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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Expert instructional designers' views of the impact of accessibility requirements on e-learning instructional strategies
by Gathany, Nancy Cleveland, Ph.D., Capella University, 2012, 150; 3547015
Abstract (Summary)

Since 2001 e-learning created or procured by U.S. government agencies must comply with Section 508 of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Accessible e-learning provides a comparable learning experience for all learners, those with disability and without. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and describe the practices of expert instructional designers in the selection of instructional strategies for accessible e-learning. A multiple case study design was used to investigate the phenomenon of instructional strategy selection for accessible e-learning. To gain the insight of experts, a purposeful sample of 10 instructional designers with at least 10 years of experience designing e-learning participated in the study. Each participant was employed by a government agency or commercial company under contract with the government to create accessible e-learning. To ensure conceptual saturation, interview and artifact data were collected, coded, and analyzed in an iterative manner to identify common patterns and themes. Study participants identified 10 instructional strategies that work for accessible e-learning and 3 that do not work. In studying factors that influence instructional strategy selection, participants consistently cited pedagogical factors such as learning objectives as having the most influence. However, there were variations in the degree of influence assigned to production factors such as budget. The majority of participants reported that they create e-learning with the goal of universal design to ensure optimal usage by all persons, including learners with disabilities. Study participants perceived that not all 508-compliant e-learning was designed in a manner that supported the needs of learners who rely on assistive technology. Participants advocated that designers be allowed to custom design e-learning specifically for learners with disabilities. Evaluating e-learning to determine how best to support all learners, no matter what type of disability, is a topic for future research. Recommendations for the instructional design of accessible e-learning were allow pedagogical factors more opportunity to influence instructional strategy selection, identify work practices to adopt, and develop guidelines to facilitate consistent application of best practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lane, Molly
Commitee: Johansen, Keith, Redden, Charlotte
School: Capella University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Educational technology
Keywords: Accessibility, E-learning, Instructional design, Instructional strategy, Section 508, Strategy selection
Publication Number: 3547015
ISBN: 978-1-267-81316-9
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