Prompt: Consider the learning environment for your current design. What potential barriers can be reduced or eliminated to provide more pathways for learner success?
As someone with a learning disability, inclusive design is something I value highly because with out it I, and many learners like me, would not be able to succeed. When looking at the accessibility of something I am creating, I try to think of every detail I can, because small elements that may go unnoticed have a major impact on the inclusivity of a program. When creating our design with my group I wanted to make sure we had eliminated as many barriers as possible, but of course no one is perfect. When I look at our design one thing I notice is that it is all online based and self directed. While this was a deliberate choice we made to make it more accessible to working teachers like ourselves, looking at it critically I can’t help but think about the barriers this put in place.
First off our resource being internet based means the user requires an internet connection and a device to complete it on. Many of us take these tools for granted but there are those around us that do not have easy access to these tools. Offering a lecture version or physical version could improve accessibility for those without easy access to tech. The technology requirement could also make this resource hard to access for those who are not as well versed in tech such as older teachers. While we put effect into making the technology we used as easy to use as possible, there will still be learners who struggle to navigate it. Setting up a help line or included an email address to person that could be corresponded with to answer questions could help those who are not as well literate with technology to still use the resource.
Second I also notice how while our self directed style could work well for some, it would also be a barrier to others. Finding a way to blend the flexibility of self directed work and the need to have support while learning in one resource could allow learners to find greater success. One way of doing this could be to have an opening lecture on zoom that would allow learners to be introduced to the topic and have someone to consult with for questions. This person could continue to be a support system while learners completed the resource to answer questions and provide learning support. This way learners can completed the resource at their own pace and time, but still have the option for learning support if that is what they need to succeed.
In conclusion there is no way to make a resource perfect, but with each read through and critique we make a step toward improving our work and its inclusivity.