By Mr. Andrew Ssegawa

NUICTS Department

This study will examine the current levels of accessibility in e-learning systems (Virtual Learning Environments) and assess the difficulties faced by disabled users and evaluate support provided, accessing system features, including interactive content, textual resources, navigation features and communication tools. Other activities may also include semi-structured interviews with educational support staff, including lecturers and Information Services staff supporting disabled users (e.g. e-learning support, disability support staff).  The empirical research with learners, many university sites will be selected, to determine practices and policies in accessibility support within different e-learning systems, with practical investigation and research activities to gain user perspectives on system usability; universities will be chosen to reflect leading VLE systems used across the Higher Education sector, including Blackboard, Moodle, WebCT and Learnwise. Institutions need to know which features should be avoided, or used with care to enable disabled students to access e-learning systems, and which features, which are educationally valuable, can be supported with additional training or other support for disabled learners.