Third Blog Prompt Response – Inclusive Design

Prompt: How can you adjust your planned learning activities to meet the needs of your learners if an unexpected event occurs?

Currently, our planned learning activity is set to take the form of a variety of online reading and interactive resources.  These include questionnaires, small games, and articles pertaining to a variety of topics.  One of the major limitations of this resource is the requirement to access it online.  However, not everyone has consistent access to the internet, or may prefer to go through their educational resources in an environment where they are cut off from the internet.  In this case our resource would no longer be accessible.  Additionally, our resource would require the use of a computer in order to use, something that once again is not available to all possible users of the resource.

A solution to the first problem, that of connectivity, could be solved by developing an offline, portable version of our learning resource.  This version could be downloaded by the user while connected to the internet, and then be available at a later time to be accessed offline.  Alternatively, it could also be distributed physically, by being copied either onto usb keys, or CD’s, and delivered directly to the user, thus removing any need for online connection.

The second problem, that of not having a device to complete the learning resource on, is more difficult.  The written content, and even quizzes for our resource could be converted to a printable format, with options for the user to check their own work once the quizzes were filled out.  However, video or interactive game based sections of our resource would not function in that medium.  A possible solution would be to have an inexpensive computer function as the interface for our resource, and have this computer be available to those wanting to complete the learning resource.  It could either be lent out and returned, or available in a specific space to be accessed by those requiring it.

Ultimately, there are a variety of ways that our resource can be modified to facilitate different requirements, and the more options and formats we prepare our resource in, the larger of an audience it will reach, and the greater of an impact it can have.  We will try to make our resource as flexible as possible without creating too many versions, or complicating it to a point beyond usability.  There is a careful balance to be maintained between usability, and flexibility.  We will try to walk that line.

2 Comments

  1. victorli

    Hi Connor,

    Thank you for sharing your extensive analysis and discussion around the technological challenges of our learning resource. The challenges you identified with our resource requiring computer and Internet access are very real problems that we face, and I think they often go unnoticed because of the false impression that “technology makes everything better” or the assumption that “everyone has X technology/access to X technology”.

    Looking at your proposed solutions, I think they are very good in that they offer learners with offline alternatives. These offline alternatives will in turn not only benefit those who face challenges in access to technology, but can also serve as useful resources for online learners (e.g. paper handouts/brochures could be used to make a “quick guide” for both online and offline learners) – thus demonstrating not only inclusive design but universal design. However, one question I have for you is whether or not you considered the hospital/healthcare facility administration a solution? In my past internships with Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health Authorities, they had in-person training sessions and distributed printed materials for learners to reference after the course. While this was for employees, I think it would be a good model for educating patients as it can serve as an opportunity for patient engagement (i.e. patients can ask educators questions in real time if they don’t understand something), demonstration (educators can show learners an actual EHR interface), and it would most importantly eliminate the challenges of access and need to create “loaning” resources that may not be as effectively utilized as we hope.

    What are your thoughts?

    Looking forward to working on this project with you,

    Victor

  2. dannyc

    Hi Connor,
    I liked how you mentioned internet connectivity. Especially now, the internet is being way more depended on as all classes have moved to an online instruction method. You did a great job addressing this issue and how it can be possibly be solved. Adjusting for these new problems and preparing for any problems is important if we want to have an effective learning resource for learners.

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