Our own Kathleen Stone, director of curriculum and instructional design at the Center for Distance Learning (CDL), has been named recipient of a $60,000 SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) for her project to develop a massive open online course (MOOC) that will provide instruction for making online courses accessible and in compliance with requirements outlined in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). There is a high need for this course within CDL as faculty and course developers are challenged to deliver content and select resources that are fully accessible to all students. But the need goes beyond CDL, across SUNY, and throughout the country, as the rapid growth and expansion of online education continues.
Stone’s project, “An Open SUNY Accessibility MOOC for Faculty and Staff Development: Creating Online Courses that Provide Access for All” will be developed with a team of colleagues, both faculty and professionals. Michele Forte, Tonka Jokelova, Anne Lane, Julie Rummings and Kelly Hermann, from SUNY Empire State College, and Ginger Bidell, Meghan Pereira and Sumana Silverheels from Buffalo State College, will all contribute to the collaborative effort.
The end result will be an adaptable, modular, online course offered on the Canvas Network, a fully accessible learning management system with Creative Commons licensing options. The MOOC will first be offered in January 2016 as a live, facilitated course, open to anyone in SUNY and beyond. After the initial offering, the openly licensed content will be available on demand, for anyone to use and customize for their own training needs. This project promises to go a long way toward removing barriers in online learning and training educators to make accessibility the norm.
Further information about the grant is available at http://commons.suny.edu/iitg/an-open-suny-accessibility-mooc-for-faculty-and-staff-development-creating-online-courses-that-provide-access-for-all/.