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Exploring pedagogical culture for accessibility education in Computing Science

Exploring pedagogical culture for accessibility education in Computing Science

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What do we know about effective methods for teaching accessibility? This presentation given at the W4A conference in Montreal shares initial findings from a review of published work on pedagogy and accessibility, with a focus on computing science.

What do we know about effective methods for teaching accessibility? This presentation given at the W4A conference in Montreal shares initial findings from a review of published work on pedagogy and accessibility, with a focus on computing science.

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Exploring pedagogical culture for accessibility education in Computing Science

  1. 1. Exploring pedagogical culture for accessibility education in Computing Science Sarah Lewthwaite @slewth David Sloan @sloandr W4A 2016, Montreal, April 11th 2016
  2. 2. Research context • There are growing industry demands for accessibility skills and knowledge – Teachaccess.org, IAAP certification • Socio-technical focus of accessibility presents specific educational challenges • This means more focus on quality of accessibility education • Lots of discussion on what to teach…
  3. 3. …but our focus is on the question of how to teach accessibility
  4. 4. Finding out about accessibility pedagogy • Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK): what do we know about effective ways to teach a specific subject? • Examine the literature focusing on teaching of accessibility in computing science: – 23 papers, 3 introductions to thematic sessions, 2 posters, 1 PhD thesis – Initial analysis of emerging themes from papers found
  5. 5. Characteristics of accessibility learning and teaching • Literature is small, dominated by first-person reflections • Initial themes include: – Using tools, standards – Problem/project-based learning – Embedding in HCI – Raising empathy – Involving people with disabilities
  6. 6. Limited pedagogical content knowledge. No significant pedagogical culture for accessibility…yet.
  7. 7. Challenges to the field • Changing nature of accessibility • Visibility of accessibility in the curriculum – Integrate or specialise? • Focus on standards can limit evolution of pedagogy • Limited discussion, comparison, development of methods means limited pedagogical culture and PCK • Capacity-building
  8. 8. Building a Pedagogical Culture • Engaging with pedagogical literature, sharing results • Build a community-level discussion • Rewarding enhanced quality of teaching • Creating diverse research and teaching spaces
  9. 9. Next steps • Deeper thematic analysis of the literature • Maintaining a living collection of the literature – Current location: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/388799/ • Exploring how we can document and share effective teaching methods • Build links with related project at RIT
  10. 10. Thank you! @slewth www.southampton.ac.uk/education/about/staff/sel1d14.pag e @sloandr www.paciellogroup.com

Editor's Notes


  • Searched the Web of Science bibliographic database
    Search string: “accessibility AND (teaching OR learning OR education OR training OR instruction OR “professional development”)”
    2500 results returned; hand examined to discount publications out of scope.

    Amongst these, many papers about the accessibility OF teaching and learning for students with disabilities. Far fewer about teaching accessibility.

    PCK – a term developed by Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4- 31.

    Dave – note, someone might raise ‘TPCK’ technological pedagogic content knowledge. This is useful for understanding how technology might be used in a particular domain. I would respond that we’ve focussed on initial principles – this more contextual analysis might follow next.
  • Literature dominated by first person reflections and individual contexts (one class or cohort, one course)

  • Arguably it is the lack of pedagogical culture that results in lack of visible PCK.
    If we build a teaching/learning culture we gain deeper knowledge of the PCK of accessibility.
  • Question for audience: Where should a live collection/reference list go?

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