You are here:

Designing a Staff Development Course in Inclusive Design for Online Learning

, University of Teesside, United Kingdom

International Journal on E-Learning Volume 2, Number 4, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


Invited as a paper from ED-MEDIA 2002
This paper discusses the issues that we consider central to accessible online education, and the design rationale for the development of an exemplary, flexible online course for making accessible online courses.
The production of guidelines for making online courses accessible (Pearson and Koppi, 2001), lead to considerations of developing an online course for making accessible online courses. Using the experience and knowledge gained through researching the guidelines, specific issues and skills were identified to undertake inclusive and accessible design of online courses. These were encapsulated into five major themes and incorporated into a series of face to face workshops and an online course, aimed at assisting the academic in understanding both the broader issues of accessibility, and in developing the skills and knowledge for accessible course design.
The authors designed and developed the online course by adopting the roles of content expert and instructional designer to ensure that all aspects were considered. The process included the formulation of learning outcomes, assessment criteria and strategies, learning methods, and the alignment of these course components. The online learning strategies included a variation of the cognitive apprenticeship model which was refined following feedback from the prototype face to face workshops. Learner-centred and inclusive design is fundamental and the course is intended to be an exemplar of universal design.


Pearson, E. (2003). Designing a Staff Development Course in Inclusive Design for Online Learning. International Journal on E-Learning, 2(4), 52-59. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 15, 2018 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Biggs, J. (1999a). What the student does: Teaching for enhanced learning. Higher Education Research and Development, 18, 57–75.
  2. Biggs, J. (1999b). Formulating and clarifying curriculum objectives. In J. Biggs (Ed.), Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. Buckingham, UK: Society for Research into Higher Education& Open University Press.
  3. Brandt, B.L., Farmer, J.A. & Buckmaster, A. (1993). Cognitive apprenticeship approach to helping adults learn. In D.D. Flannery (Ed.), Applying cognitive learning theory to adult learning. New directions for adult and continuing education, (pp. 69–78). SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass.
  4. CAST 2002. Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA)
  5. Forsyth, R. (2001, September). Participation in online staff development: Why is there a mismatch between intention and practice. Paper presented at the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia 15th Biennial Forum, (pp. 57–58).
  6. Grabinger, R.S., & Dunlap, J.C. (2000). Rich environments for active learning: A definition. In D. Squires, G. Conole, & G. Jacobs (Eds.), The changing face of learning technology (pp. 8–38). Cardiff, UK: University of Wales Press.
  7. Grimaldi, C., & Goette, T. (1999). The internet and the independence of individuals with disabilities. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 9(4), 272–280.
  8. Herrington, J., & Herrington, A. (1998). Authentic assessment and multimedia: How university students respond to a model of authentic assessment. Higher Education Research and Development, 17, 305–322.
  9. Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (1999). Using situated learning and multimedia to investigate higher-order thinking. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 8(4), 401–421.
  10. Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2000). An instructional design framework for authentic
  11. Joint Information Systems Committee (2001, September). Disability technology and legislation: New pressures and new opportunities for further and higher education institutions and staff. JISC Senior Management Briefing Paper.
  12. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  13. McLoughlin, C., & Luca, J. (2001). Computer-assisted assessment: developing skills in both qualitative and quantitative assessment online. Workshop at ED-MEDIA, Tampere, Finland, June 25–30.
  14. McLoughlin, C., & Marshall, L. (2000). Scaffolding: A model for learner support in an online teaching environment. Proceedings of the 9th annual Teaching Learning Forum. Paper presented at the Flexible Futures in Tertiary Teaching Forum 2–4 February 2000, Perth, Australia: Curtin University of Technology Pearson, E., (2001, April). Strategies for developing inclusive online courses. Paper presented at WebCT As ia-Pacific Conference, Adelaide, Australia.
  15. Pearson, E., & Green, S. (1999, September). Courseware– Engineering or design? Proceedings of the Association for Learning Technologies-Conference (ALT-C). Bristol, UK.
  16. Pearson, E., & Koppi, T. (2001). Guidelinesfor accessible online courses. Internal publication, University of NewSouthWales. [Online]. Available:
  17. Roehler, L.R., & Cantlon, D.J. (1997). Scaffolding: A powerful tool in social constructivist classrooms. In K. Hogan& M. Pressley (Eds.), Scaffolding student learning, instructional approaches and issues, (pp. 6–42). Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.
  18. Savery, J.R., & Duffy, T.M. (1995). Problem-based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology, 35(5), 31–38.
  19. TechDis (2001, April). The special educational needs and disability act. Retrieved August 8, 2002 from:
  20. Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) (2000). Retrieved August 8, 2002 from:
  21. Winnips, J.C. (2001). Scaffolding the development of skills in the design process of educational media through hyperlinked units of learning material (ULMs). University of Twente, Netherlands. Retrieved August 8, 2002 from: October-December 2003 • International Journal on E-Learning

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact