E-learning and disability: accessibility as a contribute to inclusion EC-TEL 2010 Doctoral Consortium Barcelona, 29 september 2010 Università Roma Tre - Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione Dottorato di Ricerca in Pedagogia e Servizio Sociale - Sez. Pedagogia XXIV Ciclo Eleonora Guglielman
<ul><li>Tell me and I'll forget. </li></ul><ul><li>Show me, and I may not remember. </li></ul><ul><li>Involve me, and I'll understand. </li></ul><ul><li>(Native American Proverb) </li></ul>
The research themes <ul><li>Digital inclusion </li></ul>Access to ICT, digital skill for all E-accessibility Access to HW, SW, web, e-learning for disabled people Existing standards for e-learning Standards for accessible HW, SW, web and contents (WAI, IMS, etc.) Technological Pedagogical ??? Missing… Accessibility : the degree to which a product, device, service or environment is accessible by as many people as possible
University and SEN <ul><li>2.600.000 disabled people in Italy </li></ul>11.407 students with Special Educational Needs attending Higher Education courses The number of online courses in HE is dramatically increasing Access to e-learning must be guaranteed to all students, addressing accessibility both technically and pedagogically
What kind of accessibility? <ul><li>Technological </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogical </li></ul>Access to HW and SW Adaptive and assistive technology Accessibility of websites Accessibility of e-learning platforms (e.g. Atutor, Moodle) Access to contents, resources, documents Access to interaction and collaboration tools: chat, forum, wiki Access to learning activities: labs, group works, debates, peer practices, etc.
What level of accessibility? ACCESS TO PLATFORM Actions: Login Navigate Read advices Support: Platform interface ACCESS TO CONTENTS Actions: Read text Convert contents in another format Download contents Support: Documents PDF-DOC Presentations Multimedia ACCESS TO ACTIVITIES Actions: Interact Collaborate Share knowledge Collectively build new meanings Support: Forum Chat Wiki Social tools LOW HIGH
The research question: work hypothesis and objectives <ul><li>The assumption: e-learning can contribute to the inclusion of disabled students, on condition that it promotes participation and interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning courses not addressing a wide accessibility (technical + pedagogical) limit or impede participation and interaction, discriminating students with SEN </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives : </li></ul><ul><li>To outline the meaning of accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>To explore and describe experience of students with SEN in online courses </li></ul><ul><li>To define guidelines (reference model) for fully accessible courses </li></ul>
The approach to design <ul><li>Universal Design and Design for All: </li></ul>Objects and services must be designed to allow access to all users: inclusion as a forethought rather than an afterthought Participatory design: The design cycle should involve all stakeholders, including end users: in our case, students with SEN Context : University Roma Tre, School of Education Since 2009 delivers blended courses on Moodle platform Methodology : constructivist-based interpretive research
Problem domain and Status Artis Research domain: Special Education, with a multidisciplinary perspective touching e-learning theories/models, education technology, universal design, etc. Many studies deal with technical accessibility (standards, parameters, rules…); only in the last few years some authors begin to concern with pedagogical accessibility. They propose holistic models…. But they don’t say how to design and implement inclusive online activities!
The preliminary results PRE-DESIGN DESIGN TECHNOLOGICAL DESIGN THEORETICAL FRAME USERS ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT PEDAGOGICAL MODEL ACTIVITIES AND CONTENTS CONCEPTUAL DESIGN VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Project Constraincts Course objectives Curriculum Typologies of users Needs analysis Users’ requirements Didactic Methods and strategies Assessment tools Planning of learning courses Contents organization Choise of tools and instruments standard Pedagogical support Interface design Accessibility and usability standards Choise of tools and instruments HW and SW supports A framework for designing accessible e-learning courses
Elements of innovation <ul><li>First accessibility model and guidelines for e-learning courses in italian universities </li></ul><ul><li>Make students with SEN co-designers of courses, so their special needs are adequatelly addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Make support workers acquire the strategic competencies to scaffold students with SEN in online courses </li></ul><ul><li>Build a model of inclusive e-learning for HE courses that could be successfully transferred in other learning contexts and course levels </li></ul>
<ul><li>Thank you for your attention </li></ul><ul><li>www.guglielman.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>