Browsing by Subject "Accessibility"
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- ItemOpen AccessAt-Risk Students: An Early Intervention System(2022-09) Chand, Rajni; Anzeg, Afshana; Narayan, SharishnaPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations // During the Covid-19 lockdown, the University of the South Pacific (USP) had to close the Face-to-Face (F2F) delivery of lectures, tutorials and Drop-in support services at all its campuses. This included closing the Drop-in sessions at Student Learning Support (SLS) that provide additional literacy, numeracy and remedial support for students studying at USP. Given that all courses changed to online mode, contact with students was only possible using online virtual sessions such as Big Blue Button (BBB) or Zoom. Such sessions were only possible for students who had facilities and resources and could afford to study online. With Internet cafes and USP's Outreach Hubs, computer labs, and libraries closed, it further limited facilities for studying online for many. Realising major accessibility issues for the majority of its students, particularly those who needed support the most, USP formed a working group of SLS, First-Year Experience (FYEC) Coordinators, Information Technology Services (ITS), and Student Administrative Services (SAS) to design a strategy to identify and support the At-Risk Students (ARS). Moodle, the Learning Management System (LMS) used at USP, which records all students' activities became the central platform for this intervention. With SLS and FYE access to student activity and logs across the different schools at USP, the team worked on the design and implementation of an intervention system to help students isolated due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Intervention systems have been successfully used at many universities (Carroll, 2007; Burmack, 2002; Riddle, 2009; Frey & Fisher, 2008; Trilling & Fadel, 2009; Zhang, Fei, Quddau and Davis, 2014), showing a reduction in dropout and a better pass rate. The approach used at USP involved creating regular contact with the ARS studying in isolation or lockdown, supporting them through internet data plans for studying and virtual academic support sessions. The results showed an increase in these students' Moodle activity and better performance in the courses they were enrolled in. This paper discusses the planning, strategies, and results from a primary survey conducted on these ARS' performances. // Paper ID 1292
- ItemOpen AccessBeyond Allowing the Disadvantaged in: Biographical Perspectives of Online Higher Education Alumni with Migratory Backgrounds(2022-09) Xarles-Jubany, Gemma; Lee, KyungmeePCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // Since the United Nations made a call in 2016 to facilitate online education for migrants worldwide, the number of online initiatives targeting this profile of students has been growing. The rapid growth in course offerings and students' enrolment has mistakenly been considered evidence for the increased accessibility of university education. However, improving access to higher education is a complex and multidimensional social issue beyond allowing the disadvantaged in universities. Thus, our research aims to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the accessibility of online higher education rooted in an actual online HE practice, going beyond the point of entrance. This article focuses on the biographical narratives of three alumni from the Open University of Catalonia, each with migratory backgrounds from a different continent of origin and previous university experience, illustrating the journey of obtaining an online bachelor's degree. A set of influencing factors has been identified, based on which the accessibility of online education has been reconceptualised. Additionally, we suggest strategies to better support this profile of students in the context of online universities. // Paper ID 6357
- ItemOpen AccessBuilding Educational Resilience in Mathematics Delivery and Assessment(2022-09) Soluk, Patricia; Greenwood-Lee, James; Peschke, Julie; Beltaos, Angela; Kumar, Vive; Munyikwa, Ken; Babiuk, Shauna; Rechseidler-Zenteno, ShaunaPCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // Mathematics is a foundational subject in education. Learning outcomes in mathematics build on previous competencies and students are well-served by real-time intervention and feedback. However, contemporary math education is limited by technology, scalable learning, shareable experiences (both teaching and learning), and accessible modes of practice. Most assessment platforms do not have the functionality to support symbols and equations. During the pandemic we have diverted assessments in high enrolment mathematics courses from paper to electronic delivery. We developed randomized examinations for Introductory Statistics and Introduction to Calculus I and we developed an entire course with assessment using OERs (open educational resources) for Business Mathematics. Our team developed highly interactive, traceable, and intervenable content in math problem solving using the Möbius (https://digitaled.com/mobius) platform. We enabled an LTI integration of the platform into our LMS (learning management system) to provide seamless access for students. Möbius promotes cognitive learning through a powerful math engine, student feedback, analytics, and interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum content. We are serving 3,000 learners with effective assessment and have relieved faculty and staff of administering and marking alternative examinations through a long pandemic. We have seen improvements in student feedback, increased accessibility, reduced administrative burden, and enhanced exam security. Möbius is a truly scalable and cost-effective platform for math educators and students that provides more efficient and effective management of educational delivery. // Paper ID 0616
- ItemOpen AccessDisability Accommodations in Online Education: The Experience of AIOU Graduates(2022-09) Majeed, Zahid; Ul-Qayyam, ZiaPCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // In Pakistan less than 1% of total differently able population have access to education and only 0.2% are in higher education. The reasons are many because of policies, accessibility, exclusion, facilities, equal opportunities, infrastructure and skilled faculty at the universities. In Pakistan Allama Iqbal Open University is the only university providing open and equal educational opportunities to all the disabled in Pakistan. Because of the blessing of Covid-19 higher education institutions of Pakistan are more open, accommodative and inclusive and providing opportunities to disabled students too. In this study the researchers interviewed more than 200 students graduated from AIOU and formal universities. The aim of this qualitative research was to determine their experiences of online education at AIOU and formal universities. Also, their perceptions of the relationship between inclusive educational environments and academic performance. The sample of the study was included students with hearing impairment, visual impairment and physically disabilities. The participants of the study indicated that disabilities presented concentration and scheduling challenges, the flexibility of online learning as well as participants' skills at self-accommodation and self-advocacy were instrumental in their academic performance/success. The study recommended that the online education at formal universities should be more supportive and accommodative online education environment. They further recommended formal universities with the help of AIOU should develop eContent (usability and accessibility), eAssessment and trained faculty to teach the disabled on online learning management system. // Paper ID 9923
- ItemOpen AccessE-Learning amidst Covid-19 for the Visually Impaired Students at Kwame Nkrumah University – Kabwe, Zambia: Absolute or a Discriminatory Outlook(2022-09) Mileji, PaulinePCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // The main purpose of this study was to assess e-learning amidst Covid-19 for the visually impaired students at Kwame Nkrumah University. The population for the study involved a total number of thirty-five students from Kwame Nkrumah University who provided complete information regarding the survey. A physical and an online survey were conducted on different social platforms like student WhatsApp groups and Zoom from 10th May to 8 July 2021 to collect data. This research took a qualitative approach. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Interview guide and unstructured questionnaires were used to collect data. The main findings were that during the quarantine period, around 5% of visually impaired learners were involved in e-learning. Most of the learners used android mobile for attending e-learning lessons. Further, the study revealed that students were facing various problems relating to failure to pay 50% of the fees as a condition to access online e-learning lectures, not having smart phones which have voice prompts or better still smart phones specifically for the visually impaired persons, poor internet connectivity and unfavorable study environment at home. Students from remote areas of Zambia and those with completely no gadgets were the most affected in terms of accessibility to the e-learning platform. As a result of the many challenges the visually impaired students are still facing during this period of e-learning amid covid19, this study recommends to Kwame Nkrumah University management to devise a flexible education system that will be inclusive in terms of accessibility and will enforce the skill for employability and productivity. // Paper ID 1250
- ItemOpen AccessEducational Development in Africa: Bridging disability Gap with Distance Learning for the Visually Impaired(2022-09) Egenti, Grace; Ikeokwu, Justin; Fadayomi, BayonlePCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // It is a known fact that the era of the Covid19 pandemic has further exposed the concept and technology of distance learning as more and more people are now interested in higher education through the distance learning mode. Distance learning courses are possibly an appropriate tool for mainstream students with impairments in education since they rely significantly on digital material and are technology-mediated. However, in the drive to move forward, most structures/systems are typically created without taking into cognizance the unique interface issues those students with disabilities are confronted with while using technology, especially the blind and the visually impaired. Hence, this paper is aimed at creating an enabling examination platform where this vulnerable group would be supported by providing a voice supported application, ODL Visually Impaired Assessment Bot for the blind and the visually impaired to write their examinations. This will further ensure equality and inclusive education in acquiring life-long learning through distance learning. Artificial intelligence technologies were used to develop a Robot that was used for the implementation of the Application. The Robot reads out the examination questions to the blind and visually impaired student and also listens to the student speak and thereafter captures and types out the answers of the student. It is against this backdrop that this paper is written to proffer a solution to the blind and the visually impaired students in Africa, especially, the National Open University of Nigeria. The significance of this ODL Visually Impaired Assessment Bot is aimed at building a sustainable educational system through the use of technology, thus eradicating limiting ideologies in Africa, like ‘those with disabilities cannot be educated and the rich only deserve quality education’. This application will create a level ground for all to access life-long quality education, through the open and distance mode. The visually impaired if given proper education cannot constitute any form of liability but an asset to themselves, their families and the society at large. // Paper ID 3346
- ItemOpen AccessEffectiveness of Digital Technologies in Inclusive Learning for Teacher Preparation(2023-07-10) Drushlyak, Marina; Semenikhina, Olena; Kharchenko, Inna; Mulesa, Pavlo; Shamonia, Volodymyr; Panda, SantoshIn this research, digital technologies that will potentially be useful for teachers in an inclusive educational space were considered. The combined classification of digital technologies of inclusive direction, including software and hardware in three main areas, is offered: for training and repetition; to help with learning; and to expand learning opportunities. The authors developed and theoretically substantiated a model for preparing pre-service teachers to use digital technologies in an inclusive educational space. The effectiveness of the developed model was tested through a pedagogical experiment that involved three tests based on criteria. The effectiveness of the authors’ model was confirmed by the sign test at the significance level of 0.05.
- ItemOpen AccessEvaluation of Global Online Training Activities of the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO) in 2020(2022-09) Zawacki-Richter, Olaf; Lee, Kyungmee; Elmasry, EimanPCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // This paper reports on an evaluation of the online training activities of the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO) in Turin (Italy). The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the design, implementation and quality of training activities of ITCILO that were delivered in an online distance learning mode since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. The methodology for this evaluation included quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods to provide conclusions and recommendations from the findings, substantiated with statistical data and case studies documenting good practice. 1.284 responses from 151 different countries were collected from a participant's survey, and in-depth interviews were conducted with ITCILO's staff members (27), institutional clients (2), and participants (7). The results of the evaluation are reported in terms of training outreach, learning effectiveness, learner preference of the international online training activities. For example, the number of enrolments on the Centre’s training activities increased dramatically, caused by the rapid adoption of online training activities during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Subsequently, 75 % of the participants said they would prefer digital training activities (blended or fully online) in the future. However, internet connectivity is still a problem in many countries: 50 % of participants from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania reported they had regular issues with internet connectivity that disrupted their learning. Based on the findings, ten recommendations for the further development of ITCILO's online training activities are presented. // Paper ID 0979
- ItemOpen AccessImproving Access to Qualitative Education for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs): How National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Could Key in(2022-09) Obaka, Abel IPCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // This paper investigates how access to qualitative education for persons with disabilities (PWDs) can be improved through the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). The paper is anchored on Moore's theory of distance education. It employs qualitative survey research and findings show that majority of respondents believe that NOUN can fast-track access to education for PWDs. Also, the majority of respondents are of the opinion that one of the fastest means of removing the stigma against PWDs is their inclusiveness and integration through their unfettered access to Open and Distance Learning (ODL). However, the majority of the respondents are of the belief that PWDs may face challenges in accessing ODL due to endemic poverty and cultural distortions. The paper, therefore, concludes with recommendations for advocacy on the importance of ODL for the education of the PWDs as well as for the government to provide enabling environment to support ODL education in Nigeria by institutionalizing ODL education for PWDs. It also recommends the improvement and development of relevant information and communications technology (ICT) and more open educational resources (OER) for accessibility and inclusion of PWDs in ODL education delivery architecture. They must be combined with appropriate content and pedagogy as well as legislation to institutionalize the education of PWDs through ODL as offered by NOUN. // Paper ID 3434
- ItemOpen AccessInequality in Access to Technology for Education by Persons with Disabilities during the Covid-19 Pandemic in LMICs: A literature Review(2022-09) Abu-Sadat, RabbiPCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // Following the declaration of COVID -19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Countries around the world temporarily closed down educational institutions as part effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, learning did not stop, but rather took a different shift (online learning) as part of remote learning arrangements made by most countries. The shift however, has deepened the existent disparities in learning in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) due to inequality in access to technology. This paper reviews research findings highlighting the specific issues of access to technology for education faced by persons with disabilities across the levels of education in LMICs. It will provide recommendations on how inequality in access to technology for education by persons with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic in LMICs can be minimized if not curbed. It will also provide a critical view of the existing evidence on access to technology for persons with disabilities in LMICs, as well as the emerging gaps to inform further research that has the potential of limiting inequalities of access to technology for learning. // Paper ID 1325
- ItemOpen AccessPromoting Equity, Inclusion and Building Resiliency in the Caribbean Education System(2022-09) Bissessar, CharmainePCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // This paper contains a review of three published articles by the author on various coping mechanisms implemented by Trinidadian (37), Grenadian (44), and Guyanese (12) educators during the pandemic. The two studies reflect the issues of absenteeism, digital divide, accessibility, parental involvement, student motivation and ways in which teachers in rural Guyana were alleviating learning loss. The sampling method used was purposive. The two studies are qualitative in nature with descriptive phenomenology capturing the participants’ lived experiences. Semantic and latent coding determined the major themes of the studies. The findings in these studies expand the extant literature on emergency remote education. // Paper ID 7269
- ItemOpen AccessThe Use of Mobile Phones to Enhance Inclusive and Equitable Education for All. A Case of Disabled Youths in Bamenda, Cameroon(2022-09) Bih, Fon LouisaPCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // This paper investigates how physically disabled youths in the town of Bamenda, the capital city of the North West Region of Cameroon are able to fit in the Sustainable Development Goal 4 especially with technological advancement. The Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The emergence of technology has been an asset to learning in the 21st Century. This research seeks to understand how the physically disabled youths benefit in this wave of technology as concerns their education enhancement. We set off with the following questions. How can phones be used by disabled youths such as the blind and deaf? How can phones help the education of physical disabled youths? Proposed answers to the above stated questions were; Mobile phones are wired with apps and settings which help people living with disability. Through mobile phones, physically disabled youths can access learning materials on the internet and through voice notes. The main theoretical resource for this study is Technological Mediation Theory by Verbeek. Purposeful samplings of 30 physically disabled youths in the city of Bamenda were our focus. Interviews and observation were the means through which data was obtained. Results have it that, among the disabled, the deaf are very active of phones and social media with video aids and the possibility of writing. While the blind have audio setting on their phones, which help them get most information they want. Their trainers as well learn quite well on how to accommodate them and carry them along their respective training. // fPaper ID 5499