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Section 7. Accessibility of LMOOCs

Site: OpenLearn Create
Course: Guide to Language Massive Open Online Courses (LMOOCs)
Book: Section 7. Accessibility of LMOOCs
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Date: Tuesday, 6 Dec 2022, 20:00

Table of contents

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The opportunities given by LMOOCs allow learners to study at their own pace, time and place, improving interaction and communication between all students. Such educational system is particularly beneficial for disabled people and can greatly enchance their social inclusion. Nevertheless, the use of the LMOOC platforms can be rather difficult for them beause they need to acquire a range of social and digital skills.

For instance, the interactive components such as tests and audiovisual materials that are included in online courses may present certain difficulties to the requirements of accessibility. The visual and methodological design of LMOOCs, their usability, architecture and visual design can have a negative impact on learner involvement and completion scores (Tyler-Smith, 2006).

The multimedia elements that are widely used on LMOOC platforms are based on interesting audiovisual content as well as the interactive components that enable communication of learners by giving access to students with special needs and making them active participants.

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Thus, three important aspects should be considered in order to reach a necessary level of accessibility in the multimedia resources:

  1. accessible content – alternative content ( a wide use of subtitles, audio-description)

  2. content guarantee – the resources are available form online learning platforms

  3. intuitive interaction – the learning resources are accessible, they are organised in collections (Delgado & Rodrigo, 2010),

A LMOOC interface construction is usually determined by the online platform because such elements as testing and learning tools can not be customized or edited by the creator. Its mode of delivery should correspond to a number of accessibility standards.

Despite some problems that may occur on LMOOC platforms, the model of social accessibility and massive participation (Takagi et al., 2008) can be applied to support learners with SED (special educational needs) by offering peer assistance. When learners communicate, they can learn a lot from each other and contribute greatly by helping their peers. Finally, the resources can be multimedia enriched, becoming more qualitative (audio files for podcasting, transcriptions for mind maps). These resources should be combined together into collections that will be beneficial to language learners.

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Further reading

Delgado J. L. & Rodrigo C. (2010). Perfiles de aplicacion multimedia basado en estandares: un caso concreto para la UNED. Revista Iberoamericana de Inteligencia Artificial (AEPIA) Vol. 14, Nє. 47, 1-25.

Takagi, H., Kawanaka, S., Kobayashi, M., Itoh, T., & Asakawa, C. (2008). Social accessibility: achieving accessibility through collaborative metadata authoring. In Proceedings of the 10th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers and accessibility (pp. 193-200). ACM, 193-200.

Tyler-Smith, K. (2006). Early attrition among first time eLearners: A review of factors that contribute to drop-out, withdrawal and non-completion rates of adult learners undertaking eLearning programmes. Journal of Online learning and Teaching, 2(2), 73-85.