Suitability of Online Higher Education for Learners with Disabilities: The Students’ Voices

Abstract

Online higher education has the potential to offer extra benefits for students with disabilities in comparison with campus-based universities, but it can also cause them some challenges. This case study addresses why students with disabilities choose online studies and how a fully online educational model fits their expectations and needs. Twenty-four students living with physical, sensory, mental, and learning disabilities participated in semi-structured interviews from which we identified six main themes: flexibility, accessibility, curricular design, online interaction, online collaboration, and psycho-emotional wellbeing. These students find online studies flexible, accessible, and helpful for their psycho-emotional wellbeing, but still challenging for interacting and collaborating. Our findings emphasize the importance of applying the Universal Instructional Design for Online Learning in combination with the Universal Design for Learning principles to enhance the inclusion of students with diverse profiles in online learning, as well as offering personalized support for those with severe or multiple disabilities.

Publication
Journal of Special Education Technology, Advance online publication

Full text PDF

Citation

Reyes, J. I., Meneses, J., & Xavier, M. (2022). Suitability of Online Higher Education for Learners with Disabilities: The Students’ Voices. Journal of Special Education Technology, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/01626434221131772
José Israel Reyes
José Israel Reyes
Investigador doctoral

Investigador predoctoral del programa d’Educació i TIC de la UOC.

Julio Meneses
Julio Meneses
Professor agregat

Professor de metodologia de la investigació, director de Learning Analytics de l’eLearning Innovation Center i investigador de l’Internet Interdisciplinary Institute de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Marlon Xavier
Marlon Xavier
Investigador doctoral

Investigador doctoral del programa d’Educació i TIC de la UOC.

Related