Online Learning among Visually Impaired Children
Chapter-6: Evaluations of Results
This project constructed a website with the goal of enhancing the possibilities of online learning. Visually impaired students will have easy access to the website. The inclusion of screen reader compatibility in the form of text-to-speech functionality will also aid in minimising the limitations imposed by other websites. Additionally, keyboard shortcuts will aid in rapid learning by avoiding navigation and access concerns. The fundamental objective of establishing such a website is to address the fact that students face navigation and accessibility challenges. The proposed idea would improve the learning abilities of visually impaired students while also ensuring that students are actively engaged in learning rather than reliant on others or developing frustration and irritatation as a result of website and learning framework concerns. Additionally, I aim to better the learning process in the future by including parts of artificial intelligence. It will incorporate a voice recognition system that enables visually challenged pupils to navigate and access websites using their voice. In general, I want to facilitate students’ learning processes by minimising their feelings of annoyance and anger while they utilise the proposed website.
There are also previous work in the similar area. Wongkia et al. (2021) proposed the i-Math system, which reads math expressions automatically. i-Math is an instructional technology that makes math lessons more accessible to blind and visually impaired (VI) students. Although various channels, including as human readers, math Braille codes, and audio (talking) books, are available to blind and VI students, these channels have limited availability. i-Math was created as a reading aid for both students and teachers, as well as a math learning and teaching tool. On a computer, i-Math and a screen reader produce voice output. i-Math has the ability to read math materials aloud. With i-Arithmetic, students may experience their unique capacity to comprehend and practise math at any time and place, while teachers can easily generate classroom handouts, assignments, and exercises in audio format. i-Math was evaluated by 78 blind and VI pupils, as well as six teachers. The findings of the examination show that i-Math can make math resources easily available to blind and VI pupils, allowing them to study and practise mathematics freely and comfortably.
Menzi-Cetin et al. (2017) analysed if visually challenged students can use a university website. Six visually impaired pupils participated in this study. They were able to identify the assistive technologies they use, as well as the numerous online pages they wanted to use without assistance. Usability tests and satisfaction questionnaires were undertaken after the data was collected. Five visually impaired students participated in the usability test.
They were instructed to think aloud while completing 11 tasks involving their university’s web pages, including the main page, student affairs, library, and departments, and then to complete these activities. Five tasks were not completed satisfactorily by all students in this test. Locating final exam schedules on the course syllabus created substantial challenges, according to the test findings, and visiting the academic calendar web page took the greatest time. The test findings revealed the need for a search engine on each page, a text form for all pages, a reorganisation of web link sequences with tabs, and additional visual information. Suggestions for meeting the needs of visually impaired students were made.
Similarly, according to Naples (2017), visually impaired students require pedagogies that are adapted to their needs in order to receive the same high-quality instruction as sighted students. They follow board work in class by referring to written lecture notes supplied advance via a Braille reader, and in-class small cooperative learning fosters an inclusive esprit de corps and encourages classmates to help clarify board work. Wikki Stix for tactile graphing can be used successfully by both aesthetically challenged students and faculty at junior colleges with limited resources. Visually handicapped and sighted pupils alike benefit from verbal explanation and “designating” (i.e., using analytical categories to identify areas of graphs).
According to Candela (2019), the profession of computer programmer has provided persons who are vision challenged (i.e., individuals who are blind or have low vision) a diverse range of job options in the past and will do so in the future. Due to the difficulties that students with visual impairments face in contemporary coding classrooms, this paper proposed the implementation of blind coding academies. These academies would provide a structure for learners who are blind or severely visually impaired (i.e., those who are unable to read what is displayed on a computer screen) to overcome or at the very least mitigate these difficulties. They want to educate kids for traditional (i.e., high school and college level) computer coding courses, and for other coding schools such as Girls Who Code and a broader range of employment opportunities. Due to the fact that a college education is typically required for the finest career possibilities in computer programming, students are trained to work in a collegiate setting. It’s critical that assistive technology professionals collaborate with coding instructors for optimal academy efficacy. Because college lecturers frequently use print and graphically focused teaching materials, these academies should prioritise access to and usage of training materials. Programming editors and IDEs are sometimes inaccessible (particularly to screen-reading software), textbooks are difficult to come by, and programming languages are often graphical in design. Therefore, adaptation strategies and dexterity with screen-reading and braille-display assistive technologies are necessary.
Veld et al. (2018) explain a study at a Dutch secondary school that designed to create guiding principles for visually disabled learners in exhibiting chemical representations for scientific education. The purpose was to give chemistry professors with a resource for developing inclusive curricula as well as a guide for visually impaired pupils. Technically, our solution consists of a web site with dynamic, completely accessible molecule diagrams and a theme book of accompanying tactile visuals that serves as a storehouse of often occurring chemical structures. The repository was built in partnership with two chemistry teachers, one of whom was partially sighted, and a blind student. Overall, it can be said that there has been a plethora of research on improving the learning framework for visually disabled and blind students using assistive technologies.
The purpose of the research was to examine the difficulties and obstacles encountered by students when they attempted to visit websites that aided in their academic learning. Generally, visually challenged students have difficulty navigating Moodle or course materials due to the complexity of website material and design. As a result, the research developed a solution based on an interactive website driven by artificial intelligence that assists students in improving their communication and understanding. I have not undertaken a large-scale test of this website, which is necessary to gain a comprehensive picture of the difficulties students find while accessing the site. However, I have had considerable success designing the website, which aids pupils in navigating. Students will have no difficulty accessing necessary information due to the usage of large fonts and easy accessibility. The website’s significance is also high due to its “unique” function, which enables students to access a wealth of study materials and important information.
Reflections and Lessons Learnt
I believe that the research and development process enabled me to gain personal knowledge and understanding. There were no social concerns, as I had no intention of offending anyone’s views and also had no social impact. There is no engagement of third parties, implying that ethical considerations were mostly circumscribed. Additionally, I believe that because I had no professional or commercial stake in the website’s development, I was able to focus more on generating value for students and assisting in the formulation of some valuable ideas and solutions.
I believe that the website’s success and usability can only be improved by testing it on students and collecting their feedback. This means that longitudinal research is critical for extracting more accurate insights and solutions. For instance, I have not tested problems experienced by students, and their thoughts, viewpoints, and feedback have not been adequately assessed. Additionally, I believe that my website will be mainly successful when it is accessible to a huge number of students from various universities. The website’s interactive system should be evaluated and analysed for greater clarity and assessment. In terms of potential new routes for future development, it can be stated that a mobile application may be developed to assist students in receiving more frequent documentation of comments for further improvement. In general, it can be stated that the proposed website model was beneficial in resolving the research issue and, to a lesser extent, in fulfilling the research’s aims and goals.
However, there is the prospect of additional improvement through regular website updates and the addition of new features. This will assist in enhancing the website’s trustworthiness. Additionally, I believe that the future path of the research should be directed by professor input regarding the website’s ability to assist visually impaired students.
Candela, Anthony R. (2019). Blind Coding Academies: A Proposed Method for Overcoming Accessibility Barriers for Individuals Who are Blind or Severely Visually Impaired. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 113(4), 387-393.
Menzi-Cetin, Nihal, Alemdag, Ecenaz, Tuzun, Hakan, Y Merve. (2017). Evaluation of a university website’s usability for visually impaired students. Universal Access in the Information Society, 16(1), 151-160.
Naples, Michele I. (2017). Teaching macroeconomics to the visually impaired. The Journal of Economic Education, 48(3), 193-197.
Wongkia, Wararat, Naruedomkul, Kanlaya, & Cercone, Nick. (2012). I-Math: Automatic math reader for Thai blind and visually impaired students. Computers & Mathematics with Applications (1987), 64(6), 2128-2140.