What research questions the project addresses, aims & themes
Accessible Learning Platform for Europe (ALPE) is a validation project involving an accessible, standard based e-learning solution for visually impaired, hearing impaired and adult learners who lack basic skills. The ALPE service also targets potential customers of the proposed service both on the supply and demand side of the e-Learning value chain.
ALPE aims to offer:
- Course enhancement including advice and support on creating accessible courses to ensure adherence to any local compliance needs.
- Course transformation. Working with course suppliers and developers to ensure that course materials are effective, in line with their pedagogical approach, and can be used by all groups of society (i.e. they are accessible).
- Learning platform provision. Providing an accessible learning platform to those users who are in need of such a service.
- Consultancy on e-learning public procurement.
- Training on how to create accessible e-learning courses, using a standard based e-learning platform through cooperation and contracting of known, recognized experts.
- Providing a portfolio of basic skills courses. Such courses will be targeted at adult citizens who wish to improve their basic skills, and hence their employability levels. These users will have access to a repository of accessible, multilingual, SCORM compliant, customised courses on basic skills, which could be delivered via an open source, standards-based and accessible e-learning platform.
How the research questions are addressed by the project (methodology and activity/environment)
ALPE was not a research project, it was a validation project
The pilot project involved the validation of basic skill courses with 300 students in Spain, the UK and Greece as well as the validation with more than 50 stakeholders in order to assess the solution’s advantages to reduce possible technological barriers and to study the possibilities for large scale deployment.
Findings and outputs
Some of the outputs from the ALPE project fed into the work and subsequent exploitation plans of the EU4ALL project.
To quote from the final report regarding the UK context:
"To summarise the UK perspective, it is safe to say there are many competing bodies which operate within the field of accessibility. The most significant of these include government funded organisations such as TechDis. TechDis, for example, not only provides direct advice (and training) to higher and further education organisations, but other bodies such as the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA), like TechDIS, are also working implicitly to establish a network of practitioners who can support each other to help to provide effective education to people with different types of disability. There is little demand for a 'new' accessible VLE within the UK market, and organisations who consider themselves to provide 'accessible' material have stated in interviews that they prefer to use their internal experts."
The ALPE project contributes to the overall goals of the e-inclusion, e-learning EC policies, since:
- It introduces a competitive service at an international level
- It encourages a better dialogue between educational institutions and content creators for the production of accessible content
- The nature of the project requires the development of new skills and employment prospects.
- The project reducing "digital exclusion" by providing accessible technology to social groups with special needs.
Final project report
Accessibility, eLearning, disabled students, content
Martyn Cooper, Chetz Colwell, Chris Douce
Project partners and links
Spanish Distance Learning University (UNED)
The Open University
Panhellenic Association of the Blind
Start Date and duration
1st January 2007 - 31st August 2008