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Title: ETAP 623 Fall 2014-Zhang

Creating Accessible Online Learning Materials, Focusing on Accessibility


The title of the course I'm developing is, Creating Accessible Online Learning Materials, Focusing on Accessibility. This course will provide an introduction to accessibility and how instructors can create accessible online course materials.

The purpose of this course is to provide instructors with the knowledge needed to create and evaluate their course materials and resources to make sure they are accessible to all including those with disabilities.

Topics that will be covered:

  • What is accessibility?
  • Why does accessibility matter?
  • How do you make course content accessible?
  • What questions should be asked of textbook publishers?
  • How do you verify accessibility?
Accessibility Bicycle-Showing barriers and solutions to the online learning experience

Accessibility Bike Poster

Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

  • explain the meaning of accessibility.(Verbal and Intellectual Skill)
  • identify the legal and ethical importance of accessible online learning materials.(Verbal and Intellectual Skill)
  • evaluate course content to ensure accessibility.(Intellectual Skill and Cognitive Strategy)
  • produce accessible course materials.(Intellectual Skill)
  • demonstrate understanding of learning differences by choosing to use accessible learning materials in their teaching.(Attitude)

Needs Analysis for Creating Accessible Online Learning Materials


While online learning continues to grow at a rapid pace and becomes more of a norm, the need for accessible course material is important in order to reach the needs of all learners. Training, for faculty in creating accessible online learning materials should be top priority, but often seems to be a topic that is overlooked. I've decided to create a mini-course to educate all online college professors on to how to make online course learning materials accessible to all, and the importance for doing so.

Gathering Information
In order to better understand the need for this course, I surveyed several online professors at SUNY Delhi. They were asked questions about their use of learning materials for instruction, their experience in teaching online courses, their knowledge of accessibility and accessible learning materials, how they choose learning materials, and their comfort level of the use of technology.

The survey was sent to 50 SUNY Delhi online professors. So far 21 have completed the survey. The survey was performed using Google Forms. Please see the summary of responses. Summary of Responses

Analysis and Revised Intent
In collecting data, I found professors online teaching experience to range from 1 month to 15 years. Among the twenty one who completed the survey the average was approximately 6 years’ experience. The responses given in the survey indicate that many of the professors lack understanding of what accessibility means and thus have misconceptions. For the most part professors expressed a moderate concern for selecting materials to meet the needs of all learners; however they expressed a wide range of criteria for selecting these materials. In terms of understanding how to make course materials accessible, most think they have a complete understanding. At least two, who have been teaching online learning for 10+ years, indicate they have no knowledge of how to make learning materials accessible. Seventeen out of the twenty one surveyed would like to learn more about creating accessible online learning materials. Many showed an interest in learning new techniques and tools to ease their use for classroom instruction.

For the most part, the intent of this course will remain the same. As predicted there is a need to clearly define the meaning of accessibility and the importance of accessible online course materials. Although many professors believe they are doing what needs to be done to create accessibility for their courses, their misconceptions must be addressed in order to accurately fulfill the needs of their students. I will address and provide tools and techniques to ease the process of creating accessible online learning materials. Additionally, I will need to explain the meaning of course learning materials and the criteria to look for when choosing them.

Performance Objectives

  • Learners will demonstrate an understanding of accessibility, by defining accessibility and explaining how it relates to online teaching and learning.
  • Learners will explain legalities and ethical issues in regards to accessibility, by citing references in their discussions.
  • Learners will demonstrate understanding of accessibility tools and tips, by creating their own mini documents using accessibility practices.
  • Learners will demonstrate accessibility practices, by reviewing an existing lesson and making changes where accessibility guidelines are not met.
  • Learners will create a new lesson for online learners, by using the accessibility guidelines learned in the previous module.

Task Analysis

Prerequisite Skills
Ability to read and respond to literature.
Basic understanding of universal design and students with diverse learning abilities.
Experience with online learning and or teaching.

Self motivation and discipline to proceed through the course.
Computer proficiency
Positive attitude and moral based learning standards.

Curriculum Map

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Understanding Accessibility
1. Learners will define accessibility using their prior knowledge.
2. Learners will read about the historical perspective to accessibility and legalities leading to current laws pertaining to education and answer reflection questions pertaining to the reading.
3. Learners will read about accessibility and its importance and will reflect their understanding by answering questions pertaining to the readings.
4. Learners will adjust their definition of accessibility by posting to the discussion forum and answering questions.

Lesson 2: Accessibility Tools and Tips
1. Learners read information about how to create accessible audio and video and reflect their understanding by answering reflection questions.
2. Learners read information about how to create accessible PDF documents and reflect understanding by answering reflection questions.
3. Learners read information and watch a video that demonstrate how to create accessible tables and images.
4. Learners read about the importance of accessibility of student submissions.

Lesson 3: Accessibility Practices
1. Learners choose an existing lesson and post to the discussion forum.
2. Learners will identify accessibility errors and highlight what needs to be corrected.
3. Learners will make corrections to the lesson and evaluate what they need to do differently in the future.
4. Learners will respond to one other students discussion and provide feedback to their lesson corrections.
5. Learners will create a new accessible online lesson and share with the class in a discussion forum.

References and Resources

Barron, B., Pearson, P. D., Schoenfeld, A. H., Stage, E. K., Zimmerman, T. D., Cervetti, G. N., & Tilson, J. L. (2008). Powerful learning: What we know about teaching for understanding. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Buffalo State-The State University of New York-Instructional Design Designing and Developing Learning Experiences, Meghan Pereira, Ginger Bidell, Sumana Silverheels,

California State University: Sacramento State-Accessible Technology Initiative-Course Accessibility Checklist

FACT2, Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology- Online Accessibility,

Ingeno, Lauren, June 24, 2013, "Online Accessibility a Faculty Duty"

Miriam B. Larson, Barbara B Lockee (2014). Streamlined ID: A Practical Guide to Instructional Design. New York: Routledge.