Document Type

Dissertation

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Computer Sciences, Information Science

Publication Details

Successfully submitted in part fufilment of the requirements of the Msc. in Computing, 2012

Abstract

The aim of this dissertation is to provide Assistive Technology (AT) professionals involved in the area of education and training with a set of reusable technological tools and techniques that will enable them to increase the reach, efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of their training through online delivery. There are a number of broadly accepted reasons why an organisation in any field might choose to make training available online or partially online (blended) rather than relying on traditional face to face methods. Of the four considered here and mentioned above, accessibility is the biggest concern in the context of AT. It is essential that an AT course follows accessibility best practice and in terms of education this means adhering closely to the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Through an extensive literature review the intrinsic properties of AT that might influence its delivery as e-Learning will be examined, followed by a review of previous AT education initiatives. A suitable Learning Management System (LMS) will then be selected and the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) model will be used to develop initial pilot modules. The evaluation of these pilot modules will take the form of a detailed questionnaire issued to course participants and will be supplemented by an examination of the user data captured by the LMS. There will also be a further examination of the pilot modules against the UDL checkpoints. From these findings the design process will be modified and an improved design methodology will be proposed. This improved design methodology and supporting documentation will help AT educators to identify and utilise a range of reusable tools to create Universally Designed Learning Objects that will enable them, as the experts in the field, to successfully transfer their expertise from the classroom to an online medium. On completion, the improved design methodology will be offered back to AT professionals for expert evaluation. This evaluation will be documented and will inform further work including the building of UDL AT Learning Objects and the creation of an AT Learning Object Repository where the resulting learning objects can be easily accessed for reuse. Key words: Assistive technology, e-

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