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Usability, accessibility, and equity : understanding the anomalies in online learning
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Joanne McinnerneyJoanne Mcinnerney, Lissa McnameeLissa Mcnamee, Tim RobertsTim Roberts
Issues of usability, accessibility, and equity in college and university education, often focus on those learners who have a physical or intellectual disability. However, students without a recognised disability may also be disadvantaged. The requirement for online access may provide a disadvantage, due to a number of factors ranging from those of a socio-economic nature, to extreme geographic isolation, to difficult work environments. Educators and their parent institutions would be well advised to investigate ways and means to alleviate such problems, before they impinge upon the learning experience of the students.This paper introduces educators to some of the many disparate factors that can create anomalies between online external (and often distant) students and face-to-face students. These include issues relating to technology, expectations of computer literacy, the online presentation of materials, access to library facilities, and the art of good communication. The paper suggests some ways in which the potentially harmful effects of these anomalies can be reduced.