Distance Education Report



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Universal Design and Accessibility in Education Literature

Annotated Reference List Sorted Reverse Chronological by Author

(2004). Accessibility. Distance Education Report, Magna Publications Inc. 8: 3.

Reports on the use and accessibility of web sites of institutions in their distance education courses. Percent of 2-year and 4-year Title IV degree-granting institutions; Distribution of percentages by the extent to which institutions websites follow established accessibility guidelines or recommendations for users with disability; Base of percentage on the estimated 2,300 institutions offering distance education course in 2000-2001.
(2004). Award-winners' pick. Times Educational Supplement, Times Supplements Ltd.: 20.

Features several Web sites with digital teaching ideas. Availability of information on software for primary and special needs education; Accessibility of digital video work; Inclusion of interactive drama for teenagers operating on the Internet and television.


(2004). Helpful Sites You Won't Want to Miss. School Library Journal, Reed Business Information. 50: 24.

Looks at web sites that can help the U.S. library field. Scope of the Department of Health and Human Services' new Web site for federal grants; Features of the online newsletter "Accessibility Basics for Librarians"; Target children of the Early Reading First funds program via the Department of Education site.


(2004). Interactive Agent Helps Students Get the Information They Need. Distance Education Report, Magna Publications Inc. 8: 8.

Providing students with easily accessible, timely answers to their questions can be an important factor in student satisfaction whether they are on-campus or distance learners. While websites and portal technology can give students the information they need, they often have to search for it. To overcome limitations of the usual sources of information, the South Orange Community College District in California uses what it calls MySite Agent, an interactive conversational interface that allows students to ask questions. The system instantly responds by either answering the question or prompting the student to clarify the question.


(2004). SITES YOU CAN USE. Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers, Association for Career & Technical Education. 79: 59.

Presents two web sites related to education in the U.S. Site of the Instructional Materials Laboratory; Accessibility of the Education Commission of the States site; Key features of the sites.


(2004). Websites as educational motivators for adults with a learning disability. Educational Administration Abstracts, Sage Publications Inc. 39: 61.

Adults with a learning disability pose an educational challenge for teachers and support workers. They frequently have limited skills in reading and writing and may find it difficult to pay attention to topics of little interest to them. Nevertheless, they can be keen to use new technology and often have hobbies and interests that are catered for on the Internet. This article describes a project aimed to highlight the advantages and weaknesses of Web-based learning for adults with learning disability and to suggest improvements. Eight students with mild to moderate learning disability were helped to find Web sites related to their interests and supported in creating multimedia work linked to those sites. Results showed the powerfully motivating effect of the Web sites for students, but highlighted the access difficulties posed by Web sites for such students. Further work in this area is needed to develop strategies for exploiting the motivating effect of Web sites and to improve the accessibility of sites for people with low literacy levels.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Becker, S. A. (2004). E-Government Visual Accessibility for Older Adult Users. Social Science Computer Review, Sage Publications Inc. 22: 11-23.

The web offers an unprecedented opportunity to gain immediate access to government resources that might not otherwise be available to many older adults aged 60 years and over. Yet due to aging vision, there remain design barriers to the use of state and federal government web sites. This research describes aging vision and its impact on the accessibility of government web sites. It incorporates the guidelines published by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) for making senior-friendly web sites. Several software tools, including Dottie and Usability Enforcer, are described in terms of their functionality in promoting senior-friendly web sites. Data generated by the software tools and manual assessment are used to evaluate e-government compliance with vision-related NIA accessibility guidelines.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Cook, D. A. and D. M. Dupras (2004). A Practical Guide To Developing Effective Web-based Learning. JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Blackwell Publishing Limited. 19: 698-750.

Online learning has changed medical education, but many “educational” websites do not employ principles of effective learning. This article will assist readers in developing effective educational websites by integrating principles of active learning with the unique features of the Web. Narrative review. The key steps in developing an effective educational website are: Perform a needs analysis and specify goals and objectives; determine technical resources and needs; evaluate preexisting software and use it if it fully meets your needs; secure commitment from all participants and identify and address potential barriers to implementation; develop content in close coordination with website design (appropriately use multimedia, hyperlinks, and online communication) and follow a timeline; encourage active learning (self-assessment, reflection, self-directed learning, problem-based learning, learner interaction, and feedback); facilitate and plan to encourage use by the learner (make website accessible and user-friendly, provide time for learning, and motivate learners); evaluate learners and course; pilot the website before full implementation; and plan to monitor online communication and maintain the site by resolving technical problems, periodically verifying hyperlinks, and regularly updating content. Teaching on the Web involves more than putting together a colorful webpage. By consistently employing principles of effective learning, educators will unlock the full potential of Web-based medical education. J GEN INTERN MED 2004;19:698–707.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


D, I., C. M. D, et al. (2004). Child safety education and the world wide web: an evaluation of the content and quality of online resources. Injury Prevention. 10: 59-61.

The purpose of this study was to assess the content, quality, and type of internet resources available for safety education. Using 19 search engines with search strings targeting major forms of injury, identified resources were classified by audience group, accessibility, and authorship. Two independent reviewers rated each resource on the basis of its content and a set of quality criteria using a three point scale. Overall, 10 (18.2%) resources were of highest quality, four (7.3%) were intermediate, and 41 (74.5%) were not recommended. Eighteen months after the original search, 67.3% of all resources and 90% of the highest quality resources were still on the internet. This study provides a methodology for evaluating child safety resources on the world wide web and demonstrates that most internet resources for safety education are of dubious quality. A rating system such as the one developed for this study may be used to identify valuable internet materials.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Dianis, L. K. (2004). Do These Web Sites WORK? District Administration, Professional Media Group, LLC. 40: 24-27.

Evaluates the Web site of Charleston County School District, South Carolina. Accessibility; Response time; Information contained in the site.


Farel, A. M. and S. C. Paliulis (2004). Improving the Accessibility of an Analytic and Technical Skills MCH Toolbox. Maternal & Child Health Journal, Kluwer Academic Publishing. 8: 31-33.

Objectives : To assess our analytic and technical skills website for accessibility and to make necessary corrections. Methods : We used commercially available software (Jaws and LIFT for Dreamweaver) and an individual with visual impairments to evaluate our self-instructional, analytic, and technical tools. We identified problems in tables, images, multimedia content, PDF files, and links. Results : We repaired the site by using LIFT to make appropriate modifications to the website and tools. Conclusions : Improving accessibility is advantageous for all Internet users. In addition to responding to legislative mandates, accessible web design creates pages that are often more readable, easier to navigate, and faster to download. Improving the accessibility of websites that incorporate charts and graphs strengthens the ability of all members of the MCH workforce to address the core functions.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Johnson, E. B. (2004). The dismantling of public education and how to stop it / Elaine B. Johnson. Lanham, Md. ; Oxford, ScarecrowEducation.

Kent, A. M. (2004). IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY THROUGH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Education, Project Innovation. 124: 427-435.

Professional development is the catalyst to transforming theory into current best teaching practices. In order to provide effective professional development, there are many variables that must he considered by the school principal including teacher beliefs and receptivity, the school climate, and available local school support. Ultimately, administrators must focus on linking effective professional development to teacher quality in order to Yield student success.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
Lazar, J., A. Dudley-Sponaugle, et al. (2004). Improving web accessibility: a study of webmaster perceptions. Computers in Human Behavior. 20: 269.

Large percentages of web sites continue to be inaccessible to people with disabilities. Since tools and guidelines are available to help designers and webmasters in making their web sites accessible, it is unclear why so many sites continue to be inaccessible. In this paper, we present the “Web Accessibility Integration Model,” which highlights the multiple points within web development where accessibility can be incorporated or forgotten. It is uncertain why webmasters do not use the various tools and guidelines that currently are available for making web sites accessible. A survey was created, and data was collected from 175 webmasters, indicating their knowledge on the topic of web accessibility and the reasons for their actions related to web accessibility. Findings and future directions for research are discussed.Copyright 2004 Elsevier


Lohrmann, S. and J. Talerico (2004). Anchor the Boat: A Classwide Intervention to Reduce Problem Behavior. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, PRO-ED. 6: 113-120.

Universal interventions are designed to systematically teach and reinforce consistent behavioral expectations. The purpose of this study was to provide an example of a group contingency classwide intervention called Anchor the Boat that operationally defined behavioral expectations, taught those expectations using teacher-directed instruction and role playing, and reinforced students when they met the behavioral criteria. Ten students attending a fourth- and fifth-grade learning-support classroom participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across three subject areas (i.e., reading, language arts, math) was used to evaluate the effects of the program on three target behaviors: talk outs, out of seat, and incomplete assignments. Following the classwide intervention, a substantial and steady decrease in level and rate was observed for talk-out behavior across all three classes. However, results for incomplete assignments and out-of-seat behavior are ambiguous and inconclusive.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Monolescu, D., C. Schifter, et al. (2004). The distance education evolution : issues and case studies. Hershey, PA, Information Science Pub.

Owen, J. E., J. C. Klapow, et al. (2004). Improving the effectiveness of adjuvant psychological treatment for women with breast cancer: The feasibility of providing online support. Psycho-Oncology, John Wiley & Sons Inc. 13: 281-292.

Many well-designed studies have shown psychosocial treatments for cancer to be efficacious for improving patients' quality of life, but the actual impact of these treatments may be limited by low rates of participation. Web-based treatment formats could improve effectiveness by increasing availability and accessibility. Two phases of a feasibility study are reported in this article. In the first phase, we sought to assess internet access and perceived interest in online support among 136 women with breast cancer (June–October, 1999). Levels of interest in participating in an online psychosocial treatment were associated with age, outcome expectancy, and barriers to using the internet but not stage or time since diagnosis. In the second phase, we document accrual rates among several methods of recruitment during a randomized trial (February–December, 2001) and report changes over time in internet access. Recruitment rates were substantially higher when a study representative was available in clinic to provide information about the treatment than for all other methods of recruitment. Access to the internet increased between 1999 (63%) and 2001 (70%) and varied across age groups. These results suggest that internet-based psychosocial treatments, with notable limitations, are feasible for increasing the impact of psychosocial care. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
Roach, R. (2004). Web Site Markets Virginia Colleges. Black Issues in Higher Education, Cox Matthews and Associates Inc. 20: 37.

Introduces VirginiaMentor, an Internet-based resource for prospective students, from the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia and the State Council of Higher Education. Features of the Web site; Multimedia capabilities; Accessibility of the site.


Tileston, D. W. (2004). What every teacher should know about effective teaching strategies. Thousand Oaks, Calif. ; London, Corwin Press.

Walkup, N. (2004). Art Ed Online. School Arts. 103: 28.

Features various web sites related to the art industry. Information on women artists; Accessibility of the web sites; Educational information for students.
Wilkinson, A., A. Forbes, et al. (2004). An exploration of four web-based open and flexible learning modules in post-registration nurse education. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 41: 411.

This paper presents an exploratory evaluation of four newly developed web-based modules for post-registration nurses. The topics for the modules were: dermatology; diabetes; mentorship; and prescribing. Study objective: To explore the students’ perceptions of the web-based modules before and after completing the modules. Design: A pre-post test design using questionnaires and group interviews. Participants: 39 students enrolled on the modules, pre-module data were collected on 74% (n=29) and post-module data on 71% (n=28). Findings: None of students had previous web-based education experience. 79% (n=31) completed and 66% (n=26) passed the modules. Students level of IT skills prior to commencing the modules were important in explaining module completion and outcome. The modules were rated highly in terms of achieving learning outcomes with moderate ratings for level of support and utility of learning materials. The content analysis of the interviews highlighted the importance of preparing students ensuring they have the IT and independent learning skills necessary to participate in web-based learning programmes, together with a number of issues relating to the accessibility of the learning materials. The perceived benefits of this mode of learning were that they offered flexible and resource rich learning. The downside was that the learning can be isolating. Conclusions: This form of learning may not be suited to all groups of nurses or all educational topics. Further research is required to establish the educational benefits of different approaches to e-learning.Copyright 2004 Elsevier


Witt, N. and A. McDermott (2004). Web site accessibility: what logo will we use today? British Journal of Educational Technology, Blackwell Publishing Limited. 35: 45-56.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act has amended the Disability Discrimination Act and requires that students with a disability not be discriminated against or substantially disadvantaged by establishments of further and higher education. Academic web site developers must take steps to ensure that their sites fulfil this requirement, and guidance on compliance is provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which offer three levels for assessing accessibility. Tools which give developers feedback on their site are available, but following their recommendations alone will not guarantee SENDA compliance. An audit of UK academic web sites has shown discrepancies between the level of compliance that sites are claiming and that which has been achieved. This would seem to demonstrate that there is a misunderstanding of the requirements necessary to create accessible web sites. This problem is exacerbated by the academic sector's widespread reliance on software accessibility tools, the use of which tends to lead developers to rely on the tools’ quantitative approach when what is required is the inclusion and development of a more qualitative view which prioritises inclusive design from the outset.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Witt, N. and D. Sloan (2004). Access as the norm, not as an add-on. Times Higher Education Supplement: 14-15.

Focuses on the implications of disability legislation for higher education in Great Britain. Efforts of developers to provide accessible e-learning to disabled learners; Lack of definitions to what web and e-learning content providers must do to avoid breaching the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; Effect of lack of standards and the introduction of legislation on web design companies.


Yee Hsieh, P. (2004). A Case Study. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, Association for Educational Communications & Technology. 48: 60-68.

This article describes how instructional technology theories have been applied in developing Web-based training to enable a large state system of higher education, The Texas A&M University System, to meet its human resources (HR) training needs more efficiently. In the course of two years, six courses have been developed and approximately 12,000 employees have taken one or more courses. The courses are accessible via an employee information portal called HRConnect, which allows A&M System employees to view payroll and benefits information, as well as access online training. The design of the courses follows a simple tutorial format. To provide the opportunity for active learning, about one-third of the pages are practice questions.


(2003). Accessibility. Distance Education Report, Magna Publications Inc. 7: 3.

Presents a chart that shows the percentage of degree-granting institutions in the U.S. that use Web sites in their courses and the percentage of those institutions whose Web sites follow accessibility guidelines or recommendations for users with disabilities.


(2003). Eisenhower National Clearinghouse. Science Teacher. 70: 74.

Introduces the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Online, a web site offering a professional development page for mathematics and science curricula. Accessibility of the site; Inclusion of information about long-term classroom planning and professional development in the site; Contact information.


(2003). GLOBALED.com. Distance Education Report, Magna Publications Inc. 7: 5.

Features GLOBALED.com, an online subscription-based listing of articles, authors and events for global education professionals. Aim of the Web site and its companion newsletter; Accessibility of the Web service; Future plans for the site.


(2003). SWANSEA GIVES SIZE AND SPEED PRIORITY. Times Higher Education Supplement: 6.

Features of the website of Swansea University in Wales. Compliance with the Web Accessibility Initiative; Optimization of the site for printing; Use of validation tools.


(2003). Web Site Accessibility (Universal Design). Technology & Learning, CMP Media LLC. 24: 48-50.

Presents information on Web sites that provide help in designing Web pages that comply with the requirements of Universal Design. Web site of CAST; List of Checkpoints for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0; Web site on how people with disabilities use the Web.


Branzburg, J. (2003). Publish Your Lesson Plans Online. Technology & Learning, CMP Media LLC. 24: 44.

Focuses on the online publication of lesson plans in the U.S. Requirements for publication at Teachnet.com; Accessibility of lesson plan in Web sites; List of lesson plan sites. INSET: Submit Your Lesson Plans.


Bray, M., C. P. Flowers, et al. (2003). ACCESSIBILITY OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS' WEB SITES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. Education, Project Innovation. 123: 815.

Many Elementary Schools use the World Wide Web (WWW) to disseminate and gather information. On-line barriers limit the accessibility of the WWW for students with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accessibility of Elementary Schools' home pages. A total of 244 Elementary School web sites were located using a popular online directory and evaluated for accessibility. A software program was used to quantify the number of accessibility errors at each site. The results indicated that most (57.4%) Elementary School home pages had accessibility problems, many of which were severe and should be given a high priority for correcting. The good news is that the majority of the errors can easily be corrected. The work reflects a need for Elementary Schools to examine the accessibility of their home pages. Direction for improving accessibility is provided.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


Brunken, R., J. L. Plass, et al. (2003). "Direct Measurement of Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning." Educational Psychologist 38(1): 53-61.

California State Postsecondary Education Commission Sacramento.[BBB12341] (2003). Reviewing the Community Learning Center: An Educational Center of the MiraCosta Community College District. A Report to the Governor and Legislature in Response to a Request from the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. Commission Report. California: 82.

This report from the California Postsecondary Education Commission considers the request by the Governors of the California Community Colleges and the MiraCosta Community College District (MCCD) to secure approval for the Community Learning Center in Oceanside. The MCCD serves a traditionally affluent, white region that has recently become far more diverse, with strong immigration from Central and South America and many Asian nations. As a result, many adults in the region are deficient in English language skills. Most of the ESL classes in the region were originally offered at the Adult Learning Center in Oceanside. The facility, with enrollment approaching 5,000 students, became overcrowded, and the perception grew that it was substandard. The first phase of the Community Learning Center construction project is complete. The cost for the final phase will be between $5-8 million, with funds coming from the state. The project criteria examined by the Commission include: (1) description and overview; (2) enrollment projections; (3) alternatives; (4) academic planning and program justification; (5) student services and outreach; (6) support and capital outlay; (7) geographic and physical accessibility; (8) effects on other institutions; (9) environmental impact; and (10) economic efficiency. The Commission concluded that the Center should be approved. (Contains 11 references.) (Author)
Cheh, J. A., K. M. Ribisl, et al. (2003). An Assessment of the Quality and Usability of Smoking Cessation Information on the Internet. Health Promotion Practice.




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