430 research outputs found

    The accessibility of administrative processes: Assessing the impacts on students in higher education

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    Administrative processes that need to be completed to maintain a basic standard of living, to study, or to attain employment, are perceived to create burdens for disabled people. The navigation of information, forms, communications, and assessments to achieve a particular goal raises diverse accessibility issues. In this paper we explore the different types of impacts these processes have on disabled university students. We begin by surveying literature that highlights the systemic characteristics of administrative burdens and barriers for disabled people. We then describe how a participatory research exercise with students led to the development of a survey on these issues. This was completed by 104 respondents with a diverse range of declared disabilities. This provides evidence for a range of impacts, and understanding of the perceived level of challenge of commonly experienced processes. The most common negative impact reported was on stress levels. Other commonly reported impacts include exacerbation of existing conditions, time lost from study, and instances where support was not available in a timely fashion. Processes to apply for disability-related support were more commonly challenging than other types of processes. We use this research to suggest directions for improving accessibility and empowerment in this space

    Interaction in creative tasks: ideation, representation and evaluation in composition

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    The design of tools for creative activities affects the creative processes and output of users. In this paper we consider how an understanding of creative interaction can inform the design of support tools in a creative domain, and where creative needs cross domain boundaries. Using observations of musical composers we analyse the theoretical approaches to understanding creativity and their use to HCI. Cycles of ideation and evaluation are suggested as atomic elements of creative interactions, with the representation of ideas a central activity for individual and collaborating composers. A model of collaborative composition was developed, along with an analysis of the representational types used in the domain. This led to the design and evaluation of a prototype Sonic Sketchpad for musical idea representation

    Creating Open Online Courses with Learner Representative Partners to Widen Participation in Higher Education

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    Open online courses could provide stepping stones for audiences that are under-represented in higher education (HE). However, there are concerns that these instead proliferate forms of exclusion and do not address known difficulties for widening participation. We explore how organisations that represent the perspectives of particular underserved audiences for HE can act as ‘Learner Representative Partners’ to support the creation of appropriate courses and to highlight practices that exclude. Six course development processes where a university worked with different partners are analysed using interviews, documentation of resource use, and data on learner behaviour. The analysis utilises previously identified challenges to widening participation and collaborative course creation. Getting partners to directly engage in authoring the course was particularly beneficial but all partners prompted critical thought and greater understanding of the intended audiences. We suggest principles to support such partnerships effectively. These include adapting to a variable capacity of partners to contribute, to encourage reuse or creation of resources by partners, and to facilitate partners to feel confident in expressing their views
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