Accessibility in MOOCs: the stakeholders’ perspectives

Iniesto, Francisco; McAndrew, Patrick; Minocha, Shailey and Coughlan, Tim (2022). Accessibility in MOOCs: the stakeholders’ perspectives. In: Rienties, Bart; Hampel, Regine; Scanlon, Eileen and Whitelock, Denise eds. Open world learning: research, Innovation and the Challenges of High-Quality Education. Routledge Research in Digital Education and Educational Technology. London: Routledge, pp. 119–130.



An accessible Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) environment should consider every learner's abilities, learning goals, where learning takes place, and needs for specific devices to facilitate the learning experience. Learners with accessibility needs can face difficulties in using certain technologies, and different MOOC designs may also affect their self-regulation skills, engagement, and communications with their fellow learners. Unfortunately, technologies and pedagogies used in MOOC platforms are not necessarily accessible. In the literature that the authors have reviewed, there seems to be a lack of understanding of what learners with accessibility needs expect from MOOCs, and studies that report demographic data of MOOCs rarely consider learners with accessibility needs. In this chapter, the investigations related to current state of accessibility of MOOCs are reported. The investigations involved conducting interviews with a range of stakeholders (providers and learners), analysing survey data, and conducting an accessibility audit. The results provide an insight into the understanding of how MOOC providers cater for learners with accessibility needs, motivations of learners participating in MOOCs, and ways to improve the accessibility of MOOCs.

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