Squashing the myths about accessibility/usability in distance learning

Concurrent Session 1

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Brief Abstract

In this session we will walk through easy ways to ensure that online content is as accessible and usable as possible for all learners. The presentation will provide tips and techniques that anyone can use to apply to their course content to attain this.

Presenters

Dr. Klein oversees a virtual team of instructional designers and technologists tasked with managing course development and maintenance for a large online university system. She has been involved in online instruction and curriculum development for more than two decades.

Extended Abstract

TOPIC/Importance: Accessibility and usability are important considerations for everyone, especially distance learners. Accessible design means that course and course materials are developed to support assistive devices, ensure a sense of independence, and encourage engagement in activities.   Content  - including learning materials, curriculum and engaging activities – must factor in accessibility and usability best practices from the beginning of a project or course. In this presentation, you will be introduced to best practices that can immediately be incorporated into your content.  We will discuss some of the myths of accessibility along with some of the required modifications that Instructional Designers may encounter.

Interactivity – The presenters will walk the audience through scenarios where accessibility/usability is easily overlooked and how to adjust the content to be more accessible and useable. This session will allow audience members to engage and ask questions throughout the presentation.  There will also be an opportunity to work in teams and create an accessible/usable solution to a scenario based on what they learn in the session. The presenters will facilitate this activity and provide feedback.

Takeaways -  Audience members will receive a handout that includes various  techniques for applying accessibility/usability to their content, and various additional resources.