Transcript for Accessible E-Learning
Online Symposium 16 December 2013

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>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: So again welcome, everyone, to the general online symposium on accessible e learning. Your phone lines are muted. They will be unmuted when it is your turn to speak. For those who have just joined us from the symposium page you will find a link to the realtime captioning and also a link to the chat channel that we are using to accompany this live discussion. And also for the people who just joined please make sure to enter your personal code which is step 3 of the instructions that you received in your e mail just earlier on. It starts with the number 43 and then another five digits and end that with a pound key so that we can recognize who the line belongs to. Okay. So let's give them another minute or two. (Beep.)

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: And I see more people actually on the phone call than the IRC channel. The chat channel does provide you a possibility to ask questions and engage in discussion. So please feel free to use that as well. (Beep.)

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: And just remember that your lines are muted. You will be unmuted when it is your turn to speak up. Let's get started. Welcome, everyone, to the online symposium on accessible e learning conducted by the W3C Research and Development Working Group. The online symposia are held in conjunction with the WCAG project of the European Commission funded project to help facilitate the exchange and interaction of researchers in the field of e accessibility research. If you want to find out more about the work, the symposia work that we carry out, please let me know or visit our home page which is linked from the e mail that you have received. So without further ado I would like to hand over to the symposium chairs on accessible e learning, Dr. Justin Brown from the Edith Cowan University in Australia and Silvia Mirri, Dr. Silvia Mirri from the University of Bologna in Italy. So Silvia and Justin, please go ahead.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: This is Justin Brown. Thanks for getting us up and running. Thanks for being involved in this symposium. Rather than spend time speaking what I will do is just give you a quick overview of how we would like to run the symposium tonight. So in the first session basically we will give each of the authors to present their paper in relatively short form two minutes. And then basically Silvia and I have each developed a question that we would like to pose to the authors. So they have got roughly two minutes to answer. So tonight we will need everyone to be pretty quick and concise because we have got a lot of people and not a great deal of time. Each author will get six minutes in the first section, and then basically we will take a short break before moving on to session 2. And then in session 2 we have got some structured questions around some of the main topic areas. And then basically in the final wrap up session, the last 35 to 40 minutes we would like to have people put forward their questions to the authors. And we will get through as many of those as we can before we finish up. So what I will be doing Silvia will be introducing the papers and the authors from each of the sessions. I will give a one minute warning when people's six minutes are up so that people know that they need to wrap up. So without further ado I will pass over to Silvia.

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: Actually Justin, we lost Silvia from the phone unfortunately. I guess she is redialing. Can you continue?

Session 1: Author Summary of Papers and Questions from the Editors

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. So in that way I will get the ball rolling. So our first paper tonight is Where E learning Models and Social Media Collide: Supporting the Future Education of Blind and VI learners. And the author is Ruchi Permvattana from Australia. Ruchi, can I get you to give us a two minute rundown of the focus of your paper and your research? And afterwards we will ask you a few questions.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Should we move on to paper No. 2 and come back while we sort out the technical difficulties, Shadi?

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: Maybe that would be best.

Accessible e-learning - practices and research in the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (Portugal)

>> JUSTIN BROWN: What we might do while Ruchi is sorting out her section is go on to the second paper which is Accessible E learning from the Polytechnic Institute in Leiria in Portugal. And the speaker will be Manuela Francisco. Are you there, Manuela?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Okay. Hi. My name is Manuela. I am an instructional designer in the distance learning unit. I am also one of the persons responsible for accessibility in e learning. In our paper we present an experience over seven years for making e learning accessible. At the level of the contents we produce especially by the pictures, about LMS platforms, sharing tools and Web 2.02 as well as training teachers on the WCAG guidelines and community that will we tried to in order to achieve greater accessibility in spontaneous content. Our experience tells us that it is not enough but the platforms are in accordance with accessible standards. Any solution must always be tested by real users because there are problems that are only detected in the manual validation. Our intervention in LMS platforms seeks to simplify the graphic interface, option of color and font increase and providing only the features and tools that are comparable with the different assistive technologies and with the different access devices. The most important aspect in our e learning model are the activities, especially those that promote interaction between students and not so much the content that supported the (inaudible). Although we defend multi format content but they are very expensive. That's why we give priority to text and video with a script and whenever possible we provide content in sign language.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. Okay. We have got a question each from both Silvia and myself. So question 1, did you take in to account any accessibility in e learning standards and guidelines in your work such as WKT, ATAG or IMS?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Yes, especially WCAG. In content that is produced by teacher we developed a template for the tool X learning that we suggest teachers to use. And X learning is complete with a text.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. Okay. The second question was do you feel that it is easier to get academic staff to create new content, to convert old existing content in to an accessible form?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Sorry, I didn't understand. Can you repeat?

>> JUSTIN BROWN: The question is when you are dealing with academic or lecturers or teaching staff is it easier to get that staff to create new learning materials from scratch that are accessible or easier to ask them to convert old existing materials in to an accessible form?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: They don't have existing materials in accessible format. So we must adapt it. And sometimes they have to produce new content, new materials. And that's why we suggest the using of X learning. And when they have no time because they don't get any money to produce new content, sometimes they just produce web content and export to pdf. And there we can guarantee that they are accessible.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. All right. Thank you very much. So okay. So we are running perfectly on time at the moment.

Where e-learning models and social media collide: supporting the future education of blind and VI learners

>> JUSTIN BROWN: I think what we might do first of all, just see if Ruchi is back. Are you online at the moment?


>> JUSTIN BROWN: We will go back to you with your paper, supporting a future education of blind and visually impaired users. Can you give us a two minute rundown?

>> RUCHI PERMVATTANA: Hello, everyone. And thank you for the opportunity to present my paper today. My paper looks at mainly a vision model, using virtual IT discovery. And this research was part of my PSD information systems. The vision model is a holistic e learning model for the visually impaired learners. The model is different from the previous accessible e learning models because it looks at the implementation of the nine elements. First one is legal requirements that are also standards and guidelines. And the next one is intersessional sectors which improves strategies. Next one is learning objectives and outcomes and then learner characteristics and necessary to consider the individual specific needs that include the demographics and cultural factors. This part includes the types of visual impairment, physical requirements. And the next element is called social element and then physical covering where applicable. And the next one is accessible (beep) and then accessible show classroom and delivery and then evaluation, feedback and enhancement. This information from my research social interactions (inaudible) component for learners with vision impairment. Being able to communicate with instructors and other learners in a realtime and online format using social media tools and promote (inaudible) and develop a sense of belonging and contribute to success. Thanks.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. Okay. So question 1 is how does the how can the VIVID model be applied in order to meet users with disabilities in general and not just those with visual impairments?

>> RUCHI PERMVATTANA: All right. For my future research or the future of this model we hope that we can apply this one and try to adjust the physical classroom and also the looked at one element, learner characteristics. That's how we adjust and apply this model for the type of disabilities, learners with other disabilities.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. And the other question was in your paper you raise the issue that with approximately 100 learners during a data collection, of those how many indicated that they actually use social media and of those that did, was any of it in an e learning context?

>> RUCHI PERMVATTANA: I can say from 90% were using social media tools as part of their learning because all of these 100 groups of data collections they also enroll as part of learning or some of them completed the course and the other IT courses. So here pretty much more than 90% using social media as part of the accessibility improve, that has helped them to learn a lot.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. Thank you.

Implementing Accessibility into Australian Federal Government eLearning

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Move on to paper 3, which is Implementing Accessibility into Australian Federal Government E learning and Nathan Bellato from the Department of Education.

>> NATHAN BELLATO: I am here.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Did you want to give us a two minute summary of your paper before we move on to some questions?

>> NATHAN BELLATO: Our paper is basically kind of written a paper about implementing e learning in Government, implementing the Web content accessibility guidelines 2.0 in the Australian Human Rights Commission which add another layer of accessibility to our e learning. So sort of what we have explored over the last two years is developing e learning not only accessibility under our compliance but accessible to our learners and another layer on top of that which is adopting principles and all that sort of stuff to deliver the best learning experience to the whole department, not just our individual learners.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. Okay. And so moving on from there I suppose the first question we have can you actually summarize what the lessons learned are from the work that you have been doing?

>> NATHAN BELLATO: The key lesson we have learned not only have we tried to meet WCAG 2.0 and meet all of that compliance under that standard because of the Human Rights compliance here in Australia we had to go a step further. We adopt things like color contrast, alt text, make our interactive versions as accessible as possible, but we also go ahead and make alterative versions which are fully accessible under WCAG 2.0 and meet the advisory notes. We produce more than one accessible version. In some cases we produce HTML content.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. The other question I had was actually going just beyond the challenge of creating accessible content. Can you tell us anything about the challenges that exist in terms of the actual e learning environments in which this learning content is housed and whether it is consistent across Government or is it consistent at least in your area of Government?

>> NATHAN BELLATO: Yes. No, it is not consistent across all Federal Government. The start of each agency has its own learning management system. We have been fortunate in that that in our agency that we have had an LMS that's been customized to a large extent to be more accessible for users, like simple things like keyboard access and that sort of thing. In terms of development all content it does vary across agencies as well. We still use flash content for our interactive content but produce all the different versions for accessible users and try and optimize them as much as possible for so that the accessibility they get the greatest learner experience and that's what our agency does but it is not consistent across.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Thank you.

>> CONNOR O'KEEFE: This is Connor O'Keefe here, coauthor with Nathan. In the Federal Government at the moment with internally knowing that we are creating is to try and make sure that we are maintaining the level of interactivity for our learners that can benefit from it while at the same time optimizing the programs for accessibility but also providing alternative versions. And at the same time we are trying to marry the advisory notes that we have from each Human Rights Commission with WCAG 2.0. And there is some important aspects to that which go above and beyond just achieving WCAG compliance. And they include things by taking in to account the realistic position of users. And it is not good enough to rely on one technology. So we hear a lot of people talking about HTML5 today. And they are very specific to say it is not good enough to make something good enough with HTML5 but you need to provide those alternative versions.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. I think that's a very valid point and obviously being from within this area myself we are well aware of all the issues that, you know, the other requirements are having. So thanks again for that, Connor and Nathan. Sorry, back to you Silvia.

>> CONNOR O'KEEFE: Thank you.

Chat's accessibility in mobile learning environments

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Now we can move to paper 5, which is entitled Chat's Accessibility in Mobile Learning Environments. And we should have Alberto from the University of Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. Alberto, are you here?


>> SILVIA MIRRI: Hello Alberto. Maybe if you summarize in two minutes your paper and the aim of your work.

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: Okay. Good afternoon and thank you for this opportunity. And I am Alberto and I am here with my colleague Rocio. And we would like to present our research work. Useful tool in mobile learning environment. We selected three different synchronous chats. These applications are the most suitable for m learning and have some advantages. Like, for example, when students have an issue with closer contact with classmates and teachers and also with synchronous chat and have a connection for receiving messages and users with special needs don't have a time handicap for replying to these messages. We have chosen different guidelines and standards such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. And thanks to the research we have seen that there are many accessibility issues in those chat applications that have a potential use in educational environments, like accessibility problems with, for example, colors, size or with fonts. None of the analyzed chats were accessible and tables for m learning but it has many accessibility issues. Currently we are working on a new paper that allows us to overlap various guidelines, standards alone to establish the characteristics that all chats used in educational environments should meet.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Thank you for your summary. And now we would like to ask a couple of questions and your answers should not be long, no more than two minutes. And the first question is in your evaluation which are the main guidelines you have taken in to account have shown according to the m learning accessibility issues, in particular in this synchronous tools?

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: We have used Web Content Accessible Guidelines, Universal Design Learning. We have used mobile web application web practices and excuse me, ISO 9241.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. And did you find some lacks in these guidelines, in particular related to the synchronous problems, the synchronous nature of these kind of tools?

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: Yes, we have found that there is a lack of link to mobile environment.

>> ROCIO CALVO: We have realized that there is not any guidelines which considers the synchronous and the m learning, the mobile devices. So this is what we tried to solve in the next article and we will try to solve the main problems that synchronous chat will have.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Did you also think about the possibility of taking in to account even some IMS standards, for instance, the accessible ones?

>> ROCIO CALVO: Yes. We realize that IMS has created some guidelines which name its guidelines for developer and accessible guidelines for accessible learning applications. On one of these accessibility guidelines specify how accessible synchronous communication and collaborative tools should be. But the main problem is that it gives some general ideas, and it doesn't specify how they may be implemented.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So you find some lacks in the field and you maybe be able to provide some details about this problem. The second question is for what type of users were you basing your primary analysis on? It appears many of the issues rights were relevant to low vision users but not legally bind users, right?

>> ROCIO CALVO: In our research now it is focused on different disabilities. So we have not focused on blind users or visual impairment specifically. So we are trying to consider all the disabilities. And as a result we can make accessible guidelines for learning and mobile environments.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much. So now Shadi, may we have some news about Pablo?

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: Yes, we have Pablo on but I also see Abi James up with a question on this. Do you want to take questions afterwards?

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Yes. Maybe we can devote question and answer time at the end of this first session if we have time, maybe.

Personas design method to represent visually impaired students in an e-learning university: a case study

>> SILVIA MIRRI: So Pablo, now I am going to ask you to present both of your papers. First of all the paper No. 4, which is entitled Personas Design Method to Represent Visually Impaired students in an E learning University: A case study, and then paper 6 which is entitled A Customizable and Flexible E learning Environment for Visually Impaired Students: A case study. First of all, related to paper 4, this is personas design. I am going to ask you to summarize your papers and your main goals in two minutes.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Okay. (Cutting out). 20% (cutting out) e learning university. Personas were built with the aim of representing people that are working at our University, developers, designers and teachers to gain insight to know the characteristics of these students. Personas design method to represent visually impaired students define architects that describe their difficulties of a particular visual group and useful to approach University so this issue can take in to account visuality. So the personas that we represented here I represented here are based on the case study in which contribute and observations were completed at home of 17 visually impaired students in order to come up with main difficulties when we are carrying out e learning studies. And one of the main difficulties they have is regarding lack of accessibility on visually impaired students with UOC web developers and designers and teachers. Personas, one describe student using a screen modifier and the other is for a student using a screen reader, describe UOC visually impaired students for e learning studies with tools they used, (inaudible). The idea is to put these personas to different profiles in order to start naming insight what is the reality of these students. Start applying accessible solutions.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Perfect. So now I have a couple of questions for you. And then you have two minutes to answer, two minutes. And the first question is did you take in to account the accessibility of any user performing standard? In particular I am using the IMS office for all persona needs and preferences and if yes, how and if not, why.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Basically take in to account profiling standards and the main reason that we are not in I mean we preferred to know in the reality of our students before to get them in to different profiling studies. I mean one once we have this permission of these students, then it is time to start taking in to account this profiling standard and trying to provide them the best accessible solutions to the characteristics.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So you plan in the future to take in to account this kind of profiling standards in order to generalize the needs of these personas, right?

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Yes. Right, yes.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Perfect. And the second question is where do you see the greatest value of personas in modern learning environments? Is it would be academics who create learning materials or primarily with the software developers who develop the Web application used by the learners? Including the learners with disabilities obviously.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: In my opinion for people that is creating content to creating learning content because they may not be object of the object of these personas is when a teacher is creating a learning content, that he or she become aware of what he is preparing. In terms of be aware of not to put in (inaudible) without another alternative, in naming content in order to provide students that use a screen reader that can't read the content. When a teacher is creating this content, he or she automatically starts thinking on students with visual impairments and starts applying solutions. In web developers they need to know who all they they need to know to develop code in an accessible way.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So the idea is again to take in to account the accessibility even in the design and the preparing content phase even in the very early phase, right?


>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you, Pablo.

A customizable and flexible e-learning environment for visually impaired students: a case study

>> SILVIA MIRRI: And again Pablo, if you want to present in two minutes your second paper which is entitled A Customizable and Flexible E learning Environment for Visually Impaired Students: A case study.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: In this case we are presenting a case study on the timing of e learning environment at the opening of University of Catalunya. This e learning environment was designed the final design was with widgets. The widgets are like letters which are independent applications that work as direct accesses to the content to one of them. These windows allow students to have access to web content for the such as e mail, agenda or the classroom, news, et cetera. The main widget shows the number of new messages that proceed provides a list of them and but we do go to the full version of the width of the that have all the personalities. This is the windows regarding the main functionalities in any of the applications in order to provide this direct access to the students. And some details with 15 visually impaired students, we evaluated the learning environment and we were able to extract the main advantages for visually impaired students in an e learning and therefore for us there was a series of recommendations for the designing of e learning environments. Visual conditions focused on the customization and the flexibility of the environment, the advantages that they produce, they produce for visually impaired students. And that's all we can provide, integration of the design of e learning all other e learning environments. And just to summarize the main idea of having widgets is it is very comfortable for them and have the other information located on the same page with no need to have windows but to access this content. So they are able to reposition their widgets in the environment so they can situate the widgets according to their preference. Possibility of having widgets that means that the students choose which widgets they would like to have on their online environment and specific to customize. They can identify them without having to read them. Then providing a widget exclusively for having guiding links to the other environments. And finally our response in this environment allow the widgets to be analyzed with students apply to modify the content. So the widgets identify and the students can see the same content without having any widgets outside the screen and also this the responsive design is suitable for allow the access to the environment from other devices.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you. And the first question is okay, very often we heard about systems and solutions to make accessible e learning content and features for learners with disabilities. But if your system can be useful even for teachers, tutors and even administrators with disabilities, can it be used even by such kind of users?

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Yes, because the this learning environment is a thing where they get to the (inaudible) to our University. This is the first page they find when they put their log in and the password in to the campus and this environment is shared with students, teachers and even people from the administration staff. The difference is depending on the profile of the teacher or administrator. They have different models or widgets they can have in the learning environment. This learning environment can be used for the different profiles that are working in the University.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: So even this e-learning environment viewers can set the widgets through an accessible interface even to them?


>> SILVIA MIRRI: Perfect. Okay. Thank you. And the second question is if this widget based environment is able to be overlaid on top of any existing learning environment? For example, an existing learning management system or it is completely cast along with this e learning functions?

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Well, I have to say that my profile (cutting out). So I don't have a background in technical issues or in technical (cutting out). If it is possible to have this (cutting out) in other environments. What I can say is that we are using our own learning environment management system possible to apply or to add (cutting out) that share the same characteristics (cutting out). I am not able to say if it is possible to use this environment, e learning environments. I guess yes, but I should consult with the technical department to answer this question.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much.

MOOCs - The Web Science experience

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Now we can move to paper No. 7, MOOCs The Web Science Experience. And we should have E.A. from the University of Southampton in United Kingdom.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Yes. Please would you summarize the main theme of your paper in just two minutes?

>> E.A. DRAFFAN: Actually I also have Abi James who is going to cut in after my one minute, because if those of you who read our web science experience with the MOOCs you understand we actually wrote this paper as we were launching the MOOC. So this is a little bit daring because we were actually doing the accessibility alternatives right as the MOOC was being transmitted to the world. We ended up with well over 13,000 attendees across a full age range which Abi will talk about. And we found that achieving full accessibility in a couple of months before, in other words, we only started in September, was an immense challenge. Having said that the other challenge was one that the reviewers questioned which was the fact that we launched the MOOC on a platform developed by Future Learn which is a company that was started by the open University here in the UK. Several Universities joined us, Redding and Leeds and several others that I won't go through. And we found the challenges of the framework provided, the Learning Content Management System were as much of a challenge as the actual content being provided. How willing they are to change ideas and adapt material to suit those with disabilities but we had a simple platform and all it would take is pdfs. And if this is virtual television I might see many of you putting your hands up and saying oh, no, not just pdfs. It meant converting academic content from Word to powerpoint to Excel spreadsheets and putting them up as pdf. Interesting enough the work to make the pdf accessible, in other words, all we had was images which we can describe in a suitable manner was the challenge, especially in the suitable time and now we have guidelines in place to help academics do it themselves. The success was about 11% we think, and there is a big think here, of those who actually joined the MOOC had disabilities. We don't have precise numbers yet. We had over 5,000 comments within the first few days. Those increased enormously as time went on, and I think the most telling comment was that they actually enjoyed using the text content quite a bit and videos were next, but Abi will explain that in a second which seems to be contrary to some of the comments we had from the Portuguese e learning situation where I was reading the paper there where videos were very much to the fore. So we think that age and academic ability have a huge impact on how people collaborate on a MOOC. And that disabilities is something that in many ways come in different ways depending possibly on the age as to how you actually work with the learning materials. We also think that because our group liked having text materials they possibly were able to access the accessible pdfs, but the major thing that we pointed out in our paper was that every browser changed during the period of the MOOC. The accessibility of mass ML and the accessibility of science materials changed during that period because the browsers were not all there for accessible. Media players were a alarm bells went off at the beginning of the MOOC and we had to point out that they had to be HTML5. There was some quite serious things that we were able to address in the first week and as the browsers changed and people came forward and admitted that they were using perhaps different browsers to the ones that the developers had expected. So I think that's what we felt was one of the other issues was this allowing for the flexibility of what is being used by those who wish to take part in the MOOC experience. So I am going to hand over to Abi now.

>> ABI JAMES: Hello.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Hello Abi.

>> ABI JAMES: Hello. I was just going to go through some of the statistics that we have been able to find out about our participants since we put our paper in. The biggest difference with the MOOC course is that we have no information on the students prior to them joining the course and there is no requirement on them to provide any information on their prior knowledge or difficulties. And this causes us a challenge when designing the learning materials. As E.A. mentioned we had 13,000 students sign up and of those just under 6% took a survey and we have that data. Of those 11% declared they had a disability but we have no information on what disability was. That is equivalent to our student population in the UK. So within that many of those will have problems with disabilities but maybe those who have problems with using a computer or hearing impairments as well. Surprisingly the age profile shows 36% were over 55 and 14% was over 66. But from the dates of our first MOOC being launched with a lot of media attention within the UK the majority of people attending the MOOC have studied at higher education before and are interested in educational resources. Therefore we feel that the interest in textual information is probably skewing few because these are predominately people with some academic experience in the past. When they were asked what type of learning material they were interested in, over 80% said they were interested in textual information and 88% were interested in videos whereas comments and discussing the education experience with the other learners were 62 and 55% respectively. So from this we have gathered that our priority for looking at accessibility is on concentrating on presenting the textual information and the videos in an accessible format. Finally one other interesting statistic is that most of the participants are studying at home at a computer. So we do not have any information on what type of computers they are using.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. That's very interesting. Thank you so much.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Sorry, Justin here. We probably got time for one question on this particular paper.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Right. The first actually the first question is why did you decide to develop a new management system instead of using the existing one.

>> E.A. DRAFFAN: Yes, it did and we received that e mail from you. The UK Government allowed the open University to set up a company to actually offer this service to those of us, those Universities in the UK that wanted to try and set up MOOCs. So we had no option but to use the Future Learn platform. Having said that I am going to say it was an extremely pain looking platform. The comments celebrated the ease of access and they celebrated the fact that there was no absolutely no clutter. And it was a very simple format which worked extremely well if you wanted to print things straight out from the HTML pages. You ask why didn't we use Moodle or something like that. The answer was that was not an option. It wasn't up for discussion.


>> E.A. DRAFFAN: But that's how it worked.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you, E.A. and thank you, Abi.

Vision of MOOC development in China

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Now we can move to the last paper which is entitled Vision of MOOC Development in China. And we should have Kenny to present the paper.

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: We have Chunming as well on the call.


>> CHUNMING HU: I am Chunming from the Beihang University.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Yes, may you present may you summarize your paper in two minutes please?

>> CHUNMING HU: Sorry, we also have Professor Wenjun Wu on the line. He will give an introduction of the paper.

>> WENJUN WU: A MOOC is a very hard topic in the world. And in China our education community started to realize that the MOOC is a new wave of educational information, technology evolution. So people starting to rave about MOOC strategy, of adopting MOOC to Chinese education authority. If we should have our own MOOC technology and how can we start to create it to benefit Chinese students. And this is all happening pretty fast because just three months ago the Beihang University already launch their platforms. And in our University we segmented with the early prototypes of a MOOC, called cloud (inaudible) provided by Stanford University and we try also some courses, open big data called introduction to the (inaudible). We tried to utilize the courses in our classrooms. And we move our platforms to X trying to exploit new platforms, not to our University but also for a couple of Universities in Beijing city. So MOOCs started to impact daily lives of Chinese students. Regarding accessibility we think most MOOC framework hasn't given consideration to that. In our case that we were basically slotted to develop our MOOC platforms on the basis of organetics which is actually developed in open source project developed by MIT, Stanford, Berkeley for its universities. But I think the whole open source platform is still being developed. This is a new, emerging developed community that's trying to civilize the course services in the platforms. We haven't really spent a lot of effort related tests to W3C guidelines of accessibility and really tie together the (inaudible) platforms, suitable for this learners with limited vision and hearing capabilities. For example, sort of video (inaudible) MOOC mostly (inaudible) courses have a lot of video. But some videos have no captions, subtitles and especially most MOOC courses only have subtitles. If they have, they only have subtitles in English. They don't have captions in Chinese. Usually it takes a fair amount of time for the local people to translate over a few weeks courses in to Chinese version. So because in our classroom in the beginning we start with just use the MOOC course in our classroom and without the right captions and it really went (inaudible) our local campus. So I hope because right now people are starting to learn how to create the videos for a MOOC. But mostly they are focused on how to put powerpoints and tablet screen, screen streams and speaker's audios in to a MOOC course as well, but they haven't really tested with people with vision problems or hearing problems. And there is no I don't I am not quite sure whether there is technology that we can automatically implement that. I suppose with this symposium a lot of experts in accessibility domain which have much more knowledge about it. So we are eager to learn about it. And since we are in the early stage of development we want to embrace the experience and technologies that are already maturing in this society and try to incorporate in it to our platform so we can incorporate Chinese students with hearing or vision problems, we can help them so we can include them in a MOOC, MOOC services.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much. (Cutting out). A very short one and the question is (cutting out) use MOOCs as they find it difficult to study in traditional University learning environments. Together with accessible MOOCs Chinese University provide (cutting out) for accessible e learning environments or materials, for instance, more accessible pdfs or something like that?

>> WENJUN WU: You know, for example, in the case of academics in the course of video and audio we usually put the slides for each class on the platform so that you can download the slides. But in many cases as you are seeing those slides are very sketchy. Very brief ideas about the content and a lot of, you know, the voice and videos and oral stream in the classroom itself, the students need to get the files of subtitles and to really go through everything of that in the MOOC course.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: So the idea is that it is common to provide textual and multimedia alternatives to learners with disabilities, right?

>> WENJUN WU: I suppose so. Because but it is not mandatory I should say. But allows for a lot of instructors, MOOC instructors they tend to put subtitles and sometimes the link they put the text from subtitles in to hyperlinks so you can get to the text quick and point to the video scripts. So I think that's a good practice. But in a MOOC course sometimes not just video and audio and they are also animation.


>> WENJUN WU: And for those within the course usually we don't really consider accessibility issue. We mostly focus on how to make things work instead of carefully choose the color scheme, the layout so that some people can really access it.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much, Professor Wu. Now we are going to have a break, five minute break. And then we will start session 2 of the symposium. So come back in five minutes, please.

Session 2: Panel Discussion

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. So I think we have had a full six minute break. Why don't we start session 2, everyone. So basically what we will do in session 2 is actually we have structured a couple of general themes to discuss. So basically what we would like to do, now we have had a couple of participants, authors from the first section have to leave because of time constraints and time zones. So what we will pardon me, what we will do is start off with each of the sections, say in this case we will start off in a minute with challenges and designing and managing accessible MOOCs. And we have a couple of guides, questions in this section for our authors or in this case author who is remaining. And then we will open once the author has discussed some of these questions we will open it up to questions on that topic and make our way through all of the sections, A, B, C and D in session 2 taking questions in each one. And then at the end basically we will open up questions from the floor on any topic. Okay. So I will hand over session 2 to Silvia.

Challenges in designing and managing accessible MOOCs

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So we can briefly start the section devoted to challenges in designing and managing accessible MOOCs. And the first question is what kind of issues should be taken into account in the design and management of accessible MOOCs? So it is a very general question. Abi, you have just two minutes to answer it.

>> ABI JAMES: Okay. I should say I am not involved on the development side. I am more involved on the development of the learning materials side. So from the technical side I can't answer that question but we can bring questions back to developers if people want specific information. The biggest issue really is in trying to anticipate the needs prior to the students signing up and addressing limited functionality within the MOOC framework that we have. One of the concerns we have to build is security in relation to any download files are provided. And also we the organization providing the MOOC framework want to ensure that any materials are provided that our platform and technology independence which is why they have to be provided as pdf files. And this has provided a big challenge on the accessibility position. Whereas if this was a learning management system within the University we would be able to address those issues internally.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much. And another question is who is responsible for content auditing and approval for content coming from external contributors to the MOOCs? So are the MOOCs environment and the MOOCs nature can influence the management and the organization and even how can influence evaluation of the MOOCs activities?

>> ABI JAMES: Well, at the moment evaluating the impact of a MOOC is an unknown question at the moment. This is very much a Beta project and the Universities within the UK are trying to assess how to deliver material through a MOOC and evaluate that. From the accessibility point of view and the experience of the University of Southampton we were very lucky that the Delft team who create the learning materials are located in the same building as the Web science team. We were able to collaborate in creating the learning materials and as issues arose through testing, through the accessibility team within the Web science we could amend those materials immediately. What has been very difficult has been to develop and consider accessibility prior to those learning materials being launched.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you. And I have a question for Professor Wu, and the question is what are the most common problems, if any, in adopting accessibility solutions for MOOCs?

>> WENJUN WU: I think that the common problem in the current platform is very video enriched web applications. So the video, mostly in current situations the video is not designed for accessibility. The design is more focused on how to put regular powerpoint, speakers, video where you can add the stuff, that sort of thing. It hasn't really considered the perfection of these disabilities. But I think that also this should be the accessibility, the responsibility should be shared by those infrastructure developers and the content developers providers. Because we are on a MOOC platform, the developers are responsible for building a nice accessible web model so that it can be easily accessed by students, especially with disabilities. But also they have a lot of courses that were designed not by the development team but by the instructors and these systems by different Universities but they got to be some kind of guideline for the accessibility so that people can use the full use the practice to improve accessibility. I don't think the standards are in there. Because even for the interoperability a lot of different platforms that we have to consider, there is no standardized framework. If you download a MOOC course from one platform it is very hard for you to try to add it back to the other platform. That alone is very it is compatibility. So I think there a lot of issues to deal with that.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: So Professor Wu, do you think we need a MOOC devoted platform or system instead of trying to adapt and customize already existing learning management systems?

>> WENJUN WU: I think the current learning management system here is most designed for full campus use. It is not designed for large scaled outside users. Because, for example, Beihang, which is already being used in our school for years, it is mostly designed to how it is mostly designed to enable faculty members to share their powerpoints, you know, to exchange the questions and discussions with students in the classroom. It is not designed for scaleability. Because the MOOC it is an outside portal for students, not associated with University but from general walks of life. So when we design that kind of platform you need to have different design philosophies and especially for accessibility I think it is much more challenged. That's all from me.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much. And the last question Professor Wu, is does the peer to peer learning model in MOOCs present extra challenges to participation for learners with disabilities?

>> WENJUN WU: Well, I definitely agree with that. Peer to peer learning models certainly much more challenged. Currently, you know, most of the pedagogical model of the course is kind of (inaudible) of customer. Usually it is centered around the instructor's courseware and then started the courseware which mostly consists of video and slides and then they can finish. Peer to peer part for the assessment because given the large scaleability, large scale of student community no way for a single use structure can really go through all the assignments. So most of the web platforms like RX and (inaudible) they rely on the peer review systems. Students can check their assignments. Imagine that disabled student sometimes hard for them to really access those. And maybe I think it is also hard for others to access to check their assignments. So there is an issue. And also I think there is other MOOC platforms called P to PU. That encourages students to post their own courseware narrative. So that even makes things worse. Because I think that most students when they take, you know, learn a lot of guidelines from the Web creation to follow the principles of improvement of accessibility. And also some MOOC platforms may also use video conference, the face to face video stuff. And that even makes it worse I think.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much.

Evaluating e-learning environments accessibility (including interfaces, content, creation and delivery): different approaches, gaps and challenges

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Now we can move to the second topic, which is evaluating e learning environments accessibility (including interfaces, content, creation, and delivery). Okay. And so we get back to ask to Manuela to let us know what she thinks about evaluating accessibility of content packages and e learning environment interfaces which are the relationship different approach, similarities and so on.

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Okay. For the e learning environment interfaces, we use screen readers, screen magnifiers, keyboard and adaptive mouse to adopt the WCAG guidelines. We are currently preparing the test to our LMS platform and the Web conference with iTracking system. For the content we do not use unique packages to produce and we don't produce by a single tool. We use the LMS tools like tests where pages bulk and we test with blind and low vision people. I think that's the response to your question.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Can you provide some more information about what do you think about the different kind of mechanisms to evaluate which is the relationship between the evaluation of content packages and the e learning environment interfaces.

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Well, we have the same mechanisms. Because the most important for us is the navigation for blind people and the description of images and so on. So all the tests we made is about content that we place in the LMS platform. We don't use many altering tools content.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Thank you, Manuela. And I would like to ask Pablo again to talk a little bit about the mechanisms to evaluate the accessibility of content packages and e learning environment interfaces. Did you try some mechanisms in order to evaluate your e learning environment, for instance?

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Yes. In our case we have an accessibility laboratory that it is our laptop with different software for visually impaired users, like screen reader, magnifier, and also a Braille reader. And also this laptop we have the software that captured the integration in the screen. So we can register what are the integration that the screen is doing in the laptop. So what we usually do is or what we try to do normally is go to students with this laptop and evaluate one of the new applications that we have developed or put in the environment in their home using our laptop with video observing them how they interact with the learning environment. The best way to know what are the different artifacts they have and they use when they are connected with the learning environment and know what is the BR context when they are interacting with a learning environment. And with this we tried to evaluate different tools, four different tool applications in our environment. And also observing how they interact with the technology because we think it is the best way to follow the main difficulties that they can find in the in the interaction with e learning environment.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much, Pablo. And now I would like to ask Ruchi, how Vivid model can be applied in order to improve and even to evaluate the process of content creation and delivery within a specific e learning environment or within a traditional e learning environment.

>> RUCHI PERMVATTANA: Yes. At the moment the model we have, the details we try to act like proactive before we start any project or any courses to get more information about the learner's characteristic and also all the standards and guidelines or the requirements. That's how we improve and try to apply this model to the other part of the the other part of the disability. At the moment I don't think that for the expressible outcome, you say, is it outcomes or no. Not at the moment. I think just improve the learning environment for students, visually impaired and then the other type of accessibility in the future. But I might need to consult my coauthor and get back to you for this.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Perfect. And another question is again for Pablo.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: And the question is what are the accessibility issues related to the user roles in e learning systems in general and specifically for e learning environment, including accessibility of authoring tool and admin features in the e learning environment. You have already told about your learning environments, but the question is more general, which are the relationship even in our e learning environments to the best of your knowledge.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Well, in the case of our University we work with different environments and every department is in charge of trying to do it best in the accessibility issues of every environment. We know that when you see what was created they were using a code that it was not duly accessible and currently we have problems with this format code in order to elect it to duly accessible environments. I can talk about what I notice in terms of virtual campus. And in the case of virtual campus most of the problems that we are finding sometimes they have to do with the typical programs that every website can have. For instance, alternative test for pictures or the use of them words for similar functions, have time to solve them, to the problem that we have done last year and now the next steps in this in our environment is try to remove this old code and try to really implement a really accessible environment in order to meet the needs of our students.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. And Pablo, another question is the personas can be applied not only to users, to learners with disabilities but also to teachers or tutors or admins.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Yes. Currently we don't have any teacher or tutor with a disability but, of course, we can it is possible to use the persona method to describe other kind of profiles or other kind of users when we are interacting with the technology. In the case that we have teachers with disability idea would be also to interview them, try to know what are their main difficulties and needs when they are interacting with our environment and after that with this information we try to beef up these personas, these profiles to know what are the realities of these teachers. As I said before in our specific case we don't currently have any teachers with any disabilities.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Thank you. And now I have a question for Manuela. The question is in your experience did you provide some support to authors in creating accessible e learning content such as specific authoring tools features or constraints?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Yes. We suggest our teachers to use some templates to the tools that we suggest, like Word, X learning, video. Some of the contents are checked by the team but lots of them are evaluated by teachers using the automatic program features for checking accessibility. And we suggested to them to use some tools that we are tested, like Wikis, blogs, Google drive, Google blues, Facebook, et cetera. Because as I said before we don't have a package. We have different contents, different activities. So for us it is more easy to give support when we have different contents. And we have different teacher's profile and different student's profile. So for us it is that way.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So your idea is that you have provided a sort of set of guidelines to content author.


>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. And did they accept such (cutting out) each of the compliance, compliant content?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Yes. We always use the WCAG guidelines because our situation in Portugal set the WCAG for standards for accessibility. So we always check WCAG disability in the tools and we suggest teachers to use the guidelines. But WCAG are very useful, but they are very difficult to understand and many of our teachers of the the teachers, they need help to understand and to apply, you know. And we have now tried to create a new guide about WCAG guidelines.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. I can see. Thank you, Manuela.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Silvia, just before we move on we have got a couple of questions on this topic area that are queued up. So the first one is from Shane. So Shane, can you give us your where you are from briefly and who your question is for?

>> Hi. It is Shane Hogan from the National Disability Authority in Ireland. I am not sure who the question is for. Maybe if I ask the question you can seek the speakers can decide who would be best to answer it. My question is around question types within e learning. The problem we found ourselves facing was limiting ourselves on the choice of question types to multiple choice questions for accessibility reasons. So we see lots of other types of questions, like drag and drop and sorting which seem to be more interactive but would cause difficulties for some people for accessibility reasons. So just wanted to see did people have any other suggestions or experiences about good and interesting question types but which are still accessible for everyone?

>> JUSTIN BROWN: The next person on the queue was sorry, Shane, we will come back to that, but the next person on the queue was Allison. Can you give us your details and your question please?

>> My name is Allison from Memorial University in Newfoundland and I work in the distance education department. And my question was I have a few questions actually, but I will try and be brief. In the Portugal case I was quite impressed with the extensive nature of your paper. And my question was you seem to have chosen the Clark I think as Joe Clark and the WCAG 1 and I was wondering if that choice was based on timing because your study is quite long. So it was based on the release of the guidelines or because the WCAG 2.0 was not out yet or some other reason why you chose the WCAG 1. And then the other question related to the Portugal case was the study no. That was it. Sorry. Oh, do you think do you think there is a place to because it was so you found after all your efforts that there was still you were still sort of coming up short in meeting accessibility requirements or being fully accessible. Do you think there is a place that we can focus to sort of find a minimal level of accessibility? So that was my second question.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So the question is for Manuela.

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: So WCAG 1.2 it was because we start at 2007 and in 2007 we have just the WCAG 1.2. That's why we test, we refer that version of WCAG. And I didn't understand the second question.

>> I will type it in the chat or I am sorry. I am still live on the line. My question is even after your efforts to make your courses fully accessible you found that it was still you were still coming up short, even after following the guidelines and doing the training for content authors. So I was wondering from your experience do you have a sense of where to focus, like where is the best place to focus where you have the where you can meet the most the most sorry, achieve minimal accessibility? Like is there a focus point somewhere?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: Well, our experience tells us that we are at the beginning. So that's a lot of issues that must be studied and test. And the most we have lots of main problems and biggest challenges. But I suppose manual validation is always needed. Because even when you try or when you think you are compliant with WCAG, if you on the Web checkers give you a 10 or no errors in some content. When we validate with real users, we always detect some problems. And about describing images, what to describe. Titles, what kind of titles. Using text, different text, what what kind of information we can use or we can write in specific text. So we have many, many, many problems in this e learning about navigation, about what to describe in a page instructor. If you have a side map or if you want to describe a page, what we must describe just navigation. We must describe graphic interface. So we have so many issues, I don't know what to say exactly, you know.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. I have one more question for Manuela. This is from D. Fislo. You say that you still encounter errors with users. Can you give an example, please?

>> MANUELA FRANCISCO: We use blind people, low vision people, people with problems with mouse. So they must use adapted mouse. And the real users that test our platforms and some content, that users work with us in our research team, in our institute. I don't know if you want to I don't know if this is the answer to your question.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: I think that will do. Thanks. Now Silvia, Shane would like to know if you could answer his question about whether, you know, assessment types, questions didn't go beyond multiple choice questions. From your experience in e learning what other types of assessment questions can we use for people to make them accessible and still have them be accessible?

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Yes. So the answer here, my answer is that in my experience I know that question and test interoperability specification. It is one of the e learning related standards from the IMS that are devoted to describe how exercise question and test can be developed and delivered. And I know that there is at least an example of the implementation of accessible drag and drop exercise. And it was the development of the Learning Content Management System at the University of Toronto and now the group move to the University of Toronto. I know that they developed in 2008 more or less accessible drag and drop exercise.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. All right. Well, Shane, hopefully that's given you something more to go on with. And we can always come back to this when we open up to open questions. We can move on to the next section now.

Gaps and challenges in e-learning through non-conventional devices

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Now we can move to the third topic which is gaps and challenges in e learning through nonconventional devices. And I am going to ask some question to Alberto. Alberto, can you hear me?

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So my question is how can we evaluate the accessibility of synchronous communication tools? So how did your evaluation work in order to evaluate chat synchronization tools in a learning environment?

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: We based our study on asynchronous chat. The synchronous chat tools are the problem of time because they have the time to answer the question.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So Alberto, which are the main gaps and the main challenges in the m learning environment.

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: There are many problems. All of them depends on the device. For example, there are very small portal, there are very tiny screens. A lot of different content for different devices. Okay, we have found that the same application have very different functionalities for different for two phones. So for a user it is very difficult to have an equal accessibility experience.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: So the main challenges are related to the specific device?

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: Yes. We think so.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. And did you find some problem in evaluating not only asynchronous but even synchronous communication tools not only the time related ones but maybe something else?

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: Yes. We have found that there are many, many tools for evaluating on computers but not for mobile devices. For example, if you want to check color contrast in a computer, there are many programs that allow you to do that. But in a mobile phone, for example, we have to take a photograph of the screen and then send it to a computer to prove if the contrast was accessible or not. So there is several accessibility tools for mobile phones to test them.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: This is completely true. Okay. So thank you very much, Alberto.

Gaps in e-learning accessibility standards and benefits from the interaction with standards from other domains

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Now we can move to the last topic which is gaps in e learning accessibility standards and benefits from the interaction with the standards from other domains. And I have a question again for Alberto.


>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. And the question here is how do standards from other domains can contribute to accessibility issues? And in particular I am thinking about device capability descriptive standards, for instance, or even some other standards.

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: Rocio is answering this.

>> ROCIO CALVO: Yes, we consider that it is important to follow not only learning accessibility standards or for mobile devices standards. We have considered but it is important also to base on other standards used. For example, in this research we have focused on our Mobile Applications. And also we have followed the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. So I think that there is not a specific guideline for the m learning environments. It is important to select all the guidelines who have something in common with m learning environment. I have explained it good or not?

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Yes. But did you take in to account even some standards like, for instance, the W3C CPP, or the work standard to describe the capabilities?

>> ROCIO CALVO: No, for this research we have not considered it. But maybe in the future it would be a good idea to consider. Because in mainstream, in these specific topic maybe we can get some new features that these guidelines provide to other environments.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thank you so much.

>> ROCIO CALVO: You are welcome.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: And now I have a couple of questions for Pablo. So Pablo, the first question is where are the gaps in accessibility standards at the present related to e learning? So e learning accessibility standards.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Well, it is difficult to answer this question because I am not in the developing side of the environment. But as far as I am concerned in what can I say is that maybe it is the standards have to take in to account the natural experience of the technology. I mean sometimes as far as I know the standards gather some guidelines in order to develop and to apply accessibility measures to other developing. But we know from many territories that sometimes the standards are not I mean also they are accessed that they are solving accessibility issues and sometimes they are not assuring a good user experience. Maybe they have to focus, already have to move up to try to get a recommendation or a topic of experience or a topic from the point of view of end users. This is what I can say about this topic.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So in particular even learning profiling standards should take more in to account the user experience, right?

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: I think so and sometimes when something is accessible for users it is not necessarily easy to use. I am sorry. When something is accessible it is not easy to use it. It is important in accessibility or good to access some content, but then the way that this content is accessed or the way this content can be used can be even produced by some thinking in to the experience of the end user.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Would you like to suggest something to, you know, standard entities, maybe to maybe like to suggest something, not only to include more user experience but even maybe to take in to account something else?

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: No, sorry. I don't have more on this topic.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. So I have a last question for Alberto.

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: Okay. Tell me.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Alberto, the question, according to your experience do you think that a user profiling standard would help the chat accessibility or maybe just something related to the use of the personal device? So maybe the user has already set use or have preferences and maybe user profile can help?

>> ALBERTO ARBIOL: We think that users should have preference to be saved on a device, and this preference should be able to export to other devices. We think that maybe something a bit difficult but we think that companies should have a common standard for trying to make devices more accessible. Not only applications but we thought even in devices.

>> ROCIO CALVO: And also we think that users are really important in the accessibility. We can create a different standard and guidelines but some studies have standards, these guidelines can help us to make accessible guide to make accessible tools but the users have the last the last opinion. And they can't say it is useful or not or it is accessible or not. So we have to based on standards and also end users and user profiling standards.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. Thanks so much both of you. So now we have finished the last topic of session 2. And we can start the last session of this. (Cutting out). (Sorry, cutting out).

Open Questions

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Sorry. If everyone is okay we have got a few questions coming up on the queue. Start first with the question, he is on text only. So I will read the question out and it is an open question. Any of the authors that would like to answer, please feel free to do so. Basically as he says I am pleased with all this interesting research, but how much more do we need in terms of standards? We have accessibility standard and we e learning standards and m learning standards. How much is needed and when will too much be too much? Would anyone like to offer a comment?


>> JUDY BREWER: Okay. Yeah. Just to mention also that there is some there is a fair amount of work going on in e pub and there is an educational profile that is under discussion there. I think that the issue of coordination and harmonization to the greatest extent possible is very important. In some cases there are additional aspects that need attention and. So that's sometimes the motivation for developing those additional ones in the case of some of the e pub work which we expect to be very relevant to some aspects of e learning that would be coordinated between IDPF, International Digital Publishing Firm and with W3C with import from WAI.

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: Judy, can you say who you are?

>> JUDY BREWER: Sorry. My name is Judy Brewer. I am the director of the web initiative for W3C.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. Thanks for that, Judy. So the next person we have got on the queue is Charleston. Did you want to give us the question and is it to the group in particular or a particular author?

>> It is a general question about the I guess a follow up to the explosion of standards comment. We had the WCAG 1.0 guidelines and then we had the release of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. And Manuela, it was Manuela who mentioned the part about meeting the guidelines. She had to basically rewrite the guidelines for people to understand them. So my general question is like yeah, how do we make sure that the guidelines that we are producing are actually human readable and easy to implement? Because I find that the WCAG 2.0 guidelines are more difficult to understand than the WCAG 1.0 guidelines. And even if you try to meet all the guidelines you aren't guaranteed to be accessible. So maybe something more simple that really focuses on actual accessible barriers somehow creating guidelines like that would be yeah. I guess that's my general comment is, like how do we make guidelines that are just sort of more easy to read and easier to implement so that content creators can understand them and also be implemented easily through by web developers. That's my question.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. Anyone like to have a say on that one or a contribution about that question? Just 41 and pound on your keypad to put your hand up. Just a moment. I will see if there is anyone on the queue. Shadi, you are on the queue.

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: Yes. Hi. I did want to just provide some clarification about the differences between WCAG 1 and WCAG 2. It is certainly true that the Web in itself has become more complex than back in 1997. And many more technologies, many more formats and many more ways of using it that we are addressing. So WCAG 2 has really addressed this quite well by trying to be technology neutral in a way that differentiates the success criteria that are written to address user requirements and documenting the technique, the different ways of meeting those user requirements in different ways. In a way actually WCAG 2 provides more guidance and more support for developers and allows them to create websites with many different looks and many different ways rather than, you know, forcing certain kinds of uses of the technology as WCAG 1 did in many ways. But there is certainly more room for further clarifying and further naming of how those things can be used together. (Background noise).

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Thanks, Shadi. Anyone else got anything to add to that topic? Okay. We have another question from D. Fislo regarding examples of accessible e learning initiatives, like the ATI, the California State University. So Fislo says does anyone know other initiatives at higher education that have successfully implemented accessible e learning in a University or a college setting. So before we pass it over to the open group, I thought I might quickly mention I was at a conference in the Eastern States of Australia recently at a University where they are putting a vast amount of effort in to various accessibilities. I can't judge the level of success as such, but they are captioning all their videos. They are doing sign language which in Australia which is Auslan on all their video and they have a media unit whereby materials that a student with special needs might identify as being inaccessible. The materials will be sent to this media unit and it will be turned around within 24 hours or 24 to 48 hours in a format suitable particularly for that student. So I am not sure I actually want to name the University, D. Fislo, because I may not be representing everything that they are doing in a way that is certainly not on this channel anyway, but I just thought I would indicate that that is obviously a large investment by their organization and they have got a team of people who are doing it. Plus they have got quite a lot of buy in from their academics, but even then it is still a very large amount of work and it still seems to be, you know, looking at the core teaching materials. Not necessarily every single piece of work and it is for newer work rather than existing work which kind of reflects on a question we asked earlier in the session. But if anyone else has got some other examples which are more across the board and complete rather than any particular example I gave, that would be great. Bear with me, everyone. I will just quickly check the queue. Oops. Try that again.

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: Pablo was in queue.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Okay. I am going to comment on a project that we have done in our University. The idea of this project was to based on our comment to transform these codes or to convert this coding to different formats in order that our students can select the preferred format in order to make the requirements. So from all our learning contents are XML content, XML code. From this XML code it is possible to have the pdf content the content in pdf format and also in audio format and base format and video format. So in this way our different students can select the preferred format. And for the students with visual impairment we can select the basic format in order to listen to the content. But one thing that we have discovered is that also students without any kind of disability also select the audio format to listen to the content. So they are in the they are listening to the audio. So it is a way to take advantage from different content by listening to the audio from the e learning content and they can read the content. They can use different formats depending on their needs. This is a good example I think of preferred, what's addressed to cover the needs of users with disabilities and also cover the needs of the users that they have any kind of disability.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Excellent. That's terrific. Thanks for that response. So I am just going to see if we have got anyone else on the Silvia, you are back on the Q&A.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Yes. Just to talk a little bit about a project we have done at the University of Bologna. We have built an accessible e learning environment to provide computer science basic skills to all the students of the University of Bologna. And this was done in 20 starting from 2004 with the department of computer science. So we have created the content but even the we have customized an e learning platform. And the problem, the challenges we have faced are different were different. For instance, we have in an e learning project like this one, we have to face the problem of accessibility of content. So you have to force somehow all the authors in providing, for instance, alternatives to images and so on. And we have provided accessible videos just like in your project, Justin. So we have provided an accessible version of videos with captions and even frames with images and textual description. And we have provided an accessible interface and we have conducted even some tests with users with disabilities in order to test even the accessibility of the chapter and some of our communication tools and even the accessibility of the exercise. So of the assessment phase. These are maybe the main problems we have to face when you try to create a project related to e learning in an accessible way.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Okay. Thanks for that, Silvia. So we have got another several minutes left. We probably have time for one or two more questions or statements. D. Fislo, I have got another question from how to a11y you have got (inaudible) of e learning in higher education. I think we need to rephrase it. So I wonder how a11y in e learning in higher education could be measured.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: How accessibility in e learning in higher education could be measured. And as I commented earlier even the CSU provides no inquiry on any kind of evaluation. Anyone got any comments on how you evaluate the accessibility of e learning? And then obviously you have got your typical tool sets, automated testing which people might take. You have got your manual expert testing which is obviously very time consuming and actually is open to interpretation of you have got a group of a11y testers and manual user testing which has its own workload implications. So has anyone got views on any of those things or others? Nope? Okay. Okay. So I mean obviously, you know, I will take a little bit of this, D. Fislo. I would say is from some of the research we have been doing at my end and with my Ph.D. student Vivian Conway which some of you would know I mean really I'm assuming that you know when you are going to be evaluating e learning and accessibility of e learning you will do it using the normal sorts of tools. Your automated and expert and user testing and all a correlation of all three of those. But in my view the biggest issue with e learning is the fact that it is so dynamic and it is changing all the time. And if we want to do it properly, especially things like captioning videos and doing sign language and whatever we want to go to. If you look at my University, we are pumping out hundreds and hundreds of hours, if not thousands of hours a week of video capture around richer materials and workshop materials and all sorts of other things to fully make that stuff accessible on a very short timeline. Extremely problematic. In terms of trying to both assist, test the accessibility I mean it is a leading beast in the fact that, you know, one day one minute it might be accessible and then the next minute it is not always extra content. I mean the creation of content, present share of content seems to be another problem with this area. Anyone got a view on that? Pablo and then Abi James and then Silvia. So Pablo.

>> PABLO REBAQUE RIVAS: Yes. At this point, when we sometimes we are told one of our developments we try to we have a set of guidelines in order to find out if the development made by an outsource company is really comparing with the accessibility guidelines, is one of the measures we take when we are trying to evaluate the facility of our environment. On the other hand, I would like to say that in our case, for instance, our main point is not to evaluate the accessibility. It is just we know what our problem is. The problem is the difficulties of how to change this experience on accessibility. Our environment is based on a format code. And now I know it is very difficult to remove this code and to create another code in order to provide really accessible environment. So in our case as I said our problem is not to know how to evaluate. We know about the problem. But the problem is how to the lack of time and resources to try to change this format code so we can provide a really, really e learning accessible e learning.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Yeah, I think that's a great point.

>> SILVIA MIRRI: Okay. I would like just to add something to what you have already said. In my opinion we should try to make accessible the process to make accessible e learning because it is a pretty long process. The content creation and the content provision and the interface should be accessible and even the communication tool should be accessible and so on. So the predefined process can improve the accessibility of the e learning in particular related to the content creation and the content delivery.

Concluding Remarks

>> JUSTIN BROWN: No, I think that's a great point. Okay. So we are pretty much in the wrap up phase, everyone. If we don't have any other queries or questions for the group or anything else to contribute, I think it has been a terrific session. We had lots of great discussion and lots of great points and I am very Silvia and I have very grateful for everyone hanging around for as long as they have for the full period of time. So what we are going to be doing is writing all of this up as a research note coming in to next year. And we will also be making this available as basically the transcript of this will be available as, this session. And basically I think that's about it. So is there anything else I need to add, Shadi, before we finish up?

>> SHADI ABOU ZAHRA: No. Thanks a lot, Silvia and Justin, for leading this excellent symposium. And thank you everyone else for participating and for your questions and particularly for the authors who contributed papers and interesting inputs. As Justin says this will all be input in to forming a research report that will be issued in the coming months. Also the transcripts we will plan to make available as soon as possible through the symposium home page. On the symposium home page as well you will find an e mail address to the comments list where you can actually send additional if you have afterthoughts, additional references, additional comments that you might have. All this will serve as input in to the ensuing research report that will follow on this. And we do have your e mail addresses from the registration and we will let you know as soon as the research report is available as a draft so that you can have a look at that and comment and send us your feedback. So thank you everyone for that. Thank you also for the captioners for captioning this symposium in the background. And we will make all the resources available as soon as they become available. Thank you very much.

>> JUSTIN BROWN: Thank you, Shadi. Thank you, Silvia. Thanks all. Any follow up e mails send to myself or to Silvia. Otherwise post those comments and watch out for the research note coming next year. Thanks for being involved. (Session concluded at 1730 CET)