European unified framework for accessible lifelong learning

TitleEuropean unified framework for accessible lifelong learning
Publication Typeiii. Conference Papers
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDouce, Chris, Porch Wendy, Heath Andy, and Cooper Martyn
Conference NameALT-C 2007
Date Published2007
Place PublishedNottingham, UK.

This presentation introduces the European Unified Framework for Accessible Lifelong Learning project (EU4ALL). This project seeks to establish a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for delivery of accessible eLearning that meets the needs of all learners, including those with disabilities. The project differs from but compliments and supports product design-oriented approaches to accessibility such as the Web Accessibility Initiative's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It provides an architecture for the delivery of content and services that are adapted for and matched to the functional requirements of the individual learner. The project will demonstrate implementations based on several international standards with the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) systems Moodle and dotLRN and also show how typical learning process specifications such as IMS Learning Design may be used to deliver accessible eLearning. Other candidate technical standards include ISO Individualized Adaptability and Accessibility for Learning Education and Training (the internationalization of the IMS AccessForAll specifications) and W3C's Composite Capabilities/Preference Profiles (CC/PP). The working methodology of EU4ALL begins with the development of community specified use cases from focus groups and interviews with educational professionals and students. These are augmented by a study of learning support and psychological support services across Europe. The use cases are being used to inform the system design and architecture and its integration with each learning platform. The project's work includes work within the standards communities relevant to eLearning. Large-scale evaluations will be conducted and will be carried out over the final year of the project in two leading European distance learning universities to validate the approach, demonstrate the architecture's benefit for future implementations and inform the eLearning standards. In pursuing its aims the project will provide support for learners, tutors, universities, vendors and many other stakeholders and show how accessibility can be delivered within and across architectures, organizations, systems and technologies, including static and mobile devices. The presentation will present the issues, principles and report on progress of the project since its start in October 2006. Presented at the Association of Learning Technology Conference, Nottingham, 2007.