Evolution of Accessibility Metadata in Educational Resources

Evolution of Accessibility Metadata in Educational Resources

Salvador Otón Tortosa (Universidad de Alcalá, Spain), Paola Cristina Ingavélez-Guerra (Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Ecuador), Sandra Sánchez-Gordón (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Ecuador) and Mary Sánchez-Gordón (Østfold University College, Norway)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2325-4.ch001


This chapter presents in a descriptive and visual way the evolution of accessibility metadata in educational resources, considering the different organizations and projects that contributed in investigations and establishment of standards for their implementation. The purpose is to justify the importance of its application in the optimal search of educational resources that responds to the needs and preferences of the user, considering the variability of learning and emphasizing the even greater requirements when dealing with students with disabilities. Accessibility is an issue that is developed optimally, and its adoption is increasing; however, in the area of virtual environments and digital educational resources, the use of accessibility metadata is still incipient and requires to be understood from its implementation of comprehensive manner and the suitability of its application.
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Advances in information and communication technologies, and specifically in multimedia, networking and software engineering have promoted a new generation of online learning environments. Currently, the Internet is the ubiquitous supporting environment for virtual and distributed learning environments. In fact, the adoption and implementation of e-learning innovations have become more demanding in recent years (Valiente et al., 2015). As a result, many organizations, both public and private, take advantage of new technologies to offer educational and training products and services at all levels (Anido et al., 2002). In particular, the wide availability of educational resources is a common objective for universities, libraries, archives and other knowledge-intensive institutions. There is also growing empowerment of instructors to collaborate with their students and other instructors in order to produce, share and reuse educational resources (Valiente et al., 2015). In this context, educational metadata has been recognized as one of the most fruitful fields in the standardization of education technologies (Anido et al., 2002), (Solomou, Pierrakeas, & Kameas, 2015). However, the emergence of large collections of learning resources created through the harvesting and aggregation of metadata have raised important concerns on the suitability of educational resource descriptions as provided in metadata schemas (Valiente et al., 2015). Thus, the ability to effectively manage educational resources in terms of findability, reusability, interoperability and accessibility lies in the adoption of an appropriate metadata schema, able to adequately describe them (Solomou et al., 2015). Despite this fact, only a little research has been done in this area and even more, to the best of our knowledge, there is not a comprehensive solution for the management of accessibility metadata. Accessibility is a key feature to promote inclusive education and training in virtual and distributed learning environments where there is a great diversity in the accessibility needs and preferences of students (Sanchez-Gordon & Luján-Mora, 2018). In this context, this chapter is devoted to better understand the evolution of the accessibility metadata in educational resources by reviewing the most relevant milestones up to date.

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