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Unlocking Potential Dr Simon Ball JISC TechDis Service Julian Tenney University of Nottingham Xerte.

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Presentation on theme: "Unlocking Potential Dr Simon Ball JISC TechDis Service Julian Tenney University of Nottingham Xerte."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unlocking Potential Dr Simon Ball JISC TechDis Service Julian Tenney University of Nottingham Xerte – a user-friendly tool for creating Accessible Learning Objects.

2 Unlocking Potential JISC TechDis Service Supporting the education sector in achieving greater accessibility and inclusion by stimulating innovation and providing expert advice and guidance on disability and technology Senior Advisor for Higher Education: Dr Simon Ball

3 Unlocking Potential The Holistic Approach to Inclusive E-Learning JISC TechDis has to provide guidance to the education sector on providing more inclusive teaching We believe that one of the best ways to achieve this is to increase the range of media used in teaching, increasing the probability that any given student will find a medium suitable for them. Learning objects are rarely used in UK HE, but they could greatly benefit inclusion.

4 Unlocking Potential Why did we get involved with Xerte? Xerte is one of many tools that help staff create Learning Objects. Others include CourseGenie or CampusPack. The designer of Xerte, Julian Tenney, was interested in accessibility and making Xerte produce Accessible Learning Objects. Xerte is Open Source and Free. We wanted to produce a tool that would help UK education sector become more accessible and inclusive – Xerte seemed to be a possible solution

5 Unlocking Potential What are the features that make Xerte objects accessible? We refer to the learning objects produced in Xerte as ALOs (Accessible Learning Objects) because: All objects have a facility to change font size and colour and background colour All objects have a text-to-speech facility All objects are fully keyboard navigable Prompts are included at the design stage to ensure features such as alternative text are included

6 Unlocking Potential But…Xerte was difficult to use Xerte had been designed for programmers to use, and it was necessary to understand XML commands to use it effectively JISC TechDis, Julian Tenney and a third developer, Ron Mitchell of Tower Hamlets College in London, designed and produced a template for easy use by teaching staff with no knowledge of XML

7 Unlocking Potential The Basic Template The TechDis Template for Xerte is very simple to use. Each page of the ALO has a set range of options: Text Images (JPG, PNG), Sounds (MP3), Videos (SWF, FLV) (up to 2 of each) Wireframes for layout (choice of 9) Hyperlinks Alternative text Default text size (user can still override this)

8 Unlocking Potential Completing an ALO The template has been designed to allow teachers two options for completing an ALO: Publish which creates the files necessary to publish the file to a website or VLE, including an index.htm file to which any links are directed Package which produces a SCORM compliant set of files for upload

9 Unlocking Potential The Second Template A slightly more complex template is in production that includes extra features: Nested or tabbed navigation Quiz or multiple choice questions Drag and drop (select and deselect) objects GoogleMaps, Flickr Slideshows, YouTube videos, RSS feeds But the same basic mechanisms – a second stage for users who have grasped the Basic TechDis Template but need greater functionality

10 Unlocking Potential User Testing and Future Work Now creating a Developer Forum for developing new templates based on outcomes of user testing Want to begin working on accessible back end for disabled staff

11 Unlocking Potential Questions & Suggestions? I would be very pleased to take your comments and suggestions back to the team. Or you could contact me afterwards:

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