Learning about web accessibility: A project based tool-mediated approach
- 460 Downloads
Many websites remain inaccessible for people with disabilities, despite the availability of relevant guidelines and tools. This is mainly due to lack of appropriate training of Web designers on accessibility technology. In this paper, a project based learning activity designed to instruct Web accessibility guidelines and good design practices is presented. The activity is mediated by a web-based learning environment, which presents real-world examples of accessibility impasses that arise when certain, established guidelines are violated, and then provides advice on how to avoid or resolve them. The learning material contained in the tool is offered through a faceted browsing approach, thus enabling active exploration by the learner. A within-subjects case study compared the learning effectiveness of traditional academic instruction (pre-condition) with the proposed project based activity (post-condition) in the context of a University course. A significant improvement in students’ academic performance and perceived learning was found.
KeywordsHuman–computer interaction Web accessibility Project based learning Educational tool Accessibility study
- Barab, S., & Duffy, T. (2000). From practice fields to communities of practice. In D. Jonassen & S. M. Land (Eds.), Theoretical foundations of learning environments (pp. 25–56). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Bloomenfeld, P., Soloway, E., Marx, R., Krajcik, J., Guzdial, M., & Palinczar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational Psychologist, 26(3–4), 369–398.Google Scholar
- Brown, J., & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Caldwell, B., Cooper, M., Reid, L. G., & Vanderheiden. G. (2008, December 11). Web content accessibility guidelines 2.0. [Online]. Available: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20.
- Ceaparu, I., & Shneiderman, B. (2002). Improving web-based civic information access: a case study of the 50 US States. In Proc. of the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society 2002, pp. 275–282.Google Scholar
- Chisholm, W., Vanderheiden, G., & Jacobs. I. (1999, May 5). Web content accessibility guidelines 1.0. [Online]. Available: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10.
- Clark, J. (2003). Building accessible websites. New Riders Press.Google Scholar
- Clark, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-learning and the science of instruction (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
- Duffy, T. M., & Kirkley, J. R. (2004). Learner-centered theory and practice in distance education: Cases from higher education. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- English, J., Hearst, M., Sinha, R., Swearingen, K., & Yee, K. (2002). Hierarchical faceted metadata in site search interfaces. In Proc. of CHI '02 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 2002, pp. 628–639.Google Scholar
- Entwistle, N. J. (1998). Improving teaching through research on student learning. In J. J. F. Forest (Ed.), University teaching: International perspectives (pp. 73–112). New York: Garland.Google Scholar
- Hackett, S., Parmanto, B., & Zeng, X. (2003). Accessibility of Internet websites through time. In Proc. of 6th International ACM/SIGCAPH Conf., Pittsburgh, pp. 32–39.Google Scholar
- Harper, S., & Yesilada, Y. (2008). WebAccessibility. London: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
- Henry. S. L. (2005, September). Introduction to Web accessibility [Online]. Available: http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php.
- Ivory, M. Y., Sinha, R. R., & Hearst, M. A., 2001. Empirically validated web page design metrics. In Proc. of CHI '01. Seattle, Washington, United States: ACM, pp. 53–60.Google Scholar
- Katsanos, C., Tsakoumis, A., & Avouris, N. (2009). Web accessibility: design of an educational system to support guidelines learning. In Proc. of the 13th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics (PCI). Corfu, Greece, 10–12 September, 2009, pp. 155–164.Google Scholar
- Koyani, S. J., Bailey, R. W., & Nall, J. R. (2004). Research-based web design & usability guidelines. Computer Psychology.Google Scholar
- Mayer, R. E. (Ed.). (2005). Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Morville, P. (2005). Ambient findability: What we find changes who we become, 1st edn. O’Reilly Media.Google Scholar
- Nielsen, J. (1996, October). Accessible design for users with disabilities [Online]. Available at: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9610.html.
- Petrie, H., & Kheir, O. (2007). The relationship between accessibility and usability of websites. In Proc of CHI ’07, pp. 397–406.Google Scholar
- Psaromiligkos, Y., & Retalis, S. (2003). Re-evaluating the effectiveness of a web-based learning system: a comparative case study. JEMH, 12(1), 5–20.Google Scholar
- Slatin, J. M., & Rush, S. (2002). Maximum accessibility: Making your web site more usable for everyone. Boston: Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc.Google Scholar
- Sullivan, T., & Matson, R. (2000). Barriers to use: usability and content accessibility on the Web’s most popular sites. In Proc. of the 2000 conference on Universal Usability, Arlington, Virginia, USA, pp. 139–144.Google Scholar
- Tselios, N., Katsanos, C., Kahrimanis, G., & Avouris, N. (2008b). The notion of Information Foraging as a design and evaluation tool for Distance Learning Systems. In C. Pahl (Ed.), Architecture solutions for e-learning systems (pp. 320–339). Hershey: Information Science Reference.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, (2009). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies [Online]. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf.
- Zaphiris, P., & Ellis, R.D. (2001). Website usability and content accessibility of the top USA Universities. In Proc. of WebNet 2001, Orlando, FL, USA.Google Scholar
- Zaphiris, P., & Zacharia, G. (2001). Website content accessibility of 30,000 Cypriot Web sites. In Proc. of the 8th Panhellenic Conference on Informatics. Nicosia, Cyprus, pp. 128–136.Google Scholar