Models of disability, models of learning, accessibility (calrg2014)


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Presentation for the CALRG Conference 2014 at the Open University in the UK. It considers how our models of disability impact attitudes and solutions to accessibility. It argues that although limited theories of learning help in the design of learning activities. Integrating the two promotes accessibility in e-learning. This approach is exemplified by considering remote labs and learning analytics.

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Models of disability, models of learning, accessibility (calrg2014)

  1. 1. Models of Disability, Models of Learning, Accessibility and Learning Technologies Martyn Cooper, IET, CALRG 2014
  2. 2. Models of Disability Medical Model • Disability defined by the underlying medical condition Social Model • Disability viewed as an artefact of the way society is organised Post-Social Model • We are all disabled – it is a matter of degree and how Functional Model • Not defining disability but how functionally interact with computer environment (or context in question)
  3. 3. Implications of Models of Disability Adopted • Our models of disability affect our attitudes –Medical Model promotes personal blame –Social Model looks to society for cause of problems • They dictate where we look for solutions • They provide a framework for accessibility –Social Model applied to e-learning implies adaptability –Functional Model facilitates interface design
  4. 4. Models of learning [Mayes & De Freitas] • Socratic rhetoric – Learning through argument • Behaviourism – Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) highlighted the importance of stimulus for learning – John Watson (1878-1958), behaviour and learning as part of nervous ‘wiring’ – B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) extended the behaviourist approach, we are a black box upon which experience and conditioning are written. ‘Operant conditioning’ and ‘shaping behaviour’. • Constructivism – John Dewey (1859-1952), who questioned traditional epistemology, instead came to believe that: • “…the theory of knowledge must begin with a consideration of the development of knowledge as an adaptive human response to environing conditions aimed at an active restructuring of these conditions.” – Further reference should be made here to the work of Seymour Papert, Piaget and Vygotsky
  5. 5. Models of learning cont. • The Laurillard conversational model – Learning as an active process and dependant on interaction – The learning process as a kind of conversation (c.f. Socrates) – Classification system based on the type of interaction between instructor and student when a particular medium is used, and raises issues about the nature of feedback, goals and control of student learning • “Learning through acquisition” (teacher as storyteller/lecturer) only uses part of her model • “Guided discovery” requires all conversational components • Cognitive Learning Theory – How cognitive skills develop. Albert Bandura (1986) “Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory” • Computational Theories of Learning – Computational theories of learning: derive from AI and metaphors of computer science • Cybernetic model – Cybernetics dependent on the concept of feedback - central to the idea of assessment of learning. Cycles of learning and evaluating learning towards the goal.
  6. 6. Other Models of Learning • Situated Learning • Action learning • Andragogy • Communities of practice • Instructionism or instructivism • Learning styles • Motivation • Problem-based learning • Socially-mediated learning • … • Critique – “All models of learning are ‘crap’” • Think what they are trying to model – The are so many! – All are partial / limited – They have utility but need to understand their limits
  7. 7. Models of Learning and Accessibility Model of Learning • Behaviourism • Constructivism • The Laurillard conversational model Implication for Accessibility • The importance of stimulus – How would Pavlov’s dogs learnt that food was neigh if they could not hear the bell? – The importance of providing stimuli for learning in different modalities. • The disabled student needs full access to the environmental context of the learning • Accessibility of all the media used to support the different conversations must be addressed
  8. 8. Tools, Models of Learning and Accessibility • There are many tools to help construct learning objects/modules –These are often based on a chosen learning theory – Few if any of them embed features and prompts that promote accessibility –This is a huge strategic loss of opportunity
  9. 9. Example – Remote Labs PEARL
  10. 10. Example – Learning Analytics Learning Theory • Cybernetic • Behaviourism Accessibility • Scaffolding • Performance Integration • Overcoming Accessibility Challenges • Improved Retention / Attainment
  11. 11. References • Mayes, T., & De Freitas, S. (2004). JISC e-learning models desk study. Stage 2: Review of e-learning theories, frameworks and models. ng%20Models%20(Version%201).pdf • Laurillard, D. (1993) Rethinking university teaching, Routledge, London. • Seale, Jane and Cooper, Martyn (2010). E-learning and accessibility: an exploration of the potential role of generic pedagogical tools. Computers and Education, 54(4) pp. 1107– 1116. • Martyn Cooper’s Blog: learning-theories/
  12. 12. Institute of Educational Technology The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA