Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Inclusive Learning Design to Rescue One-Size-Fits-All Flipped Classrooms (#OER)

In a world going digital, the accessbility of content does not seem to be a problem, right? Wrong! Many digital materials are NOT matching to different learners! 

Watching videos is worse than reading paper books ?

Does one-size-fits-all happen in the filpped classrooms? Yes, if teachers think it’s all about watching videos at home….

Video content is, by default, intended to be consumed at a prescribed rate (one second of video content consumed per one second of learning time), in a prescribed direction (specifically, in forward frame-by-frame sequence). This prevents learners from learning at their own pace (since their pace must be exactly that of the learning content’s pace), as well as in their own arrangement (since the content must be consumed in the order that it was created).

The learning experience of watching videos could be worse than reading paper books….

Contrast this to books. Books can be consumed at the learner’s own pace (they can spend as much time reading a sentence as they’d like), and in their own arrangement (they can read a chapter on French art, and then another chapter on Japanese art, in that order, even if that was not the order of the book).

To break the pace and linear consumption of video, we should use video players with the following functionality:

  • Scannable content
  • Skippable content

(Additionally, video players supporting structured content are also of value.)

Allowing for scannable content allows users to see both what’s ahead and what was already presented, without having to either wait for the video to present it or watch the video all over again. Allowing learners to easily skip from point to point on the video gives them the chance to review previous material, or skip ahead to relevant material.

The combination of the two–scannable and skippable content–help to break the forced pace and linear consumption of video content.

(check out the solution from FLOE project – FLOE video player)

This is only one example of how learning contents can be improved to MATCH every learner.

The Floe (Flexible Learning for Open Education) project is to provide the resources needed to enable inclusive access to personally relevant, engaging learning opportunities for the full diversity of learners and content producers. Through the Open Education Resources community, Floe makes tools that help transform, augment, and personalize the learning experience.

Watch the Floe animation for Open Education Week!

Floe builds tools to match learner needs with suitable OERs. These solutions can be embedded in content management and delivery systems, and are being developed as part of Fluid Infusion. (Visit the Fluid Project website.) The Fluid community has announced the release of Video Player v0.1

Video Player is designed to be a fully accessible HTML5 video player. The designs can be seen at…

v0.1 is the first public release of Video Player and includes initial support for:
* Captions
* Transcripts
* Integration with UI Options
* Keyboard Accessibility
* Graceful Degradation for IE8

Inclusive Learning Design

The Inclusive Learning Design Handbookproduced by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University, is a free Open Educational Resource (OER) designed to assist teachers, content creators, Web developers, and others in creating adaptable and personalizable educational resources that can accommodate a diversity of learning styles and individual needs. It’s a handbook with thorough information.

This handbook is intended for anyone producing, revising, re-purposing or reusing open education resources (OER) or other forms of digital curriculum. The tips and advice apply whether you are creating curriculum resources for preschoolers, graduate curriculum or life long learning resources. The handbook also applies whether you are creating simple text-based resources, animations, applets, simulations or full production videos.


How to achieve inclusive education ?

Inclusive education or accessibility is achieved by a sufficiently diverse and flexible pool of OER to address the diversity of learners; as well as a way to find and deliver resources that address each learner’s individual needs.

OER can meet the legislative and policy commitments to accessible education by expanding the pool of resources to include derivatives that meet the needs of learners who cannot access the currently available resources and by designing resources that can be easily reconfigured. This will also make OER more accessible to learners who speak diverse languages, have diverse educational backgrounds, or have diverse cultural perspectives.

Accessibility principles include:

  • Perceivability: Content should be consumable
  • Understandability: Content should be plain and clear to comprehend
  • Operability: Interactions should be operable by everyone
  • Robustness: Resources should be compatible with tools now and later


Consideration in authoring of content

Inclusive learning content is a product of authoring tools and environments that promote the creation of content alternatives and preferences (see Learner needs and preferencesAudio content and learningVideo content and learning). Consumers of open educational resources quickly become authors when they rework, edit, or remix existing content. It becomes critical, then, that these authoring environments both offer and gently suggest to authors the creation of layered, malleable content.

Take Away

  • Whenever possible, try to find an authoring tool that promotes the creation of alternatives and preferences.

photo credit: salguodbocaj via photopin cc

The major part of this article is from the Inclusive Learning Design Handbook.


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2 Responses »

  1. The expansion of learning resources geared towards learning styles and collaboration is greatly needed. Thanks for putting this comprehensive article!


  1. Inclusive Learning Design to Rescue One-Size-Fi...

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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