design for online learning.Our own research (Pearson, 2001) and others (Grimaldi & Goette, 1999) have noted the liberating lib·er·ate
tr.v. lib·er·at·ed, lib·er·at·ing, lib·er·ates
1. To set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control.
2. Chemistry To release (a gas, for example) from combination. effect for students with disabilities being able to access learning materials and resources on the Web. However, the same research concluded that students may have particular needs which need to be addressed in the design of online courses and learning materials. The failure to meet those needs presents further barriers to inclusion. Some examples include:
* students with vision impairments--may use screen magnifiers
A screen magnifier is software that interfaces with a computer's graphical output to present enlarged screen content. or screen readers;
* those with hearing impairment hearing impairment
A reduction or defect in the ability to perceive sound. may need captioning or text commentary for video and other multimedia;
* students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia dyslexia (dĭslĕk`sēə), in psychology, a developmental disability in reading or spelling, generally becoming evident in early schooling. To a dyslexic, letters and words may appear reversed, e.g. might use speech recognition software for data input;
* people with other disabilities including aphasia aphasia (əfā`zhə), language disturbance caused by a lesion of the brain, making an individual partially or totally impaired in his ability to speak, write, or comprehend the meaning of spoken or written words. or colour blindness colour blindness
Inability to distinguish one or more colours. The human retina contains three types of cone cells that absorb light in different parts of the spectrum. Absence of these types causes colour blindness to red, green, and blue. need clear access to structure, careful use of colour, and consistent organization of learning materials; and
* students with physical disabilities may need alternative input mechanisms and easy navigation.
All of these requirements have an impact on the way the student interacts with a learning environment. Furthermore, some students might not be fluent fluent /flu·ent/ (floo´int) flowing effortlessly; said of speech. in the language of study or there could be other technical barriers--a slow modem or they might be using a text-only browser--all of these things "These Things" is an EP by She Wants Revenge, released in 2005 by Perfect Kiss, a subsidiary of Geffen Records. Music Video
The music video stars Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage. Track Listing
1. "These Things [Radio Edit]" - 3:17
2. can present further barriers to access. While many of the adjustments which make sites accessible for use with screen readers also have a beneficial effect for people with other disabilities this is not always enough. Careful design--particularly in the context of online learning--can mean more effective access for all students and provide a better experience for all.
As a result of a research project (supported by the Leverhulme Trust The Leverhulme Trust is a research and educational charity based in London, England.
Founded in 1925 after the death of the Victorian entrepreneur William Hesketh Lever to continue his philanthropic work, the Trust was originally endowed with a shareholding in Lever , UK) which investigated the accessibility of online courses (in this case courses developed in WebCT), we produced our own set of guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. for academics (Pearson & Koppi 2001). The guidelines were based on those produced by the Web Accessibility Initiative The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) for people using a wide range of user agent devices, not just standard web browsers. (http://www.w3.org/WAI/) but have been designed specifically to aid academic developers who may have limited technical ability. The guidelines constitute a handbook and guide for academic developers for the design and implementation of online courses. They provide advice, practical examples, references and links for the designer. The guidelines are available to staff at UNSW UNSW University of New South Wales (Australia)
UNSW Unidentified Swallow
UNSW United Nations Scholars' Workstation (Yale University) , but also to anyone requesting them both in print and online (in an accessible format).
Following this research we set out to explore the extent to which the guidelines can be used as a basis for staff development and to encourage prospective online designers to develop courses which are accessible and inclusive for all students. We used the guidelines first as a basis for the development of a face-to-face workshop in accessibility. The workshop was used not only to train teaching fellows in accessible design, but also as a pilot for the creation of the online course. Our experience of the face-to-face workshop provided us with the opportunity to reflect on the process, content, and tasks, and consider how they could be translated to a flexible mode.
FACE-TO-FACE WORKSHOP PROTOTYPES
The workshops enabled us to see how the learning tasks worked, how long they took, what the problems were, and to obtain feedback from the participants. We modelled the workshop along the lines of the intended online course: orientation introduction, activities, reporting back, and support from the workshop facilitator. We were in effect doing evaluation of the intended online tasks in advance.
The results of the workshop experience enabled us to refine activities for the online course, mainly by adding more support and tasks to provide a background and orientation to the issues of learner-centred design. We also realised how much more valuable an online course can be than an ephemeral Temporary. Fleeting. Transitory. face-to-face workshop which disappears without visible trace. The online course can be revisited and re-examined after further learning or application of learning has occurred. Fleeting ideas in a workshop, too soon gone because of the pace, can be explored in the online course. The advantages of face-to-face though cannot be denied--the time commitment is made and colleagues are there on hand for immediate discussion, however brief. It seems that commitment to an online course can be problematic for busy people because it is too easy not to set the time aside (Forsyth, 2001).
We used the services of Darren Fittler, a law student who is blind and an experienced Internet user Internet user n → internauta m/f
Internet user Internet n → internaute m/f . This proved to be a highly engaging time for the workshop participants who observed Darren as a first-time user of WebCT as he went through his allotted al·lot
tr.v. al·lot·ted, al·lot·ting, al·lots
1. To parcel out; distribute or apportion: allotting land to homesteaders; allot blame.
2. tasks (of which he had no prior information), speaking his thoughts out loud. That gave a powerful message with respect to learner-centred design. We felt we had to capture Darren's activities and commentary and incorporate them into the online course. He was later videoed going through it all again in a studio setting. Without the experience of the face-to-face workshop with Darren we would probably not have thought of including him online.
Because the authors are at different universities, in different fields with different "clients," the nature of the course had to be negotiated. Pearson (at the University of Teesside The University of Teesside, based in Middlesbrough, UK, has a student body of 20,685 students as of 2005. Recording rises in applications of 11.4%/2.5% for degree courses beginning in 2005/2006 respectively has given Teesside, for two years running, the highest such percentage , UK) teaches postgraduate postgraduate
after first degree graduation, the registerable degree in veterinary science.
may be a research degree, e.g. PhD, or a course-work masterate with a vocational bias, or any combination of these. students and the desired accessibility module would be part of an MSc in Multimedia Applications. Koppi (at the University of New South Wales The University of New South Wales, also known as UNSW or colloquially as New South, is a university situated in Kensington, a suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. , Australia) is involved with academic staff development and the course would have to help teaching staff to produce their own accessible online courses (using WebCT at UNSW).
We realised that the course itself would have to be an exemplar ex·em·plar
1. One that is worthy of imitation; a model. See Synonyms at ideal.
2. One that is typical or representative; an example.
3. An ideal that serves as a pattern; an archetype.
4. of inclusive design and that we must ensure that it would be accessible to people with disabilities. We employed the services of an experienced student who is blind (Darren), and is a regular Internet user, to assist us with identifying the capabilities of assistive technologies Hardware and software that help people who are physically impaired. Often called "accessibility options" when referring to enhancements for using the computer, the entire field of assistive technology is quite vast and even includes ramp and doorway construction in buildings to support , and with checking the accessibility of the course. We also intended to use the checking tools provided by Bobby (CAST, 2002), DreamWeaver 4, and our own Guidelines (Pearson & Koppi, 2001) to check for accessibility.
The project development proposal included a rationale stating that the intended course would have the dual purpose of an MSc component and a staff development purpose. This was to prove problematic (but was resolved), particularly where assessment was concerned. The project proposal was based on constructivist con·struc·tiv·ism
A movement in modern art originating in Moscow in 1920 and characterized by the use of industrial materials such as glass, sheet metal, and plastic to create nonrepresentational, often geometric objects. learning principles and was structured to include learning activities, dialogue and collaboration, and student support. We decided to adopt the roles of content expert (Pearson) and instructional designer (Koppi) to help us include the essential perspectives in courseware Educational software. See CBT and OpenCourseWare.
(application) courseware - Programs and data used in Computer-Based Training. development.
In developing the workshops, and then the online course, five major themes were identified which we considered desirable for the academic to understand, appreciate, or develop skills in, for accessible design. These five themes encompass:
* legal or quality assurance requirements;
* awareness of, and the ability to use, available guidelines and protocols;
* some understanding of the assistive technologies used by students with disabilities;
* awareness of designing for inclusion; and
* checking tools and mechanisms that are available for the designer to check the accessibility of web pages.
The workshops and online course were developed to cover these five areas. The remainder of this article discusses each of these areas, how they relate to the development of accessible online courses, the designers role in meeting the requirements of students with disabilities, and the process by which the course was developed. Online, each of the themes included a moderated discussion forum whereby participants could appreciate multiple perspectives.
LEGAL AND QUALITY ASSURANCE CONSIDERATIONS
The rights and needs of students with disabilities are now recognised in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 and through changes to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in the UK (TechDis, 2001), the Disability Standards for Education under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 in Australia (Human Resource and Equal Opportunities Commission [HREOC HREOC Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia) ], 2001), and Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. civil-rights law, enacted 1990, that forbids discrimination of various sorts against persons with physical or mental handicaps. in the USA (CITA CITA Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
CITA Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
CITA Center for Information Technology Accommodation (US; now the GSA IT Accommodation Division) , 2002). Those developing courseware need at least to be aware of the acts and take this into consideration in the provision of online resources.
However, it is perhaps more relevant for academics to consider accessibility in terms of quality assurance and the Quality Assurance Agency's (QAA QAA Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK)
QAA Questions and Answers
QAA Quality Assurance Assessment
QAA Quality Assurance Audit
QAA Quality Assurance Analyst
QAA Quality Assessment Audit (USACE) ) (in the UK) expectations of Higher Education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. Institutions in complying with legal obligations. The QAA (Joint Information Systems Committee [JISC JISC Joint Information Systems Committee (UK)
JISC Japan Industrial Standards Committee
JISC Joint Industry Safety Committee ], 2001) set out 24 precepts or standards that institutions are expected to meet, including treating students with disabilities as part of the academic community. Possible action includes:
* accessible web and intranet sites, and alternative formats for programme details and other information;
* adaptation of course material (including electronic material) and course delivery to ensure access; and
* training staff to use relevant technology and to produce accessible electronic courseware (JISC, 2001).
The course includes an activity where the participants research the legal and quality assurance requirements and consider what they mean to them as courseware developers.
GUIDELINES AND PROTOCOLS
Web designers and course developers need to be aware of, and be able to use, the guidelines that are available to ensure that their web sites and courses are compliant with the standards, thereby meeting basic accessibility requirements.
The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, www.w3.org) An international industry consortium founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee to develop standards for the Web. It is hosted in the U.S. by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT (www.csail.mit.edu/index.php). guidelines for accessible web design are, at present, quite technical in nature and lack examples. Although the WAI WAI Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C)
WAI Where Am I?
WAI Wales Arts International (UK)
WAI Women in Aviation, International
WAI Warm Air Intake
WAI Web Application Interface are working on developing a more user friendly set of guidelines, The Pearson and Koppi (2001) Guidelines for Accessible Online Courses, are designed to assist the average non-technical academic designer who is developing online learning materials and resources. They consist of a set of tips, techniques, examples, references and links to other sources of information to help the developer produce accessible courses. There are also other guidelines, most of which are based on those developed by the WAI at W3C, relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc the design of web sites in general.
Participants are given an activity that requires them to investigate and evaluate the guidelines and assess their usefulness for non- technical developers.
Assistive or enabling technologies are devices, hardware, or software, which enable people with disabilities to use the computer. Examples of assistive technology include screen readers (such as JAWS), screen magnifiers, alternative keyboards, or input devices, voice recognition software, and text-only browsers. Some experience in the use of these devices is beneficial for the courseware developer. It helps to understand the way that students interact with the online environment and the overheads that the use of such technology can involve, including difficulty in navigation and the extra time that may be required. Experience in interacting with the learning environment using assistive technologies can also highlight their limitations when used with certain features for example, chat rooms. Some assistive technologies (screen magnifiers, high contrast screen settings, etc.) can also be used for simple accessibility checks.
The course includes activities which enable participants to have practical experience with assistive technologies, and accessibility issues for those using such tools to access web sites and learning resources. For example, participants use dictation software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) to compose com·pose
v. com·posed, com·pos·ing, com·pos·es
1. To make up the constituent parts of; constitute or form: messages for the Chat (synchronous Refers to events that are synchronized, or coordinated, in time. For example, the interval between transmitting A and B is the same as between B and C, and completing the current operation before the next one is started are considered synchronous operations. Contrast with asynchronous. discussion) session and screen reading software (Jaws) to read those postings.
DESIGNING FOR INCLUSION
Design is central to the whole issue of accessibility and in this context we are really referring to learner-centred design (Pearson & Green 1999), which means understanding and considering who the user is, what their needs are, what you want them to learn, how they are going to learn it, and how you are going to support them in achieving their learning objectives (McLoughlin & Marshall, 2000; Winnips, 2001). In addition, we need to consider structural, navigational and interface design and think about designing accessible resources and documents.
Document design requires some forethought fore·thought
1. Deliberation, consideration, or planning beforehand.
2. Preparation or thought for the future. See Synonyms at prudence. and skill to be accessible to those using assistive technologies. The academic designer needs to consider the structure and appropriateness of their documents as well as the format in which they are presented. PDF (Portable Document Format) The de facto standard for document publishing from Adobe. On the Web, there are countless brochures, data sheets, white papers and technical manuals in the PDF format. documents, for instance, can be a particular problem. With the correct tools and skills however, many PDF and other documents can be made accessible.
Activities are included to enable participants to discover how to create accessible documents and learning resources, and consider the problems and solutions relevant to accessible design. The course itself is designed as an exemplar of accessible design, and these design issues are also discussed.
CHECKING TOOLS AND MECHANISMS
Checking tools can be used for either checking documents for accessibility before they are published or to check an existing website online. There is a number of tools, or mechanisms, available.
BOBBY (CAST, 2002) can be used to check single pages online, or can be downloaded to check entire websites on payment of a license fee. It provides checks on the accessibility of web pages in accordance Accordance is Bible Study Software for Macintosh developed by OakTree Software, Inc.
As well as a standalone program, it is the base software packaged by Zondervan in their Bible Study suites for Macintosh. with the W3C guidelines and the requirements of ADA Ada, city, United States
Ada (ā`ə), city (1990 pop. 15,820), seat of Pontotoc co., S central Okla.; inc. 1904. It is a large cattle market and the center of a rich oil and ranch area. Section 508. The checks are, however, largely functional and many design elements require a manual check.
Accessibility Prompt (A-Prompt) (2001) evaluates web pages for accessibility barriers and making repairs to correct those problems. A-Prompt is also based on the W3C guidelines and is made available free of charge through the University of Toronto Research at the University of Toronto has been responsible for the world's first electronic heart pacemaker, artificial larynx, single-lung transplant, nerve transplant, artificial pancreas, chemical laser, G-suit, the first practical electron microscope, the first cloning of T-cells, and the University of Wisconsin.
Authoring tools such as Macromedia Dreamweaver include a number of plug-ins or extensions that enable accessibility checks of web pages as they are developed. These extensions include the ability to evaluate and fix some accessibility problems to meet the requirements of the W3C guidelines and the ADA 508 requirements.
There are tools available within Internet Explorer Microsoft's Web browser, which comes with Windows starting with Windows 98. Commonly called "IE," versions for Mac and Unix are also available. Internet Explorer is the most widely used Web browser on the market. It has also been the browser engine in AOL's Internet access software. or as Windows utilities that might be used by people with disabilities and that are available to any PC user at no additional cost. So, for instance, you can use the screen magnifier or switch off graphics to check how the site would appear to someone who either doesn't use graphics (e.g., remote connection) or can't see them.
An activity is included which gives participants the opportunity to use and evaluate a number of checking tools, and their value in helping the academic developer identify and remedy accessibility problems.
DESIGN FEATURES OF THE ONLINE COURSE
Since learner-centred design is a core concern of the online course, some of those design features are noted here. These design considerations include visual design, navigation, support for assistive technologies, course structure, and learner support.
The Home page has text and icon (with alt-tags) links to all the important elements of the course. All icons are different to assist users who prefer to navigate (1) "Surfing the Web." To move from page to page on the Web.
(2) To move through the menu structure in a software application. by visual cues, and are taken from the standard library of photographic icons in WebCT.
High contrast text and background are used throughout, and no unnecessary graphics or icons are used.
Links to other parts of the course are provided wherever they are mentioned, and each link opens in a new window to enable easy return by closing the window.
Links are provided directly to any particular discussion topic rather than just to the discussion area, which would require further searching to find the specific relevant topic.
A direct link to assessment is also provided on the Home page.
SUPPORT FOR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
The use of PDF has been avoided wherever possible, or alternative formats have been provided.
The videos include either subtitles sub·ti·tle
1. A secondary, usually explanatory title, as of a literary work.
2. A printed translation of the dialogue of a foreign-language film shown at the bottom of the screen.
tr.v. or a text transcript A generic term for any kind of copy, particularly an official or certified representation of the record of what took place in a court during a trial or other legal proceeding.
A transcript of record .
The course content has been checked for accessibility using a number of checking tools
On the Home page there are tips for accessibility for example, for people using a screen reader, to hide the left navigation bar A set of buttons or graphic images typically in a row or column used as a central point that link you to major topic sections on a Web site. If the navigation bar is a single graphic image with multiple selections, it is known as an imagemap. See imagemap. which can add unnecessary complexity to the page.
The tip also includes a link to downloading the Adobe Acrobat Reader The former name of Adobe Reader. See PDF. 5 to enable suitably formatted PDF documents to be read by a screen reader.
Each of the activities is developed as self-contained (to minimise searching other documents for relevant information) with introduction, task, reporting, discussing, assessment criteria (for those being assessed), and resources being provided.
The aims, objectives, and learning outcomes are clearly stated and linked to, from the Home page.
The Welcome page provides tutor contact details, describes the course, its rationale, the activities, assessment portfolio, and invites constant feedback/evaluation of the course.
A schedule of tasks, their content, and deliverables (particularly if the course is assessable) is provided, and an indication of how much time should be allocated to each task. This time allocation is only a suggestion, in that personal interests and different learning styles will result in different times being spent on the tasks.
An orientation activity is provided for easing new online learners into the environment, and to enable course participants to meet each other and comment on each other's interests. Practice is also provided in uploading a file to the student presentation area, with tutor contact details immediately at hand in case of difficulties.
A link to resources, including links to relevant free software downloads, is available from the Home page.
FORMULATION formulation /for·mu·la·tion/ (for?mu-la´shun) the act or product of formulating.
American Law Institute Formulation OF LEARNING OUTCOMES
Following instructional design Instructional design is the practice of arranging media (communication technology) and content to help learners and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively. The process consists broadly of determining the current state of learner understanding, defining the end goal of principles (Biggs, 1999a; 1999b), the aims, objectives and learning outcomes were formulated first, and the learning outcomes, which are concerned with what the student will be able do, are described as follows.
On successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
* discuss the issues relevant to accessibility of online learning for people with disabilities;
* appraise appraise v. to professionally evaluate the value of property including real estate, jewelry, antique furniture, securities, or in certain cases the loss of value (or cost of replacement) due to damage. the use and application of assistive technologies;
* analyse an·a·lyse
v. Chiefly British
Variant of analyze.
analyse or US -lyze
[-lysing, -lysed] or -lyzing, barriers to accessibility in existing web sites and online courses;
* formulate learner-centred design strategies for accessible online courseware;
* demonstrate skills in the use of relevant guidelines and accessibility checking mechanisms; and
* apply skills in the design and development of accessible and inclusive online courseware in your own projects.
The assessment criteria are concerned with measuring how well the students have achieved the learning outcomes; they were formulated for each learning activity (relating to each of the five themes). For example, for the learning outcome concerned with the task investigating, the guidelines based on those developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative(WAI), the assessment criteria together with relevant information are given as:
"If you are being assessed for this course, your portfolio contribution for this activity will be assessed according to the following criteria. If you are carrying out this task out of interest or for your personal development, the criteria can be used as a checklist for your own learning.
* the extent to which you have considered the purpose and the extent of the activities of W3C and WAI;
* your analysis of the applicability of W3C guidelines for accessible web site design to the average non-technical academic developer;
* evidence of research and understanding of the nature of other guidelines;
* quality of the overall presentation and coherence coherence, constant phase difference in two or more Waves over time. Two waves are said to be in phase if their crests and troughs meet at the same place at the same time, and the waves are out of phase if the crests of one meet the troughs of another. of the posting and additional links;
* the quality and coherence of your contribution to the discussion of this topic.
* Marked out of 100% with 20% for each element."
As indicated, this online course has a dual purpose (for a postgraduate degree and for staff development), so the assessment criteria can be used in different ways. It can be used for summative assessment Summative assessment (or Summative evaluation) refers to the assessment of the learning and summarises the development of learners at a particular time. After a period of work, e.g. (portfolio) in the case of the students, or as a learning guide, in the case of teaching staff about accessibility. The students can also use them as a learning guide because the assessment criteria are provided with each learning task.
Types of assessment
The assessment strategy is concerned with the methods of assessment that are best suited to the students demonstrating that they have achieved the learning outcomes. There am many ways of assessing learning and McLoughlin and Luca (2001) noted that there are three types of assessment:
* Cognitive: thinking, knowledge, application and understanding of principles, concepts;
* Performance: demonstration of skills and abilities, complex task performance; and
* Portfolios: evidence of complete student records, tasks, achievements, examples of work, and so forth.
Of course, these three types are not exclusive, that is, a portfolio would include evidence of cognitive and performance attainment. For academic staff undergoing staff development in inclusive courseware design, and for postgraduate students learning about courseware design, the most appropriate types of assessment would be performance and portfolios since we would want to see practical examples of work as evidence of learning and application of inclusive and accessible principles.
The portfolio represents 50% of the assessment and is described as follows:
"You should develop a portfolio by posting to the Student Presentations area or your personal topic area in the discussion forum, to demonstrate understanding of issues related to disability, including:
* the Disability Discrimination Acts and their effect on education and online learning;
* review of current guidelines and their usefulness for academic developers;
* review of assistive technologies;
* accessibility checking tools, their use and application, reviews of good/bad examples of websites;
* design methods and tools for creating accessible documents and courses.
* This assessment will take place throughout the module and will be directly linked to the activities you undertake through the course."
The other fifty percent of the assessment is concerned with the students or staff either (a) creating or modifying an accessible and inclusive course based on their own subject expertise, or (b) redesigning a given course (especially prepared from common practices) which does not meet accessibility requirements. Participants have the option of working in groups or as individuals in carrying out the tasks.
AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT Authentic assessment is an umbrella concept that refers to the measurement of "intellectual accomplishments that are worthwhile, significant, and meaningful," as compared to multiple choice standardized tests.
In addition to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and strategies being aligned, the assessment tasks should also be authentic. Herrington and Herrington (1998) in their review of authentic assessment provided descriptors such as: situated, practical, realistic, performance-based, real-world, and ill-structured. The use of real-world learning environments enables the same activity to be used for learning and assessment (Herrington & Oliver, 2000). For example, the assessment of how well teachers are able to design and develop an accessible online environment, is their production of an accessible online course or their redesign re·de·sign
tr.v. re·de·signed, re·de·sign·ing, re·de·signs
To make a revision in the appearance or function of.
re of an inaccessible inaccessible Surgery adjective Unreachable; referring to a lesion that unmanageable by standard surgical techniques–eg, lesions deep in the brain or adjacent to vital structures–ie, not accessible. See Accessible. course, as previously described.
In the real world, work is often collaborative in nature and authentic tasks should include collaborative activities wherever possible (as in this course). If well designed, collaborative work can enhance the learning experience and the social negotiation that promotes higher order thinking (Herrington & Oliver, 1999).
LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY
The learning and teaching strategy is concerned with the methods that will best help students achieve the learning outcomes. Having formulated the learning outcomes and assessment strategy and criteria, it follows that the learning tasks should be considered and they should all be in alignment. Next is presented a rationale for the learning tasks employed.
COGNITIVE APPRENTICESHIP Cognitive apprenticeship is a theory of the process where a master of a skill teaches that skill to an apprentice.
Constructivist approaches to human learning have led to the development of a theory of cognitive apprenticeship . MODEL
The cognitive apprenticeship approach (Brandt, Farmer, & Buckmaster, 1993), when coupled with participation in the community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and authentic problem-based learning problem-based learning Medical education An instruction strategy in which groups of students are presented with clinical problems without prior study or lectures. See Cooperative learning. (Savery & Duffy, 1995; Grabinger & Dunlap, 2000), can provide an authentic situated learning experience that bridges the gap between abstract theory and effective practice (Herrington & Oliver, 2000). With respect to designing accessible learning environments, the intention is for the teachers to apply the theory in their everyday practice and not treat it only in the abstract. Learning, online or otherwise, can be facilitated by the use of scaffolding (support) in a social constructivist setting (Roehler & Cantlon, 1997).
We decided to adapt the five stages of the cognitive apprenticeship model (Brandt et al., 1993) as follows:
Phase 1: We elected to present the expert perspective through an interview (Koppi interviewed Pearson), which was filmed and converted to streaming video A one-way video transmission over a data network. It is widely used on the Web as well as company networks to play video clips and video broadcasts. Computers in home networks stream video to digital media hubs connected to a home theater. . The five major themes previously presented (as identified in the learning outcomes) and expert considerations were discussed. The video sets the scene for the five learning tasks corresponding to the first five learning outcomes.
Phase 2: Working in groups, the participants carry out the learning activities and discuss their findings and conclusions.
Phase 3: As an authentic activity, the participants apply what they have learned to the design and construction of their own online learning environment (e.g., using WebCT) or to the redesign of an existing problematic one already prepared by us.
Phase 4: The learners continue developing their websites in their own time and check that their sites conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well" acceptable standards (e.g. by using the checking tools provided by Bobby and DreamWeaver software). Postgraduate students carry out the assessment already detailed--redesign of inaccessible course or design/redesign a proposal for their own course or web site.
Phase 5: The learners may each reflect on what they have learned and describe general principles for developing accessible online learning environments. Students illustrate their learning by creating a portfolio of their accessible designs and implementations that contribute to their assessment. Academic staff could organise and facilitate a workshop in their own department or school.
CONCLUSION AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Taking all of these themes into consideration, the legal and quality assurance obligations; the guidelines that are available for us to follow; awareness of and an ability to use some of the assistive technologies that people with disabilities use; particular attention to the design of learning environments; and being able to use the checking tools that are available, we have created a course which will give students of multimedia and staff development online courses, the opportunity to investigate and develop skills in each of these areas. At the end of the course the participants will be well equipped to both understand and undertake the development of accessible online courses. It is important that course designers understand both the need for accessible courses and are equipped with the skills and resources necessary to do that.
The design of the online course for both postgraduate students and academic staff development, includes the premise that there is an approach that an expert in accessible course design would take. This expert approach was presented in the form of an interview in which the issues were presented and with probing questions were discussed in some detail. Following a cognitive apprenticeship model, in a supported environment, the course participants were provided with the resources and opportunities to discuss the issues and investigate them further with authentic activities that would lead them to become informed practitioners themselves. The final tasks involved participants in analysing an online course that had been compiled to include commonly observed inaccessible features, and to reflect on, enunciate, and discuss the principles they would now use in designing an accessible online course. Evaluation results from academic staff completing the course indicated that the process of helping them from novice to competent designers of accessible online courses has been successful. The next stage of the process is to continue evaluation and comparison of the face-to-face workshops and the online course in practice with more cohorts to determine their effectiveness and requirements for enhancement.
Further developments will include adapting the course to cater to the needs of the more technical web developer by encompassing techniques in the development of accessible multimedia, such as video streaming See streaming video and video stream. ; understanding of the accessibility features, claims, and limitations of software products such as Adobe and Macromedia; and exploring the use of additional tools within a managed learning environment to improve accessibility features.
Adaptive Technology Adaptive technology is the name for products which help people who cannot use regular versions of products, primarily people with physical disabilities such as limitations to vision, hearing, and mobility. Resource Centre (A-Prompt) (2002). Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: http://aprompt.snow.utoronto.ca/
Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC)(2001, September). Disability Standards and Guidelines. Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/standards /standards.html#education
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Biggs, J. (1999b). Formulating and clarifying curriculum objectives. In J. Biggs (Ed.), Teaching for quality learning at university. What the student does. Buckingham, UK: Society for Research into Higher Education The Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) is an independent United Kingdom-based international society which aims to improve the quality of higher education. & Open University Press.
Brandt, B.L., Farmer, J.A. & Buckmaster, A. (1993). Cognitive apprenticeship approach to helping adults learn. In D.D. Flannery D. Flannery (born: Sydney, Australia) was a rugby league footballer in Australias leading competition the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL).
Flannery was a member of the Eastern Suburbs sides that won the 1913 premiership and City Cups in 1914 and 1915. (Ed.), Applying cognitive learning theory to adult learning. New directions for adult and continuing education continuing education: see adult education.
or adult education
Any form of learning provided for adults. In the U.S. the University of Wisconsin was the first academic institution to offer such programs (1904). , (pp. 69-78). San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden : Jossey-Bass.
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Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA) (2002). Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm
Forsyth, R. (2001, September). Participation in online staff development. Why is there a mismatch mismatch
1. in blood transfusions and transplantation immunology, an incompatibility between potential donor and recipient.
2. one or more nucleotides in one of the double strands in a nucleic acid molecule without complementary nucleotides in the same position on the other between intention and practice. Paper presented at the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia 15th Biennial biennial, plant requiring two years to complete its life cycle, as distinguished from an annual or a perennial. In the first year a biennial usually produces a rosette of leaves (e.g., the cabbage) and a fleshy root, which acts as a food reserve over the winter. Forum, (pp. 57-58).
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Grimaldi, C., & Goette, T. (1999). The internet and the independence of individuals with disabilities. Internet Research This article is about using the Internet for research; for the field of research about the Internet, see Internet studies.
Internet research is the practice of using the Internet, especially the World Wide Web, for research. : Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 9(4), 272-280.
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Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (1999). Using situated learning and multimedia to investigate higher-order thinking Higher-order thinking is a fundamental concept of Education reform based on Bloom's Taxonomy. Rather than simply teaching recall of facts, students will be taught reasoning and processes, and be better lifelong learners. . Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia hypermedia: see hypertext.
The use of hyperlinks, regular text, graphics, audio and video to provide an interactive, multimedia presentation. All the various elements are linked, enabling the user to move from one to another. , 8(4), 401-421.
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Pearson, E., (2001, April). Strategies for developing inclusive online courses. Paper presented at WebCT Asia-Pacific Conference, Adelaide, Australia.
Pearson, E., & Green, S. (1999, September). Courseware--Engineering or design? Proceedings of the Association for Learning Technologies-Conference (ALT-C). Bristol, UK.
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Roehler, L.R., & Cantlon, D,J. (1997). Scaffolding: A powerful tool in social constructivist classrooms. In K. Hogan hogan
Dwelling of the Navajo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. The hogan is roughly circular and constructed usually of logs, which are stepped in gradually to create a domed roof. & M. Pressley (Eds.), Scaffolding student learning, instructional approaches and issues, (pp. 6-42). Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.
Savery, J.R., & Duffy, EM. (1995). Problem-based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology, 35(5), 31-38.
TechDis (2001, April). The special educational needs and disability act. Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: http://www.techdis.ac.uk/resources/skill01.html
Web Accessibility Initiative ONAI) (2000). Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: http://www.w3.org/WAI/
Winnips, J.C. (2001). Scaffolding the development of skills in the design process of educational media through hyperlinked units of learning material (ULMs). University of Twente (body, education) University of Twente - A university in the east of The Netherlands for technical and social sciences. It was founded in 1961, making it one of the youngest universities in The Netherlands. , Netherlands. Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: http://scaffolding.edte.utwente.nl/
ELAINE PEARSON, UNIVERSITY OF TEESSIDE, UNITED KINGDOM E-MAIL e-mail: see electronic mail.
in full electronic mail
Messages and other data exchanged between individuals using computers in a network. : firstname.lastname@example.org
TONY KOPPI, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA E-MAIL: email@example.com