Guidance on How Learning at Scale Can be Made More Accessible

4th February 2021

Tina Papathoma, IET

Guidance on How Learning at Scale Can be Made More Accessible

Abstract: While learning at scale has the potential to widen access to education, the accessibility of courses offered on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms has not been researched in depth. Our research begins to fill that gap. We gathered data using the participatory ‘Evidence Café’ method. We identified characteristics of accessible courses on these platforms through thematic analysis. These characteristics include elements of both technology and pedagogy. Capturing and analysing expert insights enables us to provide guidance on how online courses can be made more accessible. The findings suggest that course production teams need to work collaboratively with providers to address issues of accessibility and involve learners in design, testing and evaluation. Well-designed tutor-supported activities that follow web accessibility and usability guidelines are needed, as well as educator training on accessibility.

Blog post: Virtual Evidence Cafés amid COVID-19; guidance on how to run one

Conference article: Guidance on how Learning at Scale can be made more accessible

Author bio: Tina’s research focus is on Evaluation of Online Courses, Professional Learning and Technology Enhanced Learning more broadly. Her PhD focused on Educators’ perspectives in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) where she examined who teaches in MOOCs and how they learn. Currently, Tina is the Evaluation Lead for Microcredentials (i.e. short accredited courses that aim to contribute to Continuous Professional Development). She is doing qualitative research and is also using mixed methods.

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