Ubuntu Accessibility Orientation

Hill, Erik
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Linux has generated a lot of interest in higher education due to its flexible license and low cost. However, material to orient Information Technology (IT) personnel on essential accessibility functionality is sparse. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a web- based instructional module intended to orient IT personnel in higher education in the configuration and facilitation of the use of accessibility features of the Ubuntu Linux operating system. The module featured uniformity in visual design across sections, a combination of static and dynamic multi-modal presentation of information, and an innovative multi-survey response collection linking method, among others. The learning effect of the module was evaluated based on participants’ pre- and post self-confidence ratings on their ability to facilitate and administer specific accessibility features of Ubuntu. Twenty-four IT professionals in higher education reviewed the module by going through each section in the module in a self-paced manner. Results showed, using 17 usable data points, that on average participants rated themselves lower than 2 on a 5-point scale on all pre-survey target confidence items, but rated themselves above 4 on each of the corresponding post-survey items, indicating the module was successful in promoting learners’ confidence utilizing Ubuntu accessibility features.
The Ubuntu Accessibility Orientation is an instructional module intended to orient IT personnel in higher education to the accessibility features of Ubuntu 10.10. This paper describes the creation and evaluation of the web-based asynchronous module.
Ubuntu, Linux, accessibility, instructional module
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