Heuristic evaluations of the accessibility of learning management systems (LMSs) as authoring tools for teachers
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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With the development of e-education and e-society it is important for information and communication systems and services to be equally accessible to all users, including people with disabilities. Learning management systems (LMSs) are becoming a necessity in higher education and making them accessible to all users, both students and teachers, is crucial. Existing studies on accessibility of LMSs mostly focus on students and their access to learning materials. Very few studies have focused on the accessibility of LMSs for teachers who are responsible for using LMSs to create accessible contents for students. This paper presents the heuristic evaluations of two learning management systems (Fronter and Sakai) focusing on their accessibility from teachers’ perspective. Based on universal design principles and guidelines we aim to identify accessibility issues and to propose possible improvements. The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 were adopted in the heuristic evaluations and qualitative data have been collected. We have also compared the findings from the evaluations of Fronter and Sakai, as well as Moodle, an open source LMS which was evaluated in our previous heuristic evaluation. The analysis of the data shows that the level of conformance of the systems to the ATAG2.0 guidelines is very low and many issues needs to be solved for them to be fully accessible for teachers with disabilities.