Using MOOCs to Promote Digital Accessibility and Universal Design, the MOOCAP Experience

Gilligan, John, Chen, Weiqin and Darzentas, Jenny Using MOOCs to Promote Digital Accessibility and Universal Design, the MOOCAP Experience. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 256. pp. 78-86.


The recently completed Massive Open Online Course for Accessibility Partnership project (MOOCAP), had the twin aims of establishing a strategic partnership around the promotion of Universal Design and Accessibility for ICT professionals and of developing a suite of Open Educational resources (OERs) in this domain. MOOCAP's eight university partners from Germany, Norway, Greece, Ireland, the UK and Austria have a significant history in developing and providing courses in the domains of Universal Design and Accessibility, as well as leading research and advocacy roles within Europe. The MOOCAP project consisted of two phases: the development of an introductory MOOC on Digital Accessibility and the delivery of set of online courses with more in-depth and focused learning topics. During the lifetime of the project over 10,000 students signed up for these courses. This paper reflects on the challenges of creating and delivering MOOCs, especially in topics around Digital Accessibility and Universal Design. It considers the outcomes, impacts and legacies of the project. Based on our experiences of integrating these materials into our courses and on feedback and project evaluations, this paper will assess the potential of MOOCs to promote Universal Design for ICT and other professionals, while pointing up the possible trials and opportunities of such activities.

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