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.
David SloanUser Experience Research Lead at The Paciello Group
Exploring pedagogical culture for accessibility education in Computing Science
1. Exploring pedagogical culture for
accessibility education in Computing
Sarah Lewthwaite @slewth
David Sloan @sloandr
W4A 2016, Montreal, April 11th 2016
2. Research context
• There are growing industry demands for accessibility
skills and knowledge
– Teachaccess.org, IAAP certification
• Socio-technical focus of accessibility presents specific
• This means more focus on quality of accessibility
• Lots of discussion on what to teach…
4. Finding out about accessibility
• 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. Characteristics of accessibility learning
• 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
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
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. 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
• Build links with related project at RIT
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?