Designing and developing accessible e-learning experiences

I had the opportunity to read Seale’s ‘ Designing and developing accessible e-learning experiences: the learning technologist’s perspective. Seale (2006) hints that various authors make the ‘assumption that it is learning technologists who will respond’ and who are mainly responsible for accessibility. Although this might be true, it is important that such a debate does not place the responsibility on a particular type of stakeholder whilst removing responsibility from other roles. As pointed out by Seale (2006), learning technologists ‘have a key role to play with regards to increasing the accessibility of elearning’. Still, stakeholders are dependant on each other, therefore each role has to give its own input. For example, administration need to specify what policy the institution need to adhere to, teachers need to give their input by highlighting the needs of the context in particular of specific student needs.

Learning technologists whose role encompasses the design and development of accessible elearning resources, need to work with all stakeholders by capitalising on the input and experiences of each member in order to produce the best possible solution. Still the attitudes towards accessibility need to be improved amongst staff of which learning technologists.

Learning technologists should be responsible with the design, development and evaluation processes of accessible elearning. Still this is dependant on the context as the role and responsibilities will vary. The learning technologist has a technical role which is complimented by  teachers’ pedagogic approach. Learning technologists are  actively involved in managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of learning technology.

Seale uses an archaeology metaphor to try to encourage learning technologists to dig deeper beneath the surface of accessibility guidelines and standards. This is intended to develop a greater understanding of approaches to accessible design. Through this methapor, Seale (2006) encourages learning technologists to dig deeper to ‘gain a greater understanding of the design approaches that underpin accessibility legislation, guidelines and standards as well as the efficacy of accessibility design, evaluation and repair tools.’

The analogy I’m thinking about is a computer network where various users are using different types of networking devices which allow for communication…

As outlined by Seale (2006), both technical tools and human judgments have benefits and challenges when evaluating the accessibility of learning resources.

Still a problem is that the findings output by technical tools still need to be interpreted. When evaluating my own learning resources I find difficulty in interpreting technical feedback that such tools provided.


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