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Inclusive E-Learning good practice becoming general practice


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By Simon ball

Published in: Technology, Education
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Inclusive E-Learning good practice becoming general practice

  1. 1. TechDis workshop Inclusive E-Learning – good practice becoming general practice Dr Simon Ball [email_address] 17 th January 2008
  2. 2. The JISC TechDis Advisory Service <ul><li>TechDis supports the education sector in achieving greater accessibility and inclusion by stimulating innovation and providing expert advice and guidance on disability and technology. </li></ul><ul><li>TechDis is a funded advisory service (Joint Information Systems Committee) based in York, that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advises funding bodies and policy makers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides guidance to strategic partners and intermediaries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides advice for management, front line and specialist staff. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides effective resources for practitioners. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Conclusions <ul><li>Ambiguous instructions can be difficult to follow. </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions and details should be tested to ensure they work as expected. </li></ul><ul><li>Students with a disability may not be able to react in the expected manner. Students with a cognitive disability may react in an unexpected way – everyone’s instinct and interpretation will differ. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Holistic Approach <ul><li>We believe it is best practice to take a holistic approach to accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be afraid to add value in different ways for different learners – everybody doesn’t have to access the same information in the same way, as long as the learning outcomes are met and the experience is broadly equivalent. </li></ul><ul><li>Broadening the range of what is offered will increase accessibility overall, despite specific barriers that may arise. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Staff Development & Support <ul><li>TechDis Online services </li></ul><ul><li>Community site </li></ul><ul><li>Staff packs staffpacks </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility Essentials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Making your computer work better for you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Producing Word documents that are more inclusive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Producing inclusive PowerPoints and presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. NEW! Making PDFs as accessible as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> accessibilityessentials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free Software </li></ul><ul><li>HEAT Scheme </li></ul>
  6. 6. HEAT Scheme <ul><li>Allows academic, teaching and support staff to bid for technology to uncover or develop inclusive practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Range includes podcasting, mind mapping, using hand held games, using a gyro-mouse and keyboard, and a Talking Tactile Tablet. </li></ul>
  7. 7. HEAT example – Reflective Diaries <ul><li>Hellawell and Priestley </li></ul><ul><li>(University of Bradford) </li></ul><ul><li>Dyslexic student used </li></ul><ul><li>handheld video recorder to </li></ul><ul><li>create mini documentaries </li></ul><ul><li>providing an opportunity for reflective learning. </li></ul><ul><li>These were edited and converted to a format </li></ul><ul><li>suitable for playing on PCs, and audio podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>produced, to be shared with future students. </li></ul>
  8. 8. HEAT example – Gyromouse (anonymous input) <ul><li>Chin (University of Hull) </li></ul><ul><li>Tyrrell (Coventry University) </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless mouse and keyboard passed to </li></ul><ul><li>students giving direct input into class discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>The lecturer was free to move around the </li></ul><ul><li>classroom and focus on individual students </li></ul><ul><li>where necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Students were more likely to participate when </li></ul><ul><li>attention was not drawn specifically to them. </li></ul>
  9. 9. HEAT Example - Multimedia accessibility <ul><li>Badge, Scott & Cann (Leicester Univ.) </li></ul><ul><li>Transformed PowerPoint into Breeze (Adobe Presenter), Impatica & Flash. </li></ul><ul><li>Trialled with students identifying as dyslexic, hearing or vision impaired, in addition to non-declaring control. </li></ul><ul><li>Students with ‘disability’ were more active in using controls – used more features and more often – and located them more quickly. </li></ul>
  10. 10. HEAT Example - Podcasting <ul><li>Gresty (Plymouth Univ.) – 96% of students felt more learning took place when using audio recordings of lectures. Most students reported using ‘dead time’ (on buses etc) to listen to the audio. </li></ul><ul><li>Hindley (Nottingham Trent Univ.) - created tailored guides to an assignment previously found difficult – students were supported at their own pace at a crucial part of the course. </li></ul><ul><li>Leng (Bath Spa Univ.) - took weekly lecture topics and related in her podcasts to current news stories to bring subject matter ‘to life’. </li></ul>
  11. 11. HEAT Example – Talking Tactile Tablet <ul><li>Chevins (Keele Univ.) helped a blind and a VI student to understand Transmission Electron Microscopy. Using a cartoon of a cutaway of the microscope he created a tactile diagram using swell paper. He then used the T3 to add audio commentaries to each part of the diagram, so when touched, a contextual </li></ul><ul><li>audio file was enabled. </li></ul><ul><li>Cassella (Derby Univ.) </li></ul><ul><li>found these were used by </li></ul><ul><li>many students with visual </li></ul><ul><li>or auditory learning style. </li></ul>
  12. 12. HEAT Example – Mind Mapping <ul><li>Romer (York Univ.) used mind mapping software to enable students to plan and write essays in a different way. Many found it a useful way of planning, especially those with dyslexia. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown (Newcastle Univ.) used the software with a mature student who reported benefits to recall by being able to attach images to the map. </li></ul>
  13. 13. First Steps <ul><li>There are many easy small steps that we can all make that will make a big difference to the student experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are a few easy things you can do: </li></ul>
  14. 14. Best Practice with Fonts and Colour <ul><li>Ideally when creating materials online allow users to select according to their own preferences. </li></ul><ul><li>The chosen font (for on-screen) should be Sans Serif and be no smaller than 12 point. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid large amounts of underlining, capitalising or italicising. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to achieve good contrast without the glare issues of black on white. Increase font depth for light text on dark background. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Use of Styles and Formatting <ul><li>It’s easier to demo this than write about it on a slide: </li></ul><ul><li>Unstructured document </li></ul><ul><li>Structured document </li></ul>
  16. 16. Appropriate use of Images <ul><li>Insert Alternative Text where relevant (easy in Word – see Accessibility Essentials 2) </li></ul><ul><li>Explore whether meaning is more difficult to grasp if whole image cannot be viewed at once – see next slides. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Presentations and PowerPoint <ul><li>Face forward while speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure content is vocalised – don’t use the classic ‘you can all read the slide so I won’t read it out’ </li></ul><ul><li>If a mike or audio system is available, use it. </li></ul><ul><li>If using animation or video, let it finish before speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Notes field in PowerPoint! </li></ul><ul><li>Much more in Accessibility Essentials 3! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Accessibility benefits of PDFs <ul><li>Reflow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflows the text of a document written in columns so that it flows all the way across the page. Easier to read on screen – reduces the need to scroll up and down. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT depends on the reading order being tagged properly when the document is created - needs to be checked. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample PDF </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Accessibility benefits of PDFs <ul><li>Automatically scroll </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatically scrolls through document, speed controlled by up and down arrows. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read out loud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole document or current page only. Voices can be changed (edit>preferences>reading). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NB reading order needs to be checked. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accessibility preferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows reader to customise the document. Useful but limited to font and background colours. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Accessibility benefits of PDFs <ul><li>Pages view </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows each page as a series of thumbnails – useful when looking for a particular image, allows reader to find it quickly. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bookmarks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to Document Map in Word – allows faster navigation through the document, reader able to jump to specific sections etc. Structure of Word documents picked up when converted to PDF format. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Publishers Association work 1 Guide to Alternative Formats <ul><li>Document on how to obtain alternative formats in the quickest and smoothest way is in final draft stage and should be published shortly. </li></ul><ul><li>It highlights the need for us to know exactly what we asking for and why, because the Publishers rarely understand the detail behind the request. </li></ul><ul><li>Document draft </li></ul>
  22. 22. Publishers Association work 2 Publishers LookUp <ul><li>We are in the process of developing a subsite to our website called – each Publisher will list on there exactly what formats they offer for which titles, the price, expected lead times for productions and so on – a one-stop shop for information on alternative formats </li></ul><ul><li>Site due to go live mid-Feb - will be similar to US version – – but with much more detailed advice </li></ul>
  23. 23. Resources you may find useful 1 <ul><li>RoboBraille – </li></ul><ul><li>Simply email a Word document to one of their email addresses e.g. [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>You receive (normally about 5 minutes – it only takes two hours when you’re demonstrating it in a presentation!) a high quality synthetic speech MP3 to download. </li></ul><ul><li>When the URL of your MP3 comes back be aware they always put a full stop at the end which stops it from working! </li></ul>
  24. 24. Resources you may find useful 2 <ul><li>TechDis Guide to Free and Open Source ‘Assistive’ Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Separates tools into 7 ‘genres’ – Communication, Planning, Writing, Recording, Reading, and Visualisation tools as well as Alternative Interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Gives description of technology and its potential pedagogic uses, location for download and sometimes a ‘movie’ showing how to use it or the tool in use. </li></ul><ul><li> getfreesoftware </li></ul>
  25. 25. Resources you may find useful 3 <ul><li>Xerte is a Learning Object Generator that is both accessible to use and produces accessible learning objects (if you use its features correctly!) </li></ul><ul><li>You can download the latest version of the tool from </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance available at: </li></ul><ul><li>We’re linking this to the Accessibility Passport work. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Technologies you may not have heard of <ul><li>Wink – tool for creating interactive learning resources – captures screenshots, add explanation bubbles etc – resulting ‘movie’ has audio, subtitles etc </li></ul><ul><li>DSpeech – reads text with word highlighting and automatically generates audio file in MP3 as part of process </li></ul><ul><li>Audacity – easy real-voice audio to MP3 </li></ul><ul><li>Camstudio – easy screen capture with audio – open resulting ‘movie’ in Windows MovieMaker to add subtitles </li></ul><ul><li>Dasher – assistive technology at its simplest and best </li></ul><ul><li>See </li></ul>
  27. 27. Simulations: not the real thing, but they give some idea of what it’s like <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> /simulations/... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… screenreader.php </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… lowvision.php </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… cognitive.php </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. External Support <ul><li>TechDis </li></ul><ul><li>Academy and Subject Network </li></ul><ul><li>Netskills </li></ul><ul><li>ALT/CMALT </li></ul><ul><li>AbilityNet </li></ul><ul><li>SEDA </li></ul>
  29. 29. Contact Details <ul><li>JISC TechDis Service </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Education Academy Building </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation Way </li></ul><ul><li>York Science Park </li></ul><ul><li>York </li></ul><ul><li>YO10 5BR </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>