week 9 activity 3.2 issues with guidelines

To what extent do you think guidelines work?

I have found many of the guidelines in this weeks activities useful and informative, however there are major barriers enforcing them in the FE sector.  The overwhelming number of guidelines and resources can be extremely daunting and off-putting, particularly for staff who are not computer literate and may already be resistant to create any online materials.  There are a small number of colleges that have a dedicated team for creating online content, however in most cases teaching staff are encouraged to develop their own materials, often useing a range of resources such as eXe, photostory or the componants of a VLE.  Although some of the guidelines will be relevent to these tools, the language used is often enough to put people off creating anything in the first place.


Going through these guidelines I found the highlighting of the problems more useful that the guidelines themselves.



Who do they work best for?

Most of the guidelines highlighted here are beneficial to staff who have the technical knowladge to fully understand them and heave the time and resources to implement them.  The guidelines which cover basic common applications such as Microsoft office and PDF files, are beneficial  to a many people, however those who use alternatives to, or different versions of the software will not see these guidelines as relevent.



What else might you need to go with them?

Technical knowladge, time, commitment from the learning provider and an understanding of how content created useing a variety of software tools can meet these requirements.



Why do you think there are so many different guidelines?

I feel that it is difficult for the guidelines to maintain their relevance due to a number of factors including:


  • The rapid evolution  of technologies, such as web 2.0 tools, mobile devices and multitouch formats 
  • The of creative and innovative ways in which these tools are being used
  • The evolution of assistive technologies. 


This lack of relevance may go some way to explaining whey there are so many different guidelines.  Another reason for this is the  wide range of people creating content, who require different advice according to their technical knowladge, resources and requirements.  The range of impairments and disabilities which these guidelines try to take into account is another reason why there are so many.  There are also issues as not all guidelines are universally accepted (http://joeclark.org/access/description/ukad.html)


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