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Peer Review

ELIXR: Using Technology to Foster Universal Design

by Michaeline Veden , Bill Vicars


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 12, 2014 by Faculty Development
Overview: In this MERLOT Elixir case story, American Sign Language (ASL) faculty member Bill Vicars describes his experiences integrating technology into his instruction in order to promote accessibility and enhance learning for all his students. Information and examples on the evolution of his practice are provided in text and in accessible video clips of him and some of his students. There are links to his favorite tools and resources including articles, newsletters, and interactive tutorials.
Type of Material: Case Story
Recommended Uses: Independent study, training material, basis for discussion by instructors developing course material consonant with the principles of Universal Design. Professional development and Pre-service teacher education
Technical Requirements: Browser, Flash player, and a device that supports Flash.
Identify Major Learning Goals: This resource raises awareness about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the role that technology can play in making course materials and activities more accessible while enhancing learning for all. There are links to text articles, a newsletter, and interactive tutorials for those specifically interested in ASL.
Target Student Population: Any faculty or instructors at any level of teaching.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This case story provides excellent information in text, images, and video from both the professor and students in his class. In addition, there are a multitude of text resources and two interactive tutorials on American Sign Language.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Vicars discusses the thought processes, implementation, and results underlying the evolution of his work. This will be both instructive and reassuring for instructors turning their Universal Design and technologies for the first time.
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Linked interactive tutorials on ASL are written in javascript making them usable on mobile devices. These modules are all very easy to navigate.
Concerns: Video clips cannot be viewed on mobile devices that do not support flash. Viewing text is controlled by clicking up or down arrows. Though there is a bit of overlap in the text from one click to the next, it makes it a bit harder to read and comprehend. Some of the icons are not obvious and they lack tooltips; however, once one clicks them, they are easily understandable and do not detract from navigating the resources.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States