Takeaways from D & D Modules

I wanted to share a few things from your comments and presentations that I thought were worth noting.  I have already learned so much from all of you – I’m humbled by how you are approaching the content and each other with so much discovery and respect.  This is a great example of connectivism – networked learning, and the new connected learning terminology of heutagogy.  We’ll discuss more about that laterJ

  • The JAWS screenreader video was eye-opening to many people.  I had an in-person demonstration of this at our ACCESS office for the first time about 3 years ago and it blew me away.  That was when we had Blackboard 8.0, which was not nearly as good for accessibility purposes as Bb 9.1 is.  And still, the time and attention necessary to be successful in that type of environment was staggering to me.
  • Prezi’s are terrible for accessibility.  An alternate method for creating them in an accessibly manner is to actually create them in a blank PPT (or simple PPT), make notes to describe the content, then import the PPT into the Prezi, and juice it up.
  • If there is an image in a course that is purely decorative, do not give it a description in the ALT tag.  Then the screenreader has to read it.  Of course that begs the question, why would you have non-meaningful images, but maybe such a thing would happen.
  • Downloading of multiple files.  So I don’t know if any of you have experienced it, but there’s a tendency to use this functionality in Blackboard called “Learning Modules”.  They have a pre-fab table of contents built in.  The challenge is that people like to use these despite the fact that they are basically linking a bunch of files into it.  So, basically you click through them and download a bunch of different files.  This is not a good navigation practice in general, and nor is it a good idea for accessibility purposes.  If your content is a bunch of documents, make it into a hyperlinked PDF.
  • The unreadable PDF!  The crime!  The horror!  While we all have favorite articles that we ran into in 1994, it is not accessible to simply scan those in and post them online.  Because it will come out as an image.  Which is 100% not readable by a screenreader.  Also, I find it somewhat personally vexing as I can then not highlight it on my Adobe Touch app.  Just saying.
  • Slide layouts in PPT matter for accessibility, and also for the creation of presentations.  You probably noticed that the Adobe Presenter (for this new module – Infrastructure and Architecture) uses the “titles” to automatically populate the table of contents.  Same principle.
  • If you believe that access to education for people with disabilities is a basic human right, you might consider learning something about net neutrality, which will dramatically negatively impact disadvantaged students.
  • OER goes WAY beyond just top tier universities releasing video lectures.  Check out cnx.org, MERLOT, Curriki, or others for more resources.
  • Creative Commons licensing allows you to retain some of your publishing rights and releasing some of them.  For example, I could provide content and say anyone could use it for educational purposes, but they couldn’t use it in any monetized way, and if they did want to “rip, remix and burn” it they’d need to cite me.  That’s basically a Creative Commons 3.0 license.

o   Think about your learner objects that you’re creating.  Would you Creative Commons license those?

o   OER is also a way to publish something.  So instead of someone just randomly using it under fair use, they would need to be sure to cite you.  Which they probably should be doing anyways.  You can use a different technology tool to make your OER and publish it.

  • Multiple mentions of the porch video – LOL!  Everyone has to find their own “online comfort zone”.  I default to more casual online instead of less so, but it’s all about personal preference.  Everything doesn’t have to be perfectly produced.  On the flip side, there’s a lot of PPT presentations, without notes, without even narration, that pass as content in online courses.  So, probably somewhere in between.  I default to higher quality presentations and more casual facilitation style. BUT, we’re at the grad level here.  I would definitely be more formal at the undergraduate level (and more structured).
  • Would you license your content using Creative Commons got some very interesting responsesJ  I totally would.  Particularly if I was a full professor at Stanford.  I jest!

Thank you all! – Sasha


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