Distance Education for Visually Impaired Students: Recommendations Based on a Case Study
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Distance Education for Visually Impaired Students: Recommendations Based on a Case Study

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CSUN 2011 conference: Distance Education for Visually Impaired Students: Recommendations Based on a Case Study

CSUN 2011 conference: Distance Education for Visually Impaired Students: Recommendations Based on a Case Study

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Distance Education for Visually Impaired Students: Recommendations Based on a Case Study Distance Education for Visually Impaired Students: Recommendations Based on a Case Study Presentation Transcript

  • Distance education for visually impaired students: recommendations based on a case study Pablo Rebaque Rivas Llorenç Sabaté Jardí Dr. Eva P. Gil-Rodríguez Communitiy Tools Office of Learning Technologies Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
    • OUR UNIVERSITY:
    Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 0 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 1 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Distance University
    • On-line
    • Virtual classrooms
    • Digital contents
    • Continuous assessment
    • www.uoc.edu
  • 2. INTRODUCTION Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 2 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Students with visual disability benefit from a distance higher education
    • Number of enrolled students per University. 2009. ( Generalitat de Catalunya )
    • Our University has the greatest percentage of enrolment (31.07%), compared with the rest of the universities in Catalonia, which are on site/face to face education
    • The importance of accessibility standards
    • .
  • 2. INTRODUCTION Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 2 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Students with visual disability benefit from a distance higher education
    • Number of enrolled students per University. 2009. ( Generalitat de Catalunya )
    • Our University has the greatest percentage of enrolment (31.07%), compared with the rest of the universities in Catalonia, which are on site/face to face education
    • The importance of accessibility standards, BUT …
    • .
  • 3. THE DRAWBACK Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 3 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Are the accessibility and usability guaranteed in all educational interactions and processes carried out by a student with visual disability within an e-learning environment?
    It is necessary to identify the points in the processes involved in education through an online environment carried out by students with visual disability where accessibility and usability need improving
  • 4. STRATEGIC PLAN Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 4 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Consist in knowing in depth all the process involving a student with disabilities from the moment he/she gets in contact with university, did the enrolling process, starts his/her studies and finally finishes his/her degree.
    • Objective : to find out which strengths and weakness our University has and to solve these weaknesses in order to improve the accessibility in all the educational process
    • Although measures concerning this have been in place at the UOC for some time (virtual campus accessibility assessments, more time in official examinations, use of xml to facilitate the transformation into different types of content), these measures need to be extended to all areas involved in the educational process .
  • 5. OBJECTIVES OF OUR RESEARCH Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 5 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Ascertain the requirements that an online learning environment has to fulfill regarding the education of a student with visual disability
      • The students’ study methods
      • Use of study materials (paper, audio, etc)
      • Use of typhlotechnical tools
      • Their ideal way to study: preferred materials and tools
      • Study context
    ? Recommendations for a satisfactory user experience
  • 6. SAMPLE Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 6 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • 17 students with visual disability
    • (low vision and blind)
    • 7 men and 10 women, between 22 and
    • 64 years of age
    • 2 use screen reader; 8 use magnifier;
    • 7 use own computer zoom
    • All of them are carrying out a humanistic or social sciences degree, highlighting
    • law and psychology
    • Most of them are working full time and have previous studies
    • In general, they are studying a degree as a pastime just for hobby
  • 7. METHODOLOGY Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 7 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Qualitative approach
      • In-depth interviews with all students with
      • visual disability in their homes
      • Participative observation
      • Context analysis
    Discover their daily interactions in the e-learning environment and other artefacts that they use to study; Detect their main difficulties and needs and how they solve them currently What the student’s everyday requirements and needs are
  • 8. RESULTS (1/4) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 8 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Students with visual disabilities do activities related to their studies like any other student without visual disability
      • They do activities related to the UOC daily (in general at home)
      • The minimum they do every day is to connect to the Virtual Campus to check the communication spaces
      • If they have more time
        • Read or listen to the learning content
        • Do the assessment activities
        • Convert learning content to audio
        • Consult complementary content
  • 8. RESULTS (2/4) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 9 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Most of the students take advantage of different situations to do activities related
    • to their study
    • Commuting time , to listen Daisy materials or mp3, or to read helped with a magnifying glass
    • Idle time at work to read (with screen reader or with paper), listen to the learning content, prepare and write an answer to the forum or to the space debate.
    • Waiting time to read with a laptop or paper, to listen to the learning content and take notes about it
  • 8. RESULTS (3/4) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 10 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
      • Students take advantage from the different formats that are available
      • They have their personal preference about taking one or another format
      • They also combine different formats
  • 8. RESULTS (4/4) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 11 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • But usability and accessibility of the formats also determines the use of a format
    • Sometimes the available format is not accessible, so students have to adapt it themselves to an accessible format, or maybe ask their relatives or lecturer for help
      • Convert to audio
      • Convert pdf to word
      • Ask relatives to describe images within the content
  • 9. DIFFICULTIES Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 12 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Materials that are inaccessible and/or barely usable
    • Inherent slowness in using a typhlotechnical tool, which slows down their reading and working speed
    • Receiving material at very short notice
    • Having to search for more content than is available in the teaching materials
    • Learning to use new typhlotechnical tools as a result of their disability worsening
    • Informing the lecturer or not that they have a visual disability
  • 10. CONSEQUENCES OF THE DIFFICULTIES (1/2) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 13 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • These difficulties have implications on investing time by the students and also have implications at training level
    • At the level of invested time:
    • In making the proper adaptation from non accessible materials or content to an accessible one
    • Because of the use of adaptive tools
    • Anxiety: while doing the content adaptation, they can’t start the activities related to their studies
    • "When the course starts, I look the learning program to see where I will have problems."
  • Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 14 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • At training level
    • Teachers
    •  Lack of training on what is necessary to make a content accessible
    •  Don’t provide accessible or usable material
    • Don’t provide an adequate solution when the student has troubles with an accessible material
    • Students
    •  The time invested in adapting the material,
      • Make a delayed access to the learning content
      • Activity evaluation: less time and less quality, and sometimes they have to leave the activity evaluation
    •  When an evaluative activity consist in viewing images or videos,
      • They are deprived of doing this kind of activity in equal conditions like students without visual impairments
    10. CONSEQUENCES OF THE DIFFICULTIES (2/2)
  • 11. CONCLUSIONS Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 15 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Heterogeneity
      •  Different typhlotechnical tools
      •  Different preferences of study method or format type
      •  Different capability of using techonologies
    • Much time invested
    • Teachers have a lack of training and consciousness on accessibility,
    • Accessibility and usability problems penalize the students learning
  • 12. RECOMMENDATIONS (1/2) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 15 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Provide all possible formats (Braille, audio, web, PDF, Word, etc.) so that each student can choose the one that best meets their specific needs.
    • Provide accessible and usable materials so that the student with a visual disability can enjoy equal education conditions compared to students who do not have a visual disability.
    • Train teachers in teaching content accessibility to ensure that contents and access to them comply with accessibility standards.
    • Help provide format and style to documents so non-advanced students can give documents format and style easily.
  • 12. RECOMMENDATIONS (2/2) Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 17 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Provide teaching materials and assessment texts in advance, giving students more time in examinations.
    • Have available alternative accessible teaching materials in cases, where, from a teaching point of view, it is recommended that non-accessible teaching materials, such as videos or images, be provided.
    • Access to accessible materials so that students with a visual disability do not have to identify themselves as students with a visual disability.
  • 13. NEXT WORK Office of Learning Technologies · learningtechnologies.uoc.edu 18 UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA
    • Now that we know our weaknesses regarding students with visual disabilities….
      • We have think in applying solutions…
      • It Is time to involve other kind of disabilities
        •  Questionnaire to all students with disabilities in which we want to gather sufficient information
          • to know the profile of students with some kind of disability that are studying in our university
          • to identify the points in the processes involved in education through an online environment carried out by students with disabilities where accessibility and usability need improving
  • Aknowledgments Gracies The eduWAI project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, the Advanced R+D Programme (AETSI Avanza I+D 2009) TSI-020312-2009-27 UNIDISCAT , funded by the Agency for the Administration of University and Research Grants (AGAUR, the Catalan government), Case No. 11
  • Thanks! Gracies Pablo Rebaque-Rivas [email_address] Llorenç Sabaté-Jardi [email_address]