[Athen] Canvas accessibility testing & evaluation

Hadi Rangin hadir at uw.edu
Tue Sep 8 19:40:19 PDT 2015

Hello everyone,

Those of you who have participated in the last week's Canvas monthly meeting are aware that we have decided to take a fresh look into the accessibility/usability of Canvas.
A group of accessibility experts including Ken Petri, Joe Humbert, Marc Thompson and I have performed LMS accessibility/usability evaluation on 4 LMS namely Blackboard Learn, Desire2Learn, Moodle and SAKAI in the past years and presented the result publically as well as at the CSUN and Accessing Higher Ground Conferences. You can find the latest (but outdated) evaluation results at: http://blog.bargirangin.com/2013/03/a-comparison-of-learning-management.html

We are looking for at least 3 other energetic and proactive higher ed institutions in accessibility to collaborate with us in this project. If you are interested in examining Canvas for accessibility and learn firsthand how accessible/usable it is, now is the time to step forward and become part of this project. Your participation in this project can shape the overall accessibility/usability of Canvas and potentially other LMSs. You might know that some LMS vendors addressed or have been addressing many accessibility gaps in their systems that we have discovered in their systems in the past years.

How does it work?

1. If you are interested in collaborating/contributing in this project, please drop a note to me and indicate your commitment. As I am very "democratic" I will contact some of you off-line and "volunteer" you for this project anyway. :)
2. The project can kick off as soon as we have 3 other higher ed members on board.
3. The work will be conducted in weekly meetings and off-line testing format.
4. After we identified what modules and use cases we want to test and evaluate, the work will be shared among the members based on their resources. My suggestion is that you should bring at least one more person as testing and evaluation by a single person is not effective. Furthermore, this will give you a chance to verify your observations during the testing. I estimate that it could take up to 4 hours/week including the weekly meetings with 4 members on board. Of course, this will be reduced as the number of participants increases.
5. We will decide the testing methodology and protocol after thorough discussions in our group meetings. We can use the methodology/protocol from our previous LMS testing and evaluation project, however I am pretty sure that it needs to be revised after 2 years.
6. We test the assigned modules/use cases off-line and run our findings by other members during the weekly meetings. We typically show the use cases live to other members to make sure that we rate the use cases fairly and collectively.
7. Considering all the upcoming holidays and conferences, I estimate that we will be working on the testing and evaluation of Canvas until late January.
8. We will be using the month of February for compiling our report.
9. We will present the results at CSUN conference.

Please let me know by end of next week if you are interested in participating in this project.

I am positive that you all see the value of this project and hope that you will step forward and work with us on this project.

Looking forward to working with you.


Hadi Rangin
IT Accessibility Specialist
Mary Gates Hall 064C
University of Washington
Phone: (206) 685-4144, Direct: (206) 221-1532
E-mail: hadir at uw.edu<mailto:hadir at uw.edu>

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