As learning practices become increasingly digital, following inclusive design practices and ensuring ease of use and accessibility requires a variety of different competencies. Digital usability and accessibility is essential to support widening participation, including those with disabilities and additional learning needs. However, ensuring academic and support staff can achieve this goal with sufficient knowledge and skills in this fast changing domain is challenging (Iniesto et al, 2016). In addition, sharing accessible content between organisations, often using different delivery mechanisms and platforms can cause issues for academics (Navarrete and Luján-Mora, 2015). Open educational resources (OERs) can help address these gaps by providing materials and courses that can be repurposed to meet different needs as well as providing technical ease of use and accessibility guidance. The EURASMUS+ Massive Open Online Course Accessibility Partnership (MOOCAP) set out to develop an open culture within accessibility education. To facilitate the collaboration of experts within different institutions and fields, the project developed a “stepwise” process for authoring, with each OER formed from a group of learning object and activities, documented with accessibility metadata (Draffan et al, 2015). These OERs were then used to create MOOCs including a Digital Accessibility course that has reached over 8500 learners from 154 countries.
In an effort to match the models proposed by Hockings et al (2012) for embedding sector-wide inclusive practice within Higher Education, these OERs have been repurposed to form on-demand, online staff training delivered through a Learning Management System (LMS) and as presentations shared via SlideWiki for face-to-face delivery. While creating these new open courses, the authors identified many challenges with repurposing OERs including: the format used to store the original OERs; the availability of accessible, adaptable platforms; the need to source additional materials with the same open licence and maintaining the accessibility of the resources. Without awareness of these practicalities, many of the advantages of reusing OERs can be lost. This presentation will review the technical and pedagogical challenges of repurposing OERs. It will discuss solutions to ensure the OERs are available in a variety of formats, for a diversity of platforms in order to support a wide a range of creators and learners as possible.
Draffan, E. A., Wald, M., Dickens, K., Zimmermann, G., Kelle, S., Miesenberger, K., & Petz, A. (2015). Stepwise approach to accessible MOOC development. Studies in health technology and informatics, 217, 227.
Hockings, C., Brett, P. and Terentjevs, M., 2012. Making a difference—inclusive learning and teaching in higher education through open educational resources. Distance Education, 33(2), pp.237-252.
Iniesto, F., McAndrew, P., Minocha, S. and Coughlan, T., 2016. The current state of accessibility of MOOCs: What are the next steps?.
Navarrete, R. and Luján-Mora, S., 2015, December. OER-based learning and people with disabilities. In Interactive Collaborative and Blended Learning (ICBL), 2015 International Conference on (pp. 25-34). IEEE.