Free Modules On Accessible Technology And Online Learning

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) and the Maine CITE Coordinating Center are pleased to offer a series of free modules on accessible technology and online learning. The goal of each of the three modules is to improve online learning experiences for all learners, including students with disabilities. “Online learning” is broadly defined within these modules and includes a range of uses of technology for teaching and learning, from digital text documents to fully online courses. The target audience includes all individuals who are responsible for and contribute to the success of students with disabilities in educational settings with technology. Special education teachers, general education teachers, technology integrators, administrators, online course developers, teacher educators, and parents will benefit from the information.

Each module is self-paced, allowing users to set their own timeframe for examining the information and resources. A module can be reviewed in a single sitting or completed in depth over a course of several hours or days. Resources include hyperlinks to research articles, reports and briefs; online tools; downloadable guides; and enhanced podcasts on iTunes U.

The modules are available on-line in a Moodle format hosted by the Maine Virtual Learning (MeVL) Project’s learning management systems (links below) or downloadable here as a zip file containing the resources MS-Word format.

These modules and materials are licensed by the Maine Department of Education under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license, the content is free to use and the developers encourage stakeholders to re-distribute the modules for the purpose of professional and continuing education. 

Module Descriptions

Module One: Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: An Overview of the Considerations

This module highlights design considerations that promote access to online learning experiences by students with disabilities. In the context of this module, “online learning” is broadly defined and includes any student uses of digital tools to make progress in the curriculum and educational goals. In response to the growth and expansion of online learning programs available to Maine students, this module prepares online course developers and teachers to take the next steps toward successful inclusion of students with disabilities. Teachers who integrate digital learning experiences in traditional classroom settings will also benefit from improved knowledge about unique access needs.

Here is the link to the Moodle version of Module One. Use Guest password “aim”.

Module Two: Creating Accessible Digital Learning Objects

This module introduces strategies for creating digital learning objects that are accessible to the widest possible number of learners, including students with disabilities. Designed for teachers who create their own content, the module can be used for classroom instructional use of digital learning objects or for developing full online courses. Strategies are presented for creating accessible digital text files, slideshows, video, audio, and web pages.

Here is the link to the Moodle version of Module Two. Use Guest password “aim”.

Module Three: Selecting Accessible Instructional Materials

This module guides educators and online course developers through the decision-making process of selecting high quality instructional materials that are accessible to all learners, including students with disabilities. Sources of instructional materials in alternative formats include publishers, Open Educational Resources (OERs), and Accessible Media Producers (AMPs). Standards, support systems, and resources are provided.

Here is the link to the Moodle version of Module Three. Use Guest password “aim”.