Open Educational Resources (OERs) are often praised for being more accessible than standard textbooks. In this context, accessibility often refers to low or no costs, or to how students can obtain the resource just by clicking a link. But accessibility also has another meaning: can disabled people access the resource? And in this sense, OERs are no better than the competition. According to UDL on Campus, a 2011 survey of OER textbooks found that nearly half the web-based textbooks (42%) had significant accessibility problems. And of the PDF textbooks, none were accessible to disabled users. This is a tremendous concern.
This summer, AccessibleNU hosted their second UDL Workshop series. A cohort of faculty and academic staff, including Learning Designer and IDS instructor David Noffs and Senior Content Specialist Christine Scherer, learned about universal design for learning and best practices to design and teach courses that are welcoming and accessible for all students. The workshop series was packed with information and resources. Here are five of our top takeaways, plus tips on how to start incorporating UDL into your class! Takeaway #: For some, learning is not as easy as it looks. One of the biggest challenges faced by disabled and
Introduction The Loyola Digital Accessibility Conference was organized by graduate students in the digital humanities program at Loyola University. The event drew presenters and attendees from all over the country, including a team who called in from University of California-Davis! Content Specialist Christine Scherer and Learning Designer Krissy Wilson represented the School of Professional Studies Distance Learning department on the Tackling Large Scale Accessibility panel. The presentations covered a wide range of issues, from accessibility of digital library resources to podcast transcripts to retrofitting inaccessible web pages. But there were common themes raised throughout the conversations. One theme was that
Introduction What if someone told you that there were research-proven techniques you could use to improve your online class for all students, increasing retention, persistence, and satisfaction by more than 4% over the baseline? I’m sure you’d be skeptical. Students differ so significantly from each other and from quarter to quarter; how can any instructor anticipate the individual needs of every student? Universal Design for Learning is a great place to start. What is Universal Design for Learning? At its core, Universal Design for Learning is a flexible, research-based pedagogical framework that aims to develop curriculum that meets the needs
In this month’s webinar, Content Specialist Christine Scherer explained the ins and outs of captions and transcripts. Topics covered included the benefits of captions and transcripts, how captions and transcripts are created, why scripting is so important, and different types of captioning. To learn more, visit the DL Website’s Accessibility page! You can view a recording of the webinar on Panopto.