A Contextualised Model for Accessible E-Learning in Higher Education: Understanding the Students’ Perspective

  • Jane Seale
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5616)


In this paper a contextualised model of accessible e-learning practice in higher education is proposed that takes into account three key factors: all the stakeholders of accessibility within a higher education institution; the context in which these stakeholders have to operate: drivers and mediators and how the relationship between the stakeholders and the context influences the responses they make and the accessible e-learning practices that develop. In order to demonstrate the value of the contextualised model in terms of encouraging us to think about the different accessibility stakeholders and the contexts in which they are operating, an illustrative example of one of the identified stakeholders: disabled students will be provided. Data from a recent UK focused study called LEXDIS will be used to provide this illustration and evaluate the usefulness of attending to both context and mediators when thinking about designing for and promoting accessibility within universities.


High Education Institution Contextualise Model Assistive Technology Disable Learner Virtual Learn Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alexander, D.: How accessible are Australian university web sites? Ariadne 38 (2004),
  2. 2.
    Witt, N., McDermott, A.: Web site accessibility: What logo will we use today? British Journal of Educational Technology 35(1), 45–56 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Spindler, T.: The accessibility of web pages for mid-sized college and university libraries. Reference & User Services Quarterly 42(2), 149–154 (2004)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Seale, J.: Disability and E-learning in higher education: Accessibility theory and practice. Routledge, Oxford (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lazar, J., Dudley-Sponaugle, A., Greenidge, K.-D.: Improving web accessibility: A study of Webmaster perceptions. Computers in Human Behavior 20, 269–288 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Leung, P., Owens, J., Lamb, G., Smith, K., Shaw, J., Hauff, R.: Assistive technology: Meeting the technology needs of students with disabilities in post-secondary education (1999),
  7. 7.
    Kelly, B., Phipps, L., Swift, E.: Developing a holistic approach for e-learning accessibility. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology 30(3) (2004),
  8. 8.
    Seale, J.: A contextualised model of accessible e-learning practice in higher education institutions. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 22(2), 268–288 (2006), CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Seale, J.: The development of accessibility practices in e-learning: An exploration of communities of practice. Association for Learning Technology Journal 12(1), 51–63 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wenger, E.: Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Engeström, Y.: Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Orienta-Konsultit, Helsinki (1987)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    IMS Global Learning Consortium. IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Overview (2004),
  13. 13.
    Burgstahler, S., Cook, D.: Promoting accessible technology within post-secondary computing organizations: Do’s and don’ts. Paper presented at CSUN 2005, Los Angeles, March 17-19 (2005),
  14. 14.
    Anderson, A.: Supporting web accessibility policies: Creating a campus e-culture of inclusion at UW-Madison. Paper presented at CSUN 2004 (2004),
  15. 15.
    Seale, J., Draffan, E.A., Wald, M.: An evaluation of the use of participatory methods in exploring disabled learners experiences of e-learning. In: LEXDIS Methodology Report to JISC (2008),
  16. 16.
    Seale, J., Draffan, E.A., Wald, M.: Exploring disabled learners’ experiences of learning. In: LEXDIS Final Report to JISC (2008),
  17. 17.
    Radermacher, H.: Participatory Action Research With People With Disabilities: Exploring Experiences of Participation, Doctoral Thesis. Victoria University (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Seale
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Southampton, HighfieldSouthamptonUK

Personalised recommendations