Office of Undergraduate Research

Evaluating D2L Accessibility and Usability for Blind Students

The central premise of this research is that blind students cannot participate effectively in online education due to significant accessibility and usability problems in Web-based learning technologies. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the accessibility and usability of the D2L learning environment for blind students. It adopts a user-centered, task-oriented, cognitive evaluation approach that focuses on blind students' effective completion of course activities. It will employ verbal protocol analysis and an integrated problem solving framework to understand where, how and why blind students face roadblocks and challenges in completing course activities in the D2L environment. Results will explain what aspects of the D2L design lack the accessibility and usability needed for non-visual interaction, and identify feasible design modifications to improve D2L accessibility and usability for blind students.

Tasks and responsibilities:

1. Creating the task environment on D2L; 2. Developing research protocols; 3. Administering user studies; 4. Transcribing, segmenting and coding verbal data.