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College and University Students with Disabilities Speak Out on Their eLearning Experiences Jennison V. Asuncion Catherine S. Fichten Joan Wolforth Presentation at the NEADS National Conference, Ottawa, November, 2006 Presentation Outline eLearning study background

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College and University Students with Disabilities Speak Out on Their eLearning Experiences

Jennison V. Asuncion

Catherine S. Fichten Joan Wolforth

Presentation at the NEADS National Conference, Ottawa, November, 2006


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Presentation Outline

  • eLearning study background

  • Research method

  • Findings from the student survey

  • Conclusions

  • Next steps

  • More information


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Research Team

Partner organizations

Adaptech Research Network

Can. Ass. of Disability Service Providers in Postsecondary Ed.

NEADS

Disability and Information Technology (Dis-It) Research Alliance

Team members

Students

Disability service providers

Disability activists

Professors

eLearning specialists


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eLearning Study Definitions

  • eLearning

    • Range of ICTs that professors use when teaching in the classroom, online, or a combination

    • E.g., PowerPoint, online tests, CD-ROMs, WebCT

  • Accessibility

    • Ability of learners, regardless of their disability, to easily and independently use eLearning

    • For some learners this may require adaptive technology


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eLearning Study Background

  • Sample research questions

    • How accessible are different types of eLearning to students with various disabilities?

    • What accommodations are presently being made for students with disabilities?

    • Are there differences between English and French speaking institutions?

    • What are the barriers?

    • What are good solutions?


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Research Method

  • 22 key informant interviews with 5 groups

    • Students with disabilities

    • Campus-based disability service providers

    • Faculty

    • eLearning specialists on campus

    • Postsecondary ePublishing vendors

  • Web based survey for 4 of 5 groups above

    • No ePublishing vendors

    • Recruitment: partners, email discussion lists, phone


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Research Method

  • Web based survey

    • 406 participants from colleges and universities

      • All ten provinces and NWT

  • 245 students

  • 77 campus-based disability service providers

  • 39 professors

  • 45 eLearning specialists


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Findings: Students

  • Demographics

    • n=245: 2/3 females, 1/3 males

    • Mean age = 27 yr (range: 19-59)

    • 38% college, 60% university, 2% other

    • Every province except PEI and Territories


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Findings: Students

  • Students’ disabilities/impairments

  • 240 students indicated 404 impairments

  • 44% indicated more than one disability


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Findings: Students

  • 5 most accessible eLearning types in rank order

    • Email

    • Course-related files in Word, PowerPoint etc.

    • WebCT, BlackBoard, FirstClass, etc.

    • Course web pages

    • In-class presentations using PowerPoint


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Findings: Students

  • 5 most inaccessible types of eLearning in rank order

    • Videoconferencing

    • Live online voice-based chat (speaking and listening)

    • Audio clips / files (e.g., recorded class lectures)

    • Online content that uses Flash and

    • CD-ROM tutorials used in class or computer labs




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Findings: Students

Benefits of using eLearning


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Findings: Students

Problems encountered using eLearning


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Findings: Students

Solutions to eLearning problems


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Conclusions

  • eLearning has many benefits for students

  • Many popular forms of eLearning are accessible

    • Experience varies by disability/impairment

  • Most problems are unresolved

    • 67% of students reported at least 1 unresolved problem!

  • Next steps

    • Complete data analyses

    • Disseminate findings

    • Make recommendations


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More Information

Adaptech www.adaptech.org

Jennison Asuncion: [email protected]

Catherine Fichten: [email protected]


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