Access For all to eLearning

Cooper, M. and Heath, A. (2009). Access For all to eLearning. In: Méndez-Vilas, A.; Solano Martín, A.; Mesa González, J. A. and Mesa González, J. eds. Research Reflections and Innovations in Integrating ICT in Education, Volume 2. FORMATEX, Badajoz, Spain, pp. 1139–1143.



The paper describes the authors' work (in collaboration with others) to establish a new technological paradigm for delivering access to e-Learning to all persons, including disabled students. The new paradigm complements a content-oriented approach to accessibility but shifts the balance and responsibility for determining access needs of an individual from the producer, supplier or author of e-Learning system and content towards the individual and the individual's supporting technological and human agents. Thus, instead of a producer or supplier effectively saying with technology "I know what you need" a learner will say "this is what I need".

Firstly the topic is introduced and set in context. Then an overview is given of the roles of the pertinent metadata specifications: personal needs and preference profiles (PNP) [1]; and digital resource descriptions (DRD) [2](using the ISO terminology). An account is given of the work to develop and standardise these. A key implementation of Content Personalisation (CP), based on these metadata standards is taking place in the EU4ALL project. The project is introduced; its approach to CP outlined and implementation challenges are described. Concluding comments are made highlighting key points from the paper and noting the state-of-the-art.

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