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Curriculum & Course Materials

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Other curriculum and course materials online:

Minutes, e-mail, and such of particular interest:

Defining potential projects

Update Training Resource Suite

Latest version: Developing Web Accessibility Presentations and Training

Developing presentations and training: This is a much more extensive development of short training events and courses than the title would suggest. The current audience is people in work, and the scope is work based training. I believe that the outline for the 3 day workshop has good potential in an educational setting for teachers wanting to integrate accessibility into web design/development courses for students 16-21 year olds. See:

College and higher education has a different objective to training. There are 'transferable' elements such as developing reading and writing skills, research skills and critical thinking. The 3 day programme would need to be adapted to fit into the overall learning programme and to fit the local/ national qualification system.

The structure of the three day workshop: includes audience, learning objectives, outline and related WCAG resources maps well to teaching practice in Europe. First day, there is some emphasis on planning and writing that establishes the context of the web as a communications resources. I think this is a useful strategy to delay focussing on the visual elements. The second day gets more technical, dealing with the inter-relationship of visual elements - layout, pictures and multimedia. For students, I think this might well stretch over several weeks and be supplemented by, or integrated into practical projects and assessment. Day 3 - some of this requires both front and back-end knowledge eg to get forms and interactive elements to work properly. However I would propose that evaluation section can be introduced earlier on, for example, I used an evaluation activity to support a reverse engineering approach to look at good and bad websites (including the BAD demo. My aim was to try and bridge the gap between first steps in using html/css and the complexity of familiar popular websites.

WAI Overview: A number of resources point to Overview of WAI (, which was published 2005 and carries a notice about being out of date. It is a core topic that would be useful to presenters but I think at the moment this is very confusing to newbies. I would propose that links should be removed until it is fixed, and that it should be revised as a priority. (Shawn has proposed action on this)


maybe just

but then what about material pulled over from Opera & InterACT? ...


wish list if we had resources...

Misc Notes

  • For the short-term, let's think about making use of existing WAI material.

  • From Nov f2f discussion:
    • Requirement that the material itself is accessible and meets WCAG. And any authoring tools meet ATAG.
    • Integrating accessibility throughout (e.g., in module on Forms, the accessibility requirements are included), rather than just accessibility in a separate place — yet probably also having some separate info.
    • Ensuring that all material —especially examples— teach best practices for accessibility.
    • How to integrate existing WAI material?
    • What additional accessibility material needed short & long term?

  • Need to distinguish academic level and differences between academic education and professional training eg academic includes school, vocational and non-university technical colleges, undergraduate, postgraduate. The higher levels have to be underpinned by theory rather than practice.
    {shawn: I think the first phase to integrate with W3C work is actually more for self-learners?}

  • Need category to collect on-line resources and developer tools eg colour contrast analyser, Fangs screen reader emulator, chrispederick web developer tool. {shawn: or, just point to relevant section in WCAG & other Techniques?}

  • Computer Science 2013 (CS2013) under development by ACM and IEEE - Let's get accessibility in there! a workshop is being held at CHI 2012 on HCI knowledge
  • NextGen - Next Gen Skills is a major new campaign... to improve the computer programming skills needed for the future growth of the UK’s economy.

  • ideas for models:
    • automated assessment & certification of completion (e.g., Stanford-Google AI course & MITX)
    • online course plus some f2f component (shawn discussed with Clayton Lewis at CSUN12)

Learning Outcomes and Tests

Some example Learning outcomes and how they might be tested are listed here. More to follow. Suggestions welcome!

“Learning outcomes” means statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. (European Qualifications Framework (EQF): The EQF defines learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and competence.

Learning outcomes are testable statements that implicitly start with the phrase 'on successful completion of the module the student will have the knowledge (or skill) to be able to (a verb such as describe, identify, compare, apply, demonstrate'). They need to be testable, and are linked to the assessment strategy.

Accessibility can be quite a complex subject and by graduate level the student is expected to show analytical understanding or complex problem solving. For example:

On successful completion of the module the student will have the knowledge to be able to: ==Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of web accessibility and the role of web authoring tools and user agents in relation to the needs of people with and without disabilities, including users of assistive technologies, ageing, people with cognitive impairments or levels of literacy.

Assessment of this learning outcome could be demonstrated in a number of ways: writing in response to an essay or exam question, or as a practical assignment where the student is given a design brief.

For a college level course equivalent to European Qualifications framework level 2-3 (eg post school leaving age eg 16+, short courses) the student is expected only to have basic knowledge of well established facts. For example:

On successful completion of the module the student will have the skills to be able to: == Create a sample web page that addresses basic principles of accessibility and compliance to current semantic mark up standards.

Assessment of this learning outcome could be a practical assignment in which accessibility is integrated into introductory level HTML and CSS or an introduction to suitable authoring tool.

To keep this introductory activity simple it might well start with a brief that includes the main text, navigation and picture(s). In the UK, at this level, the primary assessment tool may be the development of a portfolio.

Questions: Should it be possible for some basic aspects of accessibility to be fully integrated with first steps in using an authoring tool or HTML/CSS direct? What are these basic elements?

Topics Ideas

  • Aesthetics
  • All May Read, All May Write
  • Architecture: virtual spaces, Information Architecture
  • Colour Theory
  • Communication theory:
    • transmission and ritual models
    • Writing skills:
      • narrative
      • rhetoric
  • Complexity and emergent properties
  • Criticism and Counterphilosophies
    • Crime
    • Control
    • Privacy
    • Neo-Luddism
  • Design Theory
    • proportion
    • geometry
    • golden ratio
  • Diversity, disability and assistive technologies
  • Economics
  • Epistemology
    • Semiotics and Semantics
      • Markup
        • HTML and CSS
  • Experimental Design
    • Test and learn design philosophy
      • A|B testing, multivariate testing
    • User participation in web design and evaluation - methods and ethics
  • Human-Computer Interaction - usability, input and output modality, cognitive processes
  • Inference and Explanation
  • Information Theory
  • Law
    • intellectual property
    • ownership
    • libel and slander
    • openness
    • privacy
    • mercy and crime
  • Language Translation Systems
    • Application of regular expressions in lexical scanners
    • Context Free Grammars applied to the Definition and Structure of Markup Language
    • Parsing, Syntax Trees and Syntax Directed Translation applied to the Document Object Models and Web Services
    • Use of Browsers and API's to support and apply to the translation process
    • Accessibility and its relationship to programming language translation
  • Network theory
  • Professional vocation, professional ethics
  • Psychology: narcissism and identity, cognition
  • Politics and Sociological considerations
    • mobile media
    • social media
    • Identity: construction and maintenance of online identity over long timescales
    • eDemocracy and online decision-making
    • Inclusion
    • Internationalisation
    • Moderation and extremism
  • Screen typography
    • readability
    • legibility
  • Search science
    • Epistemological limits
    • Ontology and taxonomy
    • Text mining and pattern matching
    • Validation and trust
    • Intent
    • Linguistics
  • Standards and regulations
  • Web analysis
  • Web History
  • Web Technologies

Reading List Ideas

Berners-Lee, T. Weaving the Web. Orion.

Carey, J. Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society

Cubitt S. 2010. Internet Aesthetics. In International Handbook of Internet Research. Springer.

Fragosoa S. 2011. Understanding links: Web Science and hyperlink studies at macro, meso and micro-levels. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, vol 17, Issue 2, pp163- 198

Halla R. H. & Hannab P. The impact of web page text-background colour combinations on readability, retention, aesthetics and behavioural intention 2004. Behaviour & Information Technology v23:3, 2004, pp 183- 195

Johnston S. & McGee, L. (although feeling a little overwhelmed in august company :-) 2010. 50 ways to Make Google Love Your Website, especially pp 126-188. Random House.

Kang, K. 2009. Supportive Web Design for Users from Different Culture Origins for e-Commerce. In INTERNATIONALIZATION, DESIGN AND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2009, Vol 5623/2009, pp467-474

Lessig, L. 2004. Free Culture.

Quine, W. V. O., Ullian J. S. 1970 (2nd ed., 1978). The Web of Belief. Random House.

Robins D. & Holmes J. 2008. Aesthetics and credibility in web site design. Information Processing & Management v44:1 pp386-399.

Siegel, L. 2008. Against the Machine: being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. Random House.

Strunk, William, Jr.; White, E.B. 2009. The Elements of Style (5th ed.). Boston.

Tufte, E.

  • 1983. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.*
  • 1990. Envisioning Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. ISBN 0961392118.*
  • 1997. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.*
  • 2006. Beautiful Evidence. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.*

Warninck B. 2007. Rhetoric Online: Persuasion and Politics on the World Wide Web. Peter Lang Publishing.

Zittrain, Jonathan. The Future of the Internet - and How to Stop It.

Next 4 from Suzette - There are a lot of good but out of date texts around so I recommended these to my students on MSc module Accessible web design because they were published more recently and post WCAG 2.0, 2008)

Anderson E., and others. (2010) Interact with Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design New Riders (introduction to creating websites, chapters on 3 chapters on accessibility and includes content creation as well as HTML/CSS. Associated website has code samples)

Harper S and Yesilada Y. (paperback 2010, original 2008) Web Accessibility: A Foundation for Research (Human-Computer Interaction Series) Springer

Lloyd I (2011) Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML & CSS SITEPOINT; Edition 3 (Note: New: v3 is using HTML 5 examples. Introduction to HTML and CSS and has associated website has code samples)

Halvorson K., (2011) Content Strategy for the Web. New Riders 2nd ed due for publication 2011/12 (Not yet seen but outline looked useful)

Some stuff on 'persuasive technology':

WAI resources used in teaching accessible web design module

  • Business case
    • Useful to include but had covered this generically in introductory course