Together BLENNZ, the Blind Foundation and NZQA are working towards developing accessible online assessments that take into account a range of learner needs and assistive technology packages. It has been a long-term goal for everyone, that online assessments are accessible for all learners.
NZQA have taken onboard the importance of promoting accessibility as a right of all learners, this has raised some questions around how we do this best. There are certain technology packages that will provide a more accessible experience.
When thinking about students learning in a digital world, we need to consider what skill development we need to focus on, to ensure all are prepared for online assessments. This has raised issues around accessibility vs usability and how this impacts on learner experiences. This information is essential to consider as we progress this work, particularly in helping us to understand that meeting accessibility guidelines is only one part of the equation.
If digital assessments are not both accessible and usable, then they are not a valid option. These issues help us to determine what solutions and skills are paramount for learner success.