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Personalisation Is Key To Draft E-Learning Standard

Public comment is being invited on a newly updated accessibility standard for students and learners, which focuses on personalising digital learning resources as a method of maximising accessibility for each learner.

The standard, Access for All version 3.0 (AfA v3.0), is produced by IMS Global Learning Consortium, a non-profit body whose members include more than 180 leading universities, educational organisations and technology companies worldwide. It aims to give a personalised experience for learners through use of a “common language” which describes a learner’s needs and preferences.

This information is not based around specifics of a learner’s medical condition or history, but how the learner interacts with digital resources, such as computers. Any specific needs of a user – if someone can only operate a computer using a keyboard, for example – are recorded, so resources can be adapted accordingly.

Although AfA v3.0 states that “no single resource has to be 100% accessible to all learners”, flexibility and the potential to alter a resource are important to the standard, as they increase the chances for personalisation.

The constituent sections of AfA v3.0 can be viewed on the IMS Global website: http://www.imsglobal.org/accessibility/ . Comments about the standard can be left in an IMS public forum: http://bit.ly/QvdjGb

A free webinar on AfA v3.0, hosted by EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information), an organisation that provides online training on accessible IT, will take place on 17 December. To register, visit: http://easi.cc/clinic.htm#december .

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