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An international peer-reviewed journal

Online Learning: Designing for All Users

Cindy Poore-Pariseau

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 5, Issue 4, August 2010, pp. 147 - 156

Article Contents

How Can Greater Accessibility Impact Motivation?

“People with disabilities are motivated to embrace IT [Information Technology] because they believe they have so much to gain in terms of quality of life from properly functioning IT” (Stienstra et al., 2007, p. 156). Imagine how strenuous it can be for people who are dyslexic and trying to keep up with an online course that is text based. Now think about the energy and motivation that can be developed for these students when they go online to discover they can listen to (and, if they so choose, follow along with) and learn from the course in a way that is practical, given their particular disability. When accessibility guidelines and standards are followed, this can happen. This increased motivation directly impacts faculty members because students are much easier to teach when they are motivated to learn. Teaching students who are ready, willing, and able to learn can result in increased retention for postsecondary institutions and can provide students with higher employment skills, thus making them more employable and more able to support themselves financially (Frieden, 2003) as exemplified by the following figures: “85% of current jobs require education beyond high schools, up from 65% in 1991” (Web-Based Education Commission, 2000, p. 4).

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