ERIC Number: ED537862
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
A Needs Assessment of the Accessibility of Distance Education in the California Community College System. Part II: Costs and Promising Practices Associated with Making Distance Education Courses Accessible
Farr, Beverly; Studier, Carol; Sipes, Laurel; Coombs, Norman
MPR Associates, Inc.
As the number of online distance education (DE) courses mushrooms in the California community college system, the need to address the accessibility of these courses becomes more and more urgent. With this in mind, the California Community College System Office (CCCSO) retained MPR Associates, Inc. to complete a needs assessment to help determine the current status of DE courses system wide, examine promising practices for making online DE courses accessible, and determine the costs to make them accessible. In an effort to release data and results as soon as possible, it was agreed that the report would be released in two parts. This report begins to outline the cost of making online courses accessible to all students. Part I of the needs assessment, released in August 2008, reported administrator and faculty views on the accessibility of distance education and specifically on the costs of making online courses accessible. Part II of the report, detailed here, estimates the specific costs of (1) addressing each 508 standard and other accessibility and navigability issues; and (2) providing training and support for alternate media personnel, faculty, and students to ensure courses are being made accessible. During these difficult economic times, it may not be possible for the state to provide the ideal level of funding, but the state can use the cost estimates to determine how it will address the issue--reallocating funds to where they are most needed, streamlining certain services to take advantage of economies of scale, or implementing very low-cost strategies such as building awareness among faculty about the importance both of attending trainings and making at least basic features of courses accessible. Some have pointed out that making a course accessible during development is less expensive than returning to fix it later, and the state could help contain costs by directing attention to that as well. (Contains 3 tables and 4 footnotes.) [For the Part I of this report, see ED537847.]
Descriptors: Needs Assessment, Community Colleges, Distance Education, Online Courses, Costs, Disabilities, Educational Technology, Teaching Methods, Internet, Video Technology, Two Year Colleges, Higher Education, Assistive Technology, Surveys
MPR Associates, Inc. 2150 Shattuck Avenue Suite 800, Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel: 510-849-4942; Fax: 510-849-0794; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.mprinc.com
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: MPR Associates, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: California