Widgets for Inclusive Distributed Learning Environments (WIDE) is a JISC funded project that aims to identify appropriate learning designs (digital and non-digital) derived from practice that can be re-purposed as widgets created for specific learning needs that conform to the learning object metadata standards for accessibility.
WIDE brings together groups of staff who are involved in the teaching and support of disabled students in further and higher education. In a series of brainstorming sessions and workshops those teachers will put forward their own ideas for how the small WIDE applications can help and support disabled students. The widgets will be designed by teachers and tutors who work directly with disabled students and will meet the specific needs of their learners. The aim is to form, explore and document a Community of Practice that will integrate with existing CoPs to create a network for evaluation, adoption and adaptation of the materials to ensure longevity and sustainability beyond the lifetime of the project.
Researchers will then go away to design and develop a series of high quality widgets which will be created for specific learning needs, with the aim of producing up to 50 digital applications which can be distributed to the education sector. Each widget will include descriptions of the user scenario on which it was based, together with a summary of its use in practice.
This project applies the expertise of the Accessibility Research Centre (ARC) at Teesside University, TechDis and the Portland College to develop solutions to support disabled learners. The project partners will bring together specialist teachers in teaching and technology to develop a set of specialised widgets through a series of workshops and follow up activities based on the model developed by JISC Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning in Reusable Learning Objects. The resultant widgets will be stored in a searchable repository on a Wookie server hosted at Teesside University that can be accessed, downloaded and distributed by the community and evaluated by teachers and groups external to the project.
For more details on the WIDE project read the full Teesside University news release: http://www.tees.ac.uk/sections/news/pressreleases_story.cfm?story_id=3456&this_issue_title=July%202010&this_issue=206