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Innovative approaches to the design of inclusive online learning environments
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Denise Wood
The increasing focus on widening educational participation to a broader student demographic has amplified the need for more effective strategies to address the diversity of student needs, particularly in regional contexts. This may include students who experience geographic isolation from living in remote regions, those in socio-economically disadvantaged situations, those with family and culturalresponsibilities, disability related factors, and/or a range of other potential aspects of diversity, which canmake participation in traditional modes of education challenging for students. This paper describes an innovativeapproach to gathering evidence and responding to such needs through the design of accessible online learning environments that address the challenges facing students from such diverse backgrounds. Drawing on the findings of nationally-funded higher education research exploring usabilityand accessibility, as well as other sources of data, an inclusive designframework plus accessibility features are presented. These can be integrated into learning management systems to provide teachers with a comprehensivestrategy for designing online curricula that are responsive to the needs of their diverse students.