Supporting Accessibility in Higher Education Information Systems: A 2016 Update
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have come a long way on the usage of Information Systems (IS) at the several phases of the execution of their business plan. These organizations are very peculiar in the sense that most of the IS technologies have been developed as a consequence of the research work of the HEIs, positioning them as creators and as consumers of IS technologies. In fact, a considerable part of the IS products, currently available for the education sector, was initially created in a HEI as an in-house development. For these reason, the adoption of IS technologies by HEIs has followed two distinct paths: the in-house creation, previously described; and a current market adoption, similarly to most other companies IS adoption.
Up to 2013 the IS applications for HEIs was mostly provided as web applications running on the HEI local datacenters and devoted to some specific phases of the HEI business plan. Currently, in 2016, this scenario has evolved in two ways: (i) to a wider range of type of applications, including: the old type of web application; new mobile applications; and new web application, running on the cloud and used as a service, (ii) to a more extended support coverage regarding the HEI business model phases, i.e., there are more IS applications supporting more aspects of the HEIs’ activities.
In 2013, it was published a study regarding the accessibility support in HEI IS applications and related user practices. Due to the advances in IS technologies and their adoption by HEIs, it is now time to update this perspective on accessibility and HEIs IS, in order to assess how the progresses on IS applications used in HEIs have dealt with the accessibility concerns. The study updates the IS accessibility features as well as the new systems and new types of systems currently in use.
KeywordsHigher education institutions Accessibility W3C Moodle DSpace
Part of this work was financed by the FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) research grant SFRH/BD/87259/2012.
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