He said that web content within higher education must be:
“Users must be able to perceive information presented,” Coburn said. “The information can’t be hidden or confusing to people looking at the screen with readers.”
“Users must be able to operate the interface,” Coburn said. “The interface cannot require interaction that users can’t perform.”
“The content of operation cannot be beyond understanding,” Coburn said. “The document should be organized and structured.”
“The content must be robust so it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of agents, including assistive technologies,” Coburn said.
In another workshop called “#FutureHistory: Using Technology Creatively to Build Collaborations in the Classroom and Beyond,” Marilyn Morgan lectured on how her students communicated with her and each other using mobile devices and collaboration apps.
Morgan, Director of the History and Archives Track at UMass Boston, said that she was looking for ways to keep her students engaged with their archive-based projects, and that mobile solutions was the way to go.
“You have to use computers today when using archives materials,” she said. “My students designed a website [for their projects], which some of them have never done before…I wanted students to learn how to digitize.”
Morgan said that using mobile solutions resolved a list of major challenges her department faced, including using the limited spaces on campus, lacking resources (such as funding), combatting stereotypes and attitudes about “real” history, communications beyond the classroom, and setting different expectations about the work that archivists do.
She said that apps like Evernote help her students meet these challenges head on, and shape the modern image of history preservation.
“I communicated with students through phones, laptops, and Evernote, which was also accessible through the web,” Morgan said. “I asked students to pull out their phones in class, which is something that’s not typically asked to do. With Evernote, everything is there, all the conversations students had [with each other and me]. Everyone ended up using it.”
“Everyone is used to communicating on their phones,” she said.
Morgan said that some of her students started utilizing the mobile solutions outside of her class.
She said this was one of the biggest successes of their project.
“If you can take the knowledge and apply it to somewhere in your life outside of the class, I did my job,” Morgan said.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our digital newsletters!