American Community Colleges stand as the open-door to higher education, with 1,132 institutions serving over 12 million students annually in a diverse array of degree, transfer, occupational, certificate, and continuing education programs. The current community college completion rate stands at 22%; it is 28% when tracked over 4 years (Community College Research Center, CCRC). Predictions are that using technology tools, strategic integration of technology services, effective use of data, and predictive analytics will close the gaps and support learner progression through the open doors of community colleges to degree, career, and academic goals.
Whether in-person or in online learning environments, it is imperative that inclusive learning materials are created to ensure all students have access to quality education. Rapid advancements in technology and an increased use of online learning in post-secondary education have created a gap in the conversion of learning content. Creating visually inclusive learning materials for students with disabilities, in particular students with colorblindness, will help to close this gap.
Many educators are unaware if their students are colorblind and few know how to create more inclusive visual materials. Color Universal Design, a relatively new concept under the conceptual umbrella of Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning can help. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an online instructional module on Color Universal Design for post-secondary educators. This module aimed to increase awareness of students with colorblindness and Color Universal Design techniques. The underpinning of the module’s design was synthesizing old and new instructional design theories including applying Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction to e-learning and using aspects of the R2D2 (read, reflect, display, and do) model for activity development. Disseminated to a sample population of post-secondary educators of the University of Hawai‘i system, pre- and post-assessments were used to evaluate participants’ application mastery of the module’s content and to measure the overall instructional effectiveness. Findings can assist educators with steps to improve their online visual materials, decrease learning barriers for their students with colorblindness, and enhance the experience of all their students.
Nearly 90,000 soldiers, civilians and family members are stationed in Hawaii. Schofield Barracks, an Army installation on Oahu, is home to approximately 16,370 soldiers. A network of Army museums have been organized to expand public service and learning opportunities for these soldiers and family members. Through this project a mobile application tour has been developed to facilitate the educational mission of the Tropic Lightning Museum on Schofield Barracks. Using location-based software, this app facilitates a historical walking tour of the installation. Accessing resources from archived collections, the tour provides the community with unique historical information, audio, and trivia questions to broaden knowledge and appreciation of the installation’s cultures and history.
The purpose of this usability study was to develop, evaluate and improve this mobile application to facilitate an interactive and participatory walking tour used by military personnel and their families. Using the FRAME Model, the app was evaluated based on three aspects, social, device, and learner. This study identified the key components of app-based tours and their relevancy in facilitating on-site educational lessons. Most importantly, this study contributed to the improvement of the apps’ usability and accessibility for the members of the Schofield Barracks’ community. Multiple factors contributed to the success of the app-based tour and the positive reception by community members. The progression of the app from a paper-based walking tour to an interactive and augmented reality experience will be discussed along with the growing pains of developing a mobile app.
Lindsey Davis, University of Hawai‘i, Honolulu, HI, USA
Sixth grade social studies teachers are required to cover a wide range of content and skills based on state and national standards. These requirements often make it difficult to cover, in detail, topics that are of high-interest to students but are not present in the required curriculum. To encourage students to explore topics of interest in greater detail while still meeting the content and skill requirements set forth, a gamified unit covering Ancient Egypt was created. The unit was designed to address national and state standards focusing on time, continuity, and change, and social studies skills such as research, presentation, and synthesis of ideas. The unit was developed using the Hawaiian culture-based Moenahā unit planning format and incorporated the ideas of student choice and gamification—applying game elements in non-gaming situations. These concepts were used in an effort to positively impact both student motivation and learning. A unit website was created and shared with students. This website outlined the requirements for the unit and the game, provided necessary resources and displayed student scores for the game in a leaderboard table in real time. One hundred and seven sixth grade social studies students participated in the study. At the close of the unit, participants completed a survey indicating the perceived impact of different elements of the unit on their motivation and learning. Open-ended comments revealed areas of strength and improvement within the unit. Data collected will inform future attempts at incorporating gamification and student choice into instruction.
Nolan Kainoa Bowman, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, HI, USA
The increase of students with disabilities and the increased use of digital content has led to an increase in the number of issues related to inaccessible, instructional material. Also, a foolproof method to ensure that all instructors are oriented on disability topics does not exist, and conflicting schedules prohibit training. These issues prompted a need for an efficient and effective method for informing instructors about their legal responsibilities at a federally funded institution. In addition to the existing informational website and small, group presentations on disability practices, an enrichment website was developed on creating accessible videos, color, images, links, and PDFs. Therefore, the purpose of this instructional design project was to evaluate the impact of a website with modules for the teaching faculty at this postsecondary school. Keller’s ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction), Web 2.0 technologies, Constructivism, and Connectivism, are employed for engagement, for modeling technological accessibility, for experiential learning, and for community building between instructors and disability services. Participants included online and face-to-face instructors, former online instructors, and online instructional designers. The immediate goal was for instructors to address accessibility in the design phase of course content; the ultimate goal was to adopt universal design. Early findings from questionnaires, correspondence, and activities were analyzed, evaluated, and reveal that with some adjustments, asynchronous, online modules may be a viable means of training. The results prompt the creation of additional modules and possible certification for completion. Visit the website for Mission Accessible.
Colleen Okuda, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA