6 accessibility review of open educational resources
Carla De Winter, AccessCapableCo-authors : Una Daly, College Open Textbooks Alice Krueger, Virtual Ability Inc.
Introduction Open Educational Resources: openly licensed, digital materials. available at low cost. Open Textbooks: converted from “All Rights Reserved” From the Creative Commons store to “Some Rights Reserved”. In line with the UN Convention article 24: State Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels.
The project Accessibility evaluation of 60 textbooks for College of Open Textbooks. In-depth, consistent and quantitatively comparable scoring: For 17 subject areas, from history to mathematics, published on websites (56 %) or as PDF (42 %). Using 26 metrics according to WCAG and Section 508 (US) guidelines, in total 999 relevant evaluations. Done by a trained project team of disabled and impaired individuals.
Metrics A textbook must be: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.
Issues of Website StructuralAccessibility Three types: pre-set formats (platforms), wikimedia and self-developed websites For pre-set formats: Issues with colour contrast. Issues with structural markup. Issues with in-page navigation.
Issues of Website StructuralAccessibility: colour contrast
Issues of Website StructuralAccessibility Common Website Structural Problems: Structural Semantic Organizers. Tables (headings and attributes). Fixed Width Page. In-Page Navigation.
Issues of Website StructuralAccessibility: fixed width
Issues of PDF Accessibility PDFs download from website. PDF accessibility features: Tagging and reading order. Fonts allow character extraction to text. Non-mouse navigational aids. Alternative text for images and interactive form fields.
Issues of PDF Accessibility Tagging and reading order.
Common Issues in Both Formats Visual Appearance. Content Organization. Variable Vocabulary. Author’s Voice. Consistency. Missing Alternative Texts. Comprehension Level.
Positive Findings In many textbooks: Appropriate Readability Level. Visual-Semantic Organization. Format Consistency. Good Presentation Style. Lack of Clutter. Presence of a Glossary.
Quantitative results From 1 (not accessible) to 5 (perfectly accessible): Format Average Score Connexions (pre-set format) 4 Flat World Knowledge (pre-set format) 3 Open Learn (pre-set format) 4 Open Learning Initiative (pre-set format) 2.4 Wikimedia 4.1 Other Web-based textbooks 3.5 PDFs 2.7
Conclusions of the review Most issues are related to the delivery mediums. BUT: Operable and Understandable are within author control. Authors need: Awareness, How-To Knowledge, Professional Assistance, and Incentives.