[Athen] Online homework systems

Randa Roland randaro at ucsc.edu
Wed Jun 1 13:01:32 PDT 2016

Thank you!

On Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 12:53 PM, Hackett, Connie <cmhackett at stcc.edu> wrote:

> You might want to look into the Pearson. They have a MyChemistryLab and

> MyMathLab. They have made incredible progress creating accessible programs

> (not all are completely accessible yet but they continually working to make

> it happen). We have a student who is deaf-blind that will be taking

> Accounting and Finance courses in the fall semester. I have been working

> with Pearson for a couple of years regarding accessibility. Our student did

> a some testing recently with JAWS and a braille display and was

> successfully able to navigate MyAccountingLab.


> On Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Randa Roland <randaro at ucsc.edu> wrote:


>> Thank you! That helps immensely.


>> Randa


>> On Jun 1, 2016, at 12:19 PM, Karen Sorensen <karen.sorensen at pcc.edu>

>> wrote:


>> Hi Randa,

>> Not a dumb question at all! Very astute in my opinion. You will not get

>> straightforward answers from publishers who want to sell you their product.

>> Publishers online homework systems are notoriously inaccessible. And

>> chemistry and math are some of the more challenging subjects to make

>> accessible.

>> We did a quick screen reader test with OWLv2 and found that the Try

>> another version button wasn't accessible. It also was difficult for our

>> screen reader user/tester to get from the question link to the content part

>> of the page, but that's more of a usability issue.

>> We tried testing WebAssign but never could get the screen reader set up

>> in the way they claimed would make it read the equations and notations

>> correctly. And what it could read, couldn't be read one character at a

>> time, making it very difficult for a student who is blind to study the

>> equation.

>> I'm not familiar enough with the other products specifically, but I am

>> familiar with other products from the same companies and would guess that

>> they aren't any further along accessibility wise.

>> I would also urge you to ask about the accessibility of the textbook

>> content as that is what the homework system will use. The images should

>> have sufficient alt text and equations and scientific notation should be in

>> MathML.

>> Our Chemistry instructor who teaches online likes Cengage Owlv2, so she

>> is working with the Cengage folks to make the areas we found to be

>> inaccessible, accessible or to develop accessible alternatives. The course

>> is supposed to be ready for fall. I'll try to write you and let you know

>> how successful they were or you can write me in August.

>> Hope that helps!

>> Best,

>> Karen

>> Karen M. Sorensen

>> Accessibility Advocate for Online Courses

>> www.pcc.edu/access

>> Portland Community College

>> 971-722-4720

>> Twitter: @ksorensun


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> --

> Connie Hackett

> Assistive Technology Technician

> Springfield Technical Community College

> 413.755.4082

> cmhackett at stcc.edu



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