Friday, April 25, 2014

OCR is finding access issues in a couple of virtual charter schools.

If you don't follow Michael Barbour's Virtual School Meanderings you missed this post.  He has posted a press release from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights about a settlement with the Virtual Community School of Ohio.  And, towards the bottom of the page, there's the announcement of a settlement with the South Carolina Virtual Charter.

Both of these compliance reports should be very informative for all online education programs, and also for anyone doing blended education.  The findings are the first real indication of what constitutes access under Federal civil rights legislation.  In particular Section 504, 508 and Title II of ADA.

I'm writing a new publication for iNACOL that will help focus online education on their responsibilites as relates to access and equity.

Higher education institutions are not immune, and most in fact, have not been meeting their legal obligations based on OCR findings.  They should pay attention in particular to findings against the University of Montana.  You can read about that here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Dynamite Tips: Changing your DFWs into Successful Learners (another TxDLA 2014 conference presentation)

With my partner, Alese Smith (the Smith in Rose & Smith Associates) we did this session at TxDLA 2014.

What are DFWs?  No, not Dallas-Fort Worth Airport; DFWs are drops, failures, and withdrawals.

We believe there's not one magic bullet to reduce the DFW number. But we've seen, through almost two decades of experience with online education, that there are a series of changes, predominantly in design, that will produce incremental reductions to DFWs.

Monday, April 07, 2014

5 Steps to Improving Access and Equity in Online Courses (a presentation at TxDLA 2014)

Here's the set of slides from my session at TxDLA.  The first five were running before the session began as a preview of one of the issues to be discussed.  

It was frustrating and informative to see how few of the instructional designers in the session indicated familiarity with the legal mandates on online education to make their courses accessible for people with disabilities.