SCoPE Seminar: Accessibility of eLearning: December 4 - 17, 2006

Definitions

Definitions

by Catherine Fichten -
Number of replies: 5

Hello from Montreal! As this is my first post, I would like to join Jennison in welcoming you to our seminar. Based on the introductions so far, we have a great variety of experience and insight among us.

Before discussing the research itself, we thought it important to provide the working definitions used in our three-year investigation. This way, as we discuss results, you will have an appreciation of where we are coming from. These definitions were also provided to research participants.

We defined eLearning as the range of information and communication technologies that professors use when teaching their courses in the classroom, online, or a combination of both. Examples include PowerPoint used in the classroom, online tests, CD-ROMs, and course management systems (e.g., WebCT).

We defined accessibility as the ability of learners, regardless of their disability, to easily and independently use eLearning. For some, this may include the use of adaptive hardware (e.g., an adapted mouse) or adaptive software (e.g., software that reads what is on the screen).

Catherine

In reply to Catherine Fichten

Re: Definitions

by Emma Duke-Williams -
would it be also worth defining the differing terms for disability?

For example, I know that in the UK - where I live, "specific learning difficulty" is often used for things like dyslexia / dyscalcula - to highlight the fact that it's only one area of learning the student has difficulties with, whereas "learning disability" is generally used for students with more generic learning issues in all areas.

From what I can see, in the US "learning disability" is often used to cover things like dyslexia as well.

At least - that's the way that I see things, others may have different views!
In reply to Catherine Fichten

Re: Definitions

by Linda Christiansen -
Thank you for providing the working definitions.  They fit with what our definition would also be for both.  We currently offer one adult training program using a distance eLearning approach supported by tutorials by instructors.  We have been challenged by students in the classroom who have brain injury, learning disabilities, vision impairment, total hearing loss and severe mobility restrictions.  We are able to fund interpreters, sign language aides, tutors, scribes and various technology to assist our students but not always with complete success, especially when it relates to software/equipment fully meeting the students' needs.  I will look forward to the discussion although I must admit that already some of the technical terms elude me.  No problem though, as I can always research the acronymns/abbreviations later although if it's possible, a full spelling would be much appreciated.  Thanks so much as I know that I will learn much from all of you!...Linda
In reply to Linda Christiansen

Re: Definitions

by Jennison Asuncion -

Linda et al,

Given that part of our goal here is to learn from each other, feel free to ask for clarification on any term’s definition that is of interest to you.

Jennison

In reply to Catherine Fichten

Re: Definitions

by Jennison Asuncion -

Just to add onto Catherine’s note, we recognized that to different people both the terms “eLearning” and “accessibility” cold possibly mean something different to different folks across Canada. For example, to some, the use of a CDROM in a lab and PowerPoint in the traditional classroom did not immediately come to mind as “eLearning.” Additionally, to some “accessibility” refers strictly to availability in the broader sense.

 

Jennison

 

In reply to Jennison Asuncion

Re: Definitions

by Shawn Draisey -
Hello,

To further broaden the perspective on defining e-learning could it possibly encompasss any electronic mode to transferring educational content that is faciliated by another human???