Accessibility in the context of UKOER pilot phasePresentation Transcript
Accessibility issues in the context of UK Open Educational Resources programme Anna Gruszczynska, C-SAP (Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics)
OER-specific accessibility issues
Approaches to accessibility in the context of UK OER pilot phase programme (analysis of reports and other artefacts)
Making a case for accessible OERs?
OER-specific accessibility issues (1)
Unknown the context of the users of the resource - potentially, OER creators represent a vast spectrum from academics to informal learners
Issues with quality control as an open resource could be repurposed in a way which renders it inaccessible
Past the point of the deposit it is impossible to control the environment in which the resource is downloaded, re-used or re-purposed.
Accessibility in UKOER pilot phase (1)
Accessibility issues were mentioned already within the funding call for the pilot phase:
[A]ll resources including the project web site [should] meet good practice standards and guidelines pertaining to the media in which they are produced, for example HTML resources should be produced to W3C html 4.01 strict ( http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/ ) and use W3C WAI guidelines to double A conformance ( http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG1AA-Conformance ). Further advice and guidance is available from the JISC TechDis Service (HEA/JISC, 2008).
Accessibility in UKOER pilot phase (2)
Not explicitly mentioned within the OER Programme Technical Requirements which focus on content, metadata and delivery platform standards (Campbell, 2009) ).
Not addressed with regard to depositing resources into JorumOpen and the repository platform interface has not been tested for any accessibility standards (Siminson, 2010).
Mentioned within the OER infokit, a wiki-based resource produced on the basis of pilot phase project outputs
Accessibility in UKOER pilot phase (3)
Accessibility as an afterthought and a labour-intensive element of the OER workflow
Accessibility positioned as aspirational only due to cost involved:
One lessoned learn was the cost of producing transcripts to accompany audio and video files and the cost of close captioning. Transcripts and close captioning fall within best practice for accessibility. Quotes received from prospective service providers were prohibitively high and this work was not possible under the allocated budget (Savoia, 2010).
Accessibility in UKOER pilot phase (4)
Issues around terminology : focus on accessibility understood as “open access”, that is, resources which are open and free at point of use.
Issues around academic practice : fear that materials are not “good enough”; lack of time, “all or nothing” perception of accessibility
Positive examples of relying on Accessibility Passport/ Xerte Online toolkits
Need to explore factors which might motivate OER creators and re-users to embed accessibility within their teaching materials for developing accessible OERs.
Barriers and enablers to accessible OERs: business case
Parallel discussions – barriers and enablers for open education
Institutions will invest in developing accessibility-related infrastructure, skills and knowledge if they believe this will increase their competitiveness on the market
Business case for Open Educational resources assumes that these materials will allow the institution to showcase high quality teaching resources and thus potentially increase its reputation
Within that model, OEREs are a more cost-efficient approach to producing teaching materials
Barriers and enablers to accessible OERs: The power of the open ?
Ethos of open education emphasises removing barriers to educational resources
Lack of control over the resource after release offers the possibility to deliver customisable teaching materials, adapted to the needs of individual learners
CC-licensed materials can be transformed into alternate formats more easily than materials published under all rights reserved copyright – no need to incur extra permission costs for adaptations
Open education movement provides free access to courses, curricula and pedagogical approaches not available locally – by extension this might apply to positive approaches towards accessibility
UKOER2: Communities of (accessible) practice?
I would like to compile a separate “story” of accessibility issues raised and tackled by each project to feed back into the final reporting processes as we go (...). With this in mind I would initially recommend that when you update the programme through your personal / project blogs, please use the tags “accessibility” + “ukoer” (and similar hashtags in twitter; #accessibility + #ukoer) to enable me to gather them. I would like you to add me to your social networks and share experience back to the OER programme (McAndrew, 2010).
Produce OER-specific guidelines on producing, repurposing and depositing open educational resources alongside JISC TechDis guidance to best practices in creating accessible teaching materials
Promote tools such as the Accessibility Passport and the Xerte Online Toolkit
As part of awareness-raising, develop case studies including actual model examples of accessible resources in order to illustrate ways in which the needs of diverse types of learners and users of OERs can be met