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Tuesday Sept. 27
Colloquium: Earl Huff (UT iSchool) - Online Learning, An (Accessible) Convenience to Education?
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Hybrid: Zoom & UTA 5.522 (Large Conference Room)

Abstract: Distance learning is not a new phenomenon; it can be traced back to the 18th century when instructors mailed learning materials to students. Fast forward to now, and online learning provides many opportunities for people to obtain education and training. While online learning offers a more flexible and convenient mode of education, not everyone may be able to take advantage of its benefits. As the world switched to distance learning in response to the pandemic in 2020, some did not feel confident in their ability or had the necessary resources to take classes online. Additionally, some online learning platforms and resources were not accessible for persons with disabilities. This talk describes some of the human and technical barriers that impact learners’ ability to utilize online learning resources and technology, how human-centered design can address some of these barriers, and additional areas to consider to make online education more inclusive and accessible.

Bio: Earl Huff Jr. is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information. He researches human-centered approaches to designing, developing, and evaluating inclusive and equitable technology. His current focus is on how online learning (e-learning) can be designed to be more accessible for persons with disabilities. Earl uses participatory design and interaction design methodologies to inform the design of technology that meets the needs of the intended users. He also researches the design and implementation of interventions for broadening participation of historically excluded populations in K-12 STEM.

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