Massive Open Online Course to Help Educators Navigate Web Accessibility Issues, Eliminate Barriers to Education for All Students
D2L—the EdTech company that created Brightspace, the world’s first truly integrated learning platform (ILP)—and Portland Community College (PCC) today announced a new MOOC called “Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators” to address growing web accessibility issues associated with online learning. The free MOOC, sponsored by Portland Community College and D2L, provides an activity-based professional development opportunity to help eLearning professionals meet the challenges of addressing accessibility in online learning. Registration opens today, with course facilitation beginning on October 20.
Web accessibility is a critical issue facing all levels of learning and contributes to the growing attainment gap for students with disabilities. According to a recent report, students with disabilities make up approximately 13 percent of all high school students nationally with a graduation rate of about 20 percent less than the national average[i]. In higher education, The US Department of Education highlighted that nearly 11 percent of post-secondary students report having a disability[ii]. This achievement gap, combined with the growing number of federal and state laws mandating accessibility, represents an opportunity for educational institutions to break down the barriers to education for all students.
“At PCC, we are committed to improving web accessibility in our online program and advocate for the needs of students. We make it a priority to provide faculty, course designers and instructional technology professionals with the knowledge and skills to create offerings with accessibility in mind,” said Loraine Schmitt, Director of Distance Education, PCC. “We realize many institutions are faced with resource challenges and we are excited that this free MOOC on accessibility teaches educators some of the best practices we use at PCC to make educational content accessible to students.”
The PCC and D2L Web Accessibility MOOC will provide educators with practical, hands-on professional development on how to incorporate web accessibility into online learning. Course participants will gain insight into:
- How to build a personal knowledge base in web accessibility for online education
- Creating accessible photo images, diagrams and charts for online courses
- Building accessible audio and video components for online courses
- Developing accessible HTML content pages for online courses
- Constructing accessible course content in other non-HTML formats
Brightspace is the only learning system to achieve four years of Nonvisual Accessibility Gold Certification from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and was awarded the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for groundbreaking work in accessibility in 2013.
“Accessibility has always been a priority for D2L. We’re committed to creating technology that breaks down all barriers to education for all learners,” said John Baker, President and CEO of D2L. “We’re excited to partner with PCC, a great school leading by example with its focus on web accessibility. This MOOC will provide a resource for educators around the world on how they can incorporate greater accessibility in all of their online learning environments.”
The Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators will be delivered using D2L Open Courses, a MOOC enabled extension of the Brightspace platform. To register for the free course, click here.