Sandra Sanchez-Gordon, Sergio Luján-Mora. Accessibility considerations of massive online open courses as creditable courses in engineering programs. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2013), p. 5853-5862, Seville (Spain), November 18-20 2013. ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5.
View paper in IATED Digital Library: Accessibility considerations of massive online open courses as creditable courses in engineering programs
This paper proposal is to include MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) as creditable courses in engineering programs at the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador. In addition to fulfilling a number of requirements related to the content and duration of the courses, one important challenge is that these selected MOOCs should comply with web accessibility requirements specific for the special needs of non-native speakers.
Web accessibility is the property of a website to support the same level of effectiveness for people with disabilities as it does for non-disabled people. As an accessible website is designed to meet different user needs, preferences, skills and situations, this flexibility also benefits people without disabilities in certain situations, such as MOOC students who are non-native speakers. Unfortunately, MOOCs raise new challenges on web accessibility. For example, cultural differences and background knowledge have to be taken into account when choosing contents, examples, and learning activities which might be unfamiliar or even offensive to certain cultures. Also, user interfaces requires special adaptations for non-native speakers.
We present a preliminary list of web accessibility requirements and highlight the challenges non-native speakers experience when using MOOCs. The goal is to raise awareness about the particular needs of non-native speakers. This understanding will be the base for establishing criteria for a preliminary selection of MOOCs as creditable courses in engineering programs at the National Polytechnic School. These criteria can also be useful for other higher education institutions interested in including MOOCs in their official programs.
Keywords: Engineering Curriculum, Massive Open Online Courses, Web Accessibility, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, User Interface, Non-native speakers.