Open & Inclusive SIG – Presentation by Covadonga Rodrigo

33 people attended the Open & Inclusive Special Interest Group for a presentation by Covadonga Rodrigo on Monday 4th May 2020.

Open University staff will be able to view the recording by selecting “previous recordings” via the Adobe Connect link below:


Learning ecologies and service learning research to improve the performance of on-line students with disabilities by Covadonga Rodrigo

Abstract: E-Learning environments are enhancing the functionalities and the quality of the learning resources provided. Therefore, the possibility of creation learning ecologies adapted for students with disabilities is starting to be a reality, even with a certain degree of personalization.

A learning ecology is defined as the set of physical or virtual spaces that provide opportunities to learn, including the processes, contexts, relationships, and interactions that give rise to opportunities and resources for learning. Indeed, each person has a wide and diverse range of possibilities for training and learning, which requires individuals to take more and more control of their own learning process.

Ubiquitous technology is encouraging students to learn using tools beyond the software and resources that are commonly available to teachers and students.

This talk will help to:

1) Identify which barriers these students encounter, and which tools they use to create learning ecologies adapted to their impairments following Luckin’s Ecology of Resources (EoR) model. Luckin considers a broader spectrum of learning resources beyond the student’s desktop, representing how existing tools in the student’s usual context can offer new ways of assistance. The fact that students have a wide variety of resources available is not enough. It must be ensured that for each particular environment, the resources are organized and activated in an appropriate manner for each student who may need to access them.

2) Present the results from several research experiments developed within the Digital Inclusion Lab at UNED. Resarch activities have been supported by Vodafone Foundation for more than 6 years and are final user-centered designed. They cover different methodological approaches: multisensorial and ubiquitous access to arts & culture, multimedia resources accessibility and service learning provision.

Biography: Covadonga Rodrigo is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Systems and Languages at UNED and obtained her Ph.D. in Telecommunications Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM, 1999). Since 1998 she has held different teaching and management positions at the university level, i.e. being Computer’s Architecture Area Coordinator (Univ. Antonio de Nebrija, 1999-2000) and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Technology (UNED, 2010-2013).

She has researched on various topics related to the assessment and development of high quality products and systems for distance learning. For the past few years her research interests have been focused on developing user-centered designed and accessible systems for eLearning. Specifically, in relation to multimedia user-generated resources, open educational resources, MOOCs, learning object repositories architectures, application profiles, and more recently, mobile learning.

Since 1993, she is been involved in European and Spanish competitive projects and also has experience in evaluating and assessing the quality of e-learning and blended models. She has worked with universities in Cyprus, Greece, UK, Sweden and Switzerland related to the E-xcellence label (EADTU) and also worked along with  quality agencies in Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador. She has also experience in the development of standards at the national level in AENOR (Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification, member of ISO).

In 2012 she was appointed to the Executive Group at the Sectorial Committee of Information Technologies and Communications of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE-TIC), leadering the working group on Virtual Campuses and University Web Portals for two years. Nowadays, she is the coordinator of the EMPOWER group of Institutional Support: ICT, media and educational support services (EADTU) and runs the Digital Inclusion Lab at UNED.

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