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Volume 18 / Issue 1

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-018-01-0062


Accessible Lifelong Learning at Higher Education: Outcomes and Lessons Learned at two Different Pilot Sites in the EU4ALL Project

Jesus G. Boticario (aDeNu Research Group, Spain)

Alejandro Rodriguez-Ascaso (aDeNu Research Group, Spain)

Olga C. Santos (aDeNu Research Group, Spain)

Emmanuelle Raffenne (Madrid, Spain)

Lydia Montandon (Atos GIBS (Global Innovation and Business Strategy), Spain)

David Roldán (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain)

Félix Buendía (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain)

Abstract: The EU4ALL project (IST-FP6-034778) has developed a general framework to address the needs of accessible lifelong learning at Higher Education level consisting of several standards-based interoperable components integrated into an open web service architecture aimed at supporting adapted interaction to guarantee students' accessibility needs. Its flexibility has supported the project implementation at several sites with different settings and various learning management systems. Large-scale evaluations involving hundreds of users, considering diverse disability types, and key staff roles have allowed obtaining valuable lessons with respect to "how to adopt or enhance eLearning accessibility" at university. The project was evaluated at four higher education institutions, two of the largest in Europe and two medium-sized. In this paper, we focus on describing the implementation and main conclusions at the largest project evaluation site (UNED), which was involved in the project from the beginning, and thus, in the design process, and a medium-sized university that adopted the EU4ALL approach (UPV). This implies dealing with two well-known open source learning environments (i.e. dotLRN and Sakai), and considering a wide variety of stakeholders and requirements. Thus the results of this evaluation serve to illustrate the coverage of both the approach and developments.

Keywords: adaptive learning, educational standards, learning objects, metadata and learning, service oriented architecture, user modelling, user-centred design, web accessibility

Categories: H.1.2, H.3.5, H.4.2, H.5.2, H.5.4, J.7