User:Elizabeth Wilson

From KNILT
Liz Wilson headshot

Greetings, and welcome to my page! I am an aspiring educational technologist, specializing in web development and accessibility. My goal is to work with educators to leverage digital technology and lower barriers to high quality educational programs.

When I’m not working or looking for a place with consistent wifi to do said work, I’m an avid runner, volunteer, and theater-goer/performer.

Visit Elizabeth's Course

My Topic

The topic I will be exploring in my mini-course is the creation of educational content that is both informative and accessible. The specific types of multimedia materials I will focus on are document files like Word documents and PDFs, image files, and video files. At the same time, the course will focus on the problem solving processes involved in implementing accessibility practices so that learners can apply the principles of UDL regardless of the particular type of media they are working with.

Needs Assessment

Social and demographic changes since the middle of the twentieth century have led to a population in the United States that is both much older and much more diverse than past generations. This is due to a number of factors, including the increasing quality of medical services, and the involvement of the United States in various wars and the population of veterans with disabilities (NCSU).
In addition to spectrum of abilities represented by the adult population in the United States, children with disabilities now represent 13 percent of public school students (NCES). It is more important than ever for primary, secondary, and continuing education providers to be aware of strategies they can employ to ensure that as many learners as possible can access and interpret course material.
In addition, educational institutions are under increasing legal pressure to comply with accessibility legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. The failure to consider inclusion and equal access in the development of both in-person and online courses has led to lawsuits and financial strain for some of the most well known academic institutions in the country.
Universal Design for Learning presents a framework that can guide educators in taking a proactive approach to inclusion and accessibility. With the principles of UDL in mind, this course aims to address the creation of educational materials so that learners of all abilities can have the same opportunity to access the same information.

Analysis of the Learner

Survey Distribution

In order to create the most appropriate learning experience for the target audience of this mini-course, a survey was developed and sent to the current (fall 2016) members of both sections of ETAP 623. The survey was left open for a period of ten days and was completed by eight individuals.
As the purpose of the survey was to learn more about the background, motivation, and current understandings of participants, the questions were organized into two groups. The first set of questions focused on relevant participant characteristics, such as age and interest in the subject, and the second set of questions was meant to assess what participants know already about accessible instructional design.
To review the distribution of responses for each survey question, download the Survey Results PDF.

Analysis

Learner Characteristics

The average survey participant was a K-12 instructor between the ages of 23 and 28. Most of the participants had encountered the idea of accessibility before, though not necessarily in the context of education, and had an interest in learning more about it. In terms of familiarity with the topic, only one of the participants described themselves as "very familiar" with accessibility practices relating to the development of instructional materials.

Background Knowledge

Participant responses on the "Knowledge Check" section of the survey indicated a lack of understanding of some of the more technical aspects of accessibility. A vast majority of the participants, however, exhibited a good grasp of the philosophy of universal design, which is the theoretical framework chosen to guide the development of this course.

Further Investigation

In retrospect, the survey should have included more of an emphasis on participant attitudes towards creating accessible educational materials, as the pre and post-tests included in the mini-course will allow learners to track their level of self-efficacy and comfort with the topic as they progress.

Revised Intent

Based on both the misconceptions and the interest in the topic of accessibility and universal design indicated by the survey responses, I feel comfortable pursuing the original outline for the course. The course will emphasize both the universally applicable concepts educators should understand in order to incorporate accessibility best practices in developing major "types" of educational content (images, video, and documents files), as well as the resources and expert communities available to answer questions that are more specific to the educator and their unique instructional setting.

Learning Outcomes

Intellectual Skills

  • Learner will utilize a systematic approach to evaluating and modifying existing learning materials based on the principles of universal design.

Cognitive Strategy

  • When faced with a new tool for creating and/or publishing learning materials, learner will quickly identify potential accessibility issues and possible strategies for overcoming them.

Verbal Information

  • Learner will differentiate between captions and subtitles.
  • Learner will explain what is meant by "alternative text."
  • Learner will provide examples of assistive technology.
  • Learner will list the basic principles of universal design.

Attitude

  • Learner will consider multiple methods of representation in developing course materials.
  • Learner will demonstrate a heightened awareness of the spectrum of abilities of potential students.
  • Learner will feel empowered to use technology to create accessible media, or locate information on how to use certain technologies if necessary.

Task Analysis

Target Objectives

  • Apply a systematic & informed approach to the creation of accessible content
  • Appreciate the role of Universal Design for Learning as it relates to education
  • Consider the variety of ways learners access digital information when creating educational content
  • Access additional information on accessibility best practices as needed

Unit 1

Supporting Objectives

  • Understand the historical underpinnings of UDL
  • Know the principles of UDL
  • Distinguish between the "accommodations" and the "inclusion" approaches to accessibility
  • Distinguish between the major types of assistive technology associated with cognitive, hearing, motor, and visual impairments
  • Determine whether resource is advocating for accommodation or inclusion approach

Performance Objectives

  • Complete a pre-test to assess current understanding of UDL and accessibility (Quiz)
  • Generate a list of resources and online communities to use as a reference for accessible media creation (Activity)
  • Given three articles on accessibility in education, discuss whether the authors are taking a "accommodation" or "inclusion" approach (Reflection)

Unit 2

Supporting Objectives

  • Make connections between the use of video content and the principles of UDL
  • Understand how video content may be inaccessible to learners
  • Apply understanding of captions, subtitles, and multiple forms of representation to the creation of accessible video content
  • Navigate popular social media networks to identify relevant and useful resources on creating accessible video content
  • Successfully leverage existing resource hubs on the web

Performance Objectives

  • Add to their growing list of resources and online communities with video-related items (Activity)
  • Identify three instances of missing or inappropriate captions on popular videos (Activity)
  • Link relevant terms (subtitles, captions, etc.) with their definitions (Quiz)

Unit 3

Supporting Objectives

  • Apply understanding of alternative text to the creation of accessible visual content
  • Make connections between the use of images and the principles of UDL
  • Understand how images may be inaccessible to learners
  • Interpret the HTML code that contains alternative text
  • Navigate popular social media networks to identify relevant and useful resources on creating accessible visual content
  • Successfully leverage existing resource hubs on the web

Performance Objectives

  • Add to their growing list of resources and online communities with image-related items (Activity)
  • Identify three instances of missing or inappropriate alternative text on popular websites (Activity)
  • Using realistic examples, select the appropriate alternative text for images out of several options (Quiz)

Unit 4

Supporting Objectives

  • Apply understanding of file types, tagging, and layers to the creation of accessible Word documents and PDFs
  • Make connections between the use of Word documents, PDFs and the principles of UDL
  • Understand how Word documents and PDFs may be inaccessible to learners
  • Navigate popular social media networks to identify relevant and useful resources on creating accessible Word documents and PDFs
  • Successfully leverage existing resource hubs on the web

Performance Objectives

  • Complete a post-test to assess understanding of UDL and accessibility following the delivery of instruction (Quiz)
  • Add to their growing list of resources and online communities with PDF and document-related items (Activity)
  • Relate the lesson to a real world debate on Word documents and accessibility (Reflection)

Entry-Level Skills

  • Ability to open and fill out a Google form
  • Ability to navigate YouTube
  • Ability to use control + F to search a webpage
  • Ability to view the source code of a webpage
  • Ability to navigate Microsoft Word and work with basic objects

Curriculum Map

This same information presented in this infographic is available in the table below

Curriculum Map - Text Version

The following table summarizes the four main goals of the course and how each unit supports these goals.
Apply a systematic and informed approach to creating accessible content Appreciate the role of Universal Design for Learning as it relates to education Consider the variety of ways learners access digital information when creating educational content Access additional information on accessibility best practices as needed
Unit 4
Apply understanding of file types, tagging, and layers to the creation of accessible Word documents and PDFs
Unit 4
Make connections between the use of Word documents, PDFs and the principles of UDL
Unit 4
Understand how Word documents and PDFs may be inaccessible to learners
Unit 4
Navigate popular social media networks to identify relevant and useful resources on creating accessible Word documents and PDFs
Unit 3
Apply understanding of alternative text to the creation of accessible visual content
Unit 3
Make connections between the use of images and the principles of UDL
Unit 3
Understand how images may be inaccessible to learners
Unit 3
Navigate popular social media networks to identify relevant and useful resources on creating accessible visual content
Unit 2
Apply understanding of captions, subtitles, and multiple forms of representation to the creation of accessible video content
Unit 2
Make connections between the use of video content and the principles of UDL
Unit 2
Understand how video content may be inaccessible to learners
Unit 2
Navigate popular social media networks to identify relevant and useful resources on creating accessible video content
Unit 1
Distinguish between the "accommodations" and the "inclusion" approaches to accessibility
Unit 1
Understand the historical underpinnings of UDL
Unit 1
Distinguish between the major types of assistive technology associated with cognitive, hearing, motor, and visual impairments
Unit 1
Determine whether resource is advocating for accommodation or inclusion approach

References and Resources