Abstract: Higher education institutions have been steadily expanding their online presence to meet the needs of learners who want flexible, convenient, and comprehensive access to post-graduate education and training (Frymier, Shulman & Houser, 1996; Lederman, 2018). At the same time, the number of students with disabilities pursuing post-secondary education and training has been steadily rising in the past few years (Betts, Cohen, Veit, Alphin Jr., Broadus & Allen, 2013)
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), (2016), 11% of undergraduates in both 2007–08 and 2011–12 reported having a disability. These students have visual, aural, kinesthetic, or psychological impairments. While many steps have been taken to address the needs of students with disability who take courses in the traditional campus, online courses and program offerings have not been adjusted to meet the needs of all students.
Consequently, this workshop has been developed to explore, analyze, and apply theories, tools and practices to help faculty and professionals with the development and implementation of high quality, engaging, and user-friendly online courses that meet the needs and requirements of all students, and most specifically those with disabilities. Participants will take away a guide that provides illustrative steps to begin the process of implementing high quality and learner-centered programs that engage to all learners and are ADA-compliant.
The main purpose of this workshop is to facilitate the understanding, evaluation, and use of pedagogically-grounded instructional approaches, tools, and assessment activities to support the full integration, participation, support, and empowerment of students with disabilities in online education. This workshop will also provide an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 amended 2008 and go over current best practices to help faculty and instructional designers create high quality, learner-centered, and ADA-compliant online courses.
Upon completion of the workshop, participants will gain understanding and hands-on experience with:
• Effective teaching and instructional approaches that are focused on increasing participation and engagement of learners with disabilities in online courses;
• The need to use a variety of learning and assessment activities to address different learning styles and better engage students with disabilities in online courses;
• The four major online quality assurance models to determine which model better meets their needs ways in which to begin the process of implementing a quality insurance model at their schools; and
• Best practices in usability and quality assurance standards and ensure courses are compliant with to federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 amended 2008, and the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The workshop is broken down into 5 sessions; A Pre-session (30 minutes), three instructional sessions (2.5 hours), and 1 wrap-up session (30 minutes), which are described below:
• Pre-session: Will focus on introductions and examination of teaching and learning styles.
• Session 1: Will review and discuss best practices in faculty development and explore available and easy-to-ease educational tools for developing and implementing high quality online courses that are at the same time accessible to all learners.
• Session 2: Will provide opportunities for engaging in hands on activities and mastering tools and strategies to facilitate the full integration of students with disabilities in the classroom at the Individual Level
• Session 3: Will provide opportunities for engaging in hands on activities and mastering tools and strategies to facilitate the full integration of students with disabilities in the classroom at the Group Level
• Wrap-Up: Report and discuss results of individual and group activities and share lessons learned; Complete workshop evaluation.
Success in implementing programs to support faculty and staff depends on a number of factors. These include: 1) collaboration between faculty and staff; 2) Relevance of those programs to the institutions’ academic mission and culture. Consequently, this workshop will explore and discuss ideas related to faculty and staff development and the formation of communities of practice as a means of strengthen the likelihood of sustainability with implementing lessons learned through the workshop.
1 - Basic understanding or familiarity with online learning
2 - Basic understanding or familiarity with online quality assurance issues and needs
3 - Some understanding of learning theories and instructional design models and practices
Dr. Patrick Guilbaud currently serves as the Director of Extended Education and Associate Professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Dr. Guilbaud has over 20 years of experience leading, managing, and implementing distance education, faculty development, staff training, and continuing professional education course and program offerings. Most recently, Dr. Guilbaud developed and implemented a six-week faculty training and development program to spur exemplary online teaching and learning at Winthrop University. Dr. Guilbaud’s scholarship and research activities are focused on examining ways in which technology-enhanced instruction, grounded in appropriate pedagogy and sound design techniques stand to lead to academic innovation, learning improvement, skills mastery and knowledge retention. Dr. Guilbaud holds a Doctorate Instructional Technology and Master's Degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.
T. Christa Guilbaud is a doctoral candidate in the CATO College of Education at UNC Charlotte. Before pursuing her doctoral studies, Ms. Guilbaud worked as a technology and instructional consultant to teacher and academic staff. Ms. Guilbaud’s dissertation is exploring how to best facilitate learning, instruction and academic support of students with disabilities in online education through improved faculty training and development. Ms. Guilbaud holds a Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities from the University of Virginia.