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Accessing Online Writing Spaces: Feedback for Everyone


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My presentation from the 2016 Computers and Writing Conference on peer review feedback and how to make it accessible.

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Accessing Online Writing Spaces: Feedback for Everyone

  1. 1. Accessing Online Writing Spaces: Feedback for Everyone Casey R. McArdle Michigan State University Computers and Writing Conference - 2016 @crmcardle
  2. 2. What is accessibility? ● “Accessible” means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology. (From the agreement between the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) on the accessibility of their websites 2013)
  3. 3. Why accessibility? ● 1 in 5 people in the United States report having a disability (Brault). ● 1 in 10 undergraduates report having a disability according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
  4. 4. Making your courses accessible: • Provides educational opportunities to all students. For example, a screen reader will provide an audio description of the image allowing a student with a visual disability to access information about the image. • Can provide students with disabilities a sense of independence. For example, a student with a hearing disability can leverage technology to access content in videos directly from closed captions. • Allows students to engage in course activities. For example, students with cognitive disabilities may be allowed additional time for assignments and assessments. (Chaaban 2015)
  5. 5. Accessibility Tools ● Wave ● Functional Accessibility Evaluator ● CynthiaSays
  6. 6. Accessibility Tools + Content ● International ○ link 1 ○ link 2 ○ link 3
  7. 7. Accessing Peer Review ● Feedback is not advice, praise, or evaluation. Feedback is information about how we are doing in our efforts to reach a goal. (Wiggins 10) ● Students need to know their learning target --the specific skill they’re supposed to learn-- or else “feedback” is just someone telling them what to do. (Brookhart 24) ● When we give a grade as part of our feedback, students routinely read only as far as the grade. (Johnston 64) ● The feedback students give teachers can be more powerful than the feedback teachers give students. (Tovani 48) ● Effective feedback occurs during the learning, while there is still time to act on it. (Chappuis 36) {The collective wisdom of authors published in the September 2012 issue of Educational Leadership: “Feedback for Learning.” (Volume 70, Issue 1).}
  8. 8. You might think: ● Why worry about it? ● Students should just figure it out, right? ● I teach the class, not the technology. Don’t go through that door!
  9. 9. Accessibility Tools for Feedback ● Paper (f2f) ● Discussion boards ● Google Docs ● EtherPad ● Eli Review
  10. 10. Feedback Accessibility + Content = Eli Review
  11. 11. How does Eli work? ● Instant data ● Know learning goals/targets ● Feedback on feedback ● Student agency ● Peer-to-peer ● Avoids the grade as the goal
  12. 12. Accessibility + Content ● Testing ● Malleable ● Inclusive ● Guiding
  13. 13. Works Cited Brault, M. W. (2012). Americans With Disabilities: 2010. Retrieved from Chaaban, Mary. (2015). Accessibility in Online Courses. Retrieved from National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). Fast Facts: Students with Disabilities. Retrieved from “Resolution Agreement”. (2013). Office of Civil Rights in the Resolution agreement with South Carolina Technical College System. Retrieved from Image 1: Image 2: