Accessibility Challenges in Mobile Learning

Robson, Linda (2015). Accessibility Challenges in Mobile Learning. In: Zhang, Yu (Aimee) ed. Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning. Springer, pp. 337–350.




Mobile Learning opens up a wide variety of opportunities to deliver learning new and exciting ways (Adoption of Mobile Technology in Higher Education, an Introduction). Making learning accessible is a challenge for educators regardless of the medium or platform with which they are working. This chapter looks at some of the accessibility challenges which educators face when moving to mobile delivery.

In some situations the use of mobile delivery opens up the education experience to being far more accessible to a wide range of learners than more traditional delivery style. However, it is frequently seen that whilst adopting mobile delivery is beneficial to one group of learners, it is likely to be problematic for another.

This chapter briefly considers what accessibility means and why it is important, before going on to consider the types of challenges which educational developers and teachers should be aware of when designing resources, in order to maximize accessibility.

It does not attempt to address every single accessibility issue and potential adjustment, but to encourage the reader to consider a range of issues their learners may face and to raise awareness of how particular delivery choices may affect potential learner engagement. There is also an acknowledgement that it may not be possible to cater to all learners using a single delivery solution. Where there is conflict between the needs of different groups, in terms of usability, it may be appropriate to offer multiple ways for students to engage with the learning, instead of attempting to make every activity fully accessible.

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